The female reproductive tract consists of the uterus (womb), fallopian tubes (that carry the ovum to the uterus), two ovaries on each side of the uterus that release the ovum (mature egg) every alternate month, cervix (neck of the uterus) and vagina.
Ovulation is the process by which one of the ovaries releases a mature ovum (egg) at a specific time each month. This time, known as the ovulation day, is generally consistent in each woman and is controlled by genes, hormonal status, recent childbirth, use of oral contraceptives, and other factors such as stress.
The ovulation day can be used as a parameter to figure out your chances of getting pregnant after sexual intercourse. It is often used during assisted reproduction techniques to plan and monitor the treatment.
What is the average day of ovulation?
The average day of ovulation remains constant in most women with a window of one or two days on either side.
- If your cycle is an average of 28 days, your ovulation typically occurs about 14 days before you bleed.
- Most women ovulate four days before or after the midpoint of their menstruation.
- If you have a 30-day cycle, you may ovulate anytime between the 11th and 19th days of your cycle.
- If you have a 21-day cycle, you may ovulate anytime between the 7th and 14th days of your cycle.
If you don't have a regular menstrual cycle, there are apps available that have menstruation calendars to help you keep a tab on your cycles. Several over-the-counter ovulation kits help signal the onset of your ovulation using your urine as a sample.
In case you are undergoing assisted reproductive therapy, your gynecologist may perform serial ultrasonography to find out the exact day of your ovulation.
What is the difference between fertile days and ovulation days?
- Ovulation day is one day in the monthly menstrual cycle when the egg is released from the ovary.
- Fertile days (fertile window) refer to the days in a woman’s menstrual cycle when pregnancy is possible.
The egg released during the time of ovulation day is viable (able to be fertilized) for 12 to 24 hours. Sperm from the partner can survive inside the female reproductive tract about five days after sexual intercourse. If you have intercourse when these two events overlap, your chances of getting pregnant are the highest.
The “fertile window” is thus a range of five days, including the day an egg is released from the ovary and five days beforehand. Most doctors agree that the most fertile days are those three days preceding and including ovulation. If you ovulate around the 14th day, you are most fertile on days 12, 13, and 14. If you have a 35-day cycle, you are most fertile on the 19th, 20th, and 21st day of your menstrual cycle.
How can I make sure of my ovulation day?
When attempting to get pregnant, other than menstrual apps and ovulation kits in the pharmacy, you can check for ovulation signs and symptoms in your body, which include:
- Body temperature: Ovulation causes the basal body temperature to increase by 0.5° to 0.8°.You can track your basal body temperature every morning before you get out of bed. You should be most fertile two to three days preceding the increase in your body temperature.
- Vaginal secretions: Your vaginal secretions get clear, wet, and stretchy just before ovulation.
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