Ovulation is a term reffering to the period in the menstrual cycle when the egg is released by the ovary and is ready for fertiloization. It usually happens in the middle of the cycle for healthy women.
If the sperm penetrates the egg during ovulation period then fertilization will occur, marking the beginning of pregnancy. However, if the egg is not fertilized and it reaches the uterus, it will be eliminated during menstruation process and this will mark the beginning of a new cycle.
Possible symptoms of ovulation
Ovulation is characterised by some symptoms that include:
- Transparent, viscous and egg white-like vaginal secretion
- Slight increase in body temperature, usually about 0.5ºC
- Increased libido and appetite
- There may be pelvic pain, similar to a mild colic
Most of these symptoms can go unnoticed by most women and they may be difficult to identify. Therefore, the best way for a woman to know if they are ovulating is to calculate when the next ovulation will be.
It is also important to note that women who take contraceptives do not experience ovulation and consequently, they will not present the symptoms or even become pregnant.
How is the day of ovulation calculated?
Ovulation period takes place in the middle of the woman’s cycle and it is therefore easier to calculate it for a woman who has a regular cycle. This means that if the woman has a regular 28-day cycle, ovulation will take place around the 14 day. This day is calculated from the date of the first day of the onset of menses (day+14days), as it marks the beginning of a new menstrual cycle.
Since for each cycle, the ovulation day may vary with a difference of 1 to 2 days, it is important for the woman to take not of the fertile period rather than the actual day of ovulation. This is because the fertile period is usually set 6 days around the ovulation date and this will help to compensate for the cycles in which ovulation arrives sooner or later.
For the case of a woman with irregular cycles, it is almost impossible to identify the day of ovulation accurately and therefore it is necessary to calculate the fertile period.
Is ovulation and fertile period the same thing?
Although these two words may be used as synonyms, ovulation and fertile period do not mean the same thing. Ovulation is the day when the matured egg is released from the ovary, ready for fertilization by the sperm. The fertile period refers to a set number of days that are calculated around the possible day of ovulation and they mark the period in which the woman is most likely to get pregnant once the egg has been released. Therefore, without ovulation then there will be no fertile period.
What is the best time to get pregnant?
The best time to get pregnant is usually referred to as the fertile period. It is considered to be a set of 3 days before and after ovulation. That is, the period between the 11th and 16th day after the first day of the onset of menstruation. Women who desire to get pregnant can therefore have sexual intercourse during this period while those who do not want to become pregnant should be careful, by avoiding unprotected sex.