Today, we will discuss this in our 8th live class in BlueBeeOne about ovulation. Dr. Christine Marie Rubio will help us to learn about this topic. Keep on reading the article to know more!
What is Ovulation?
Dr. Christine explained that ovulation is a biological process that involves the interplay of a woman’s brain, hormones, and the reproductive system. It is important for everyone to study and understand the ovulation process so that we can understand the menstrual cycle better. “To increase the chance of getting pregnant and for those who don’t want to get pregnant, they need to be informed about ovulation, as well as those who don’t want to take pills or they don’t want foreign objects in their body like IUD,” she said.
In the next slide, she explained the different phases of the menstrual cycle which include the follicular phase and the luteal phase. Remember that when fertilization does not occur after the luteal phase, you will have your menstruation. If there’s fertilization, it’s successful fertilization that leads to pregnancy. The follicular phase happens between menstruation and ovulation.
After the follicular phase, ovulation takes place, and then the luteal phase. Ovulation happens only for about 24 hours. After 24 hours, the egg will not be viable. The luteal phase is commonly fixed as it lasts for 14 days. Having sex as close as possible to the time of ovulation increases the chance of pregnancy. If a woman has sex 6 or more days before she ovulates, the chance she will get pregnant is virtually 0.
Although the sperm can survive up to 6 days, on average, it’s only 3 days because 6 days are too long. So, if she has sex 5 days before she ovulates, her probability of pregnancy is about 10%. If she has sex on the day of ovulation, not the 2 days before, the chance of getting pregnant is about 30%. But these figures are average because it will still depend on many factors like a woman’s age.
Timing of Ovulation Phase
When you know your average menstrual cycle length, you can work out when you ovulate. For example, if you have a 28-day menstrual cycle, you will count from the first day of menstruation until the first day of the next first day of your next menstruation, usually when you go to an OB-GYN’s clinic. Count from the first day of the menstruation until the first day of the next menstruation. The luteal phase is usually fixed so you will subtract 14, ovulation happens around day 14, so the most fertile days are days 12, 13, and 14. If you will ovulate on Day 14, you have sexual contact on Day 12 and Day 13, most likely when your ovulation period starts, the sperm is still viable.
Another example is if your menstrual cycle is 35 days so you will subtract again around 14 so your ovulation should be on about day 21. The most fertile period will be the 19th day or Days 19, 20, and 21. If your cycle is short, for example, day 21 minus 40 so your ovulation will fall on day 7 or you will ovulate on day 5, 6, or 7. However, if your menstrual cycle is short, there is no guarantee that you will ovulate on the exact day based on the timing or calculation. Some women have irregular cycles and are difficult to work out an average cycle length.
This can make it hard to work out when ovulation happens. If it’s all too hard, Dr. Christine and many other medical experts highly suggest that having sex every 2-3 days covers all bases and improves your chance of getting pregnant. Because sometimes it is very challenging to precisely determine when you will exactly have ovulation. OB-GYNs recommend couples to have regular sex, around 2-3 times a week in case they’re struggling with the timing of their ovulation period.
Different Ways to Test for Ovulation
In the next slide, Dr. Christine pointed out that there are different ways to test for ovulation. “But please take note that this is not the ovulation phase for sex, when you ovulate, the follicle should be raptured so that it will start the ovulation phase. This is not really a 100% guarantee.”
Basal body temperature – We have every menstrual cycle by principle, every menstrual cycle every day should be monitored by the patient. On a certain day, there is a time when the body temperature suddenly shoots up very slightly. For example, your body temperature rises 0.2 ℃ on Day 16. Usually, the ovulation started on Day 14. “This is a very tedious way of monitoring your ovulation day,” Dr. Christine commented.
Cervical mucus – It is the natural vaginal discharge that is usually called white mense. On days 1-3, you will notice no vaginal discharge. On days 4-6, you will notice that it has a thick consistency. Then, on days 7 to 9, it will be the day of your ovulation as you will notice that your discharge becomes very slippery and it stretches out when you touch it. “If you notice that your discharge is slippery, it means you’re fertile because that consistency will help the sperm to swim easier. So you need to remember this to indicate when your ovulation day will be,” explained Dr. Christine.
Ovulation test kit – This is a test for the luteinizing hormone. Similar to a pregnancy test, you can see luteinizing hormones in blue color. Usually, the ovulation will happen within 24-48 hours. When you use this test and notice that you got positive or there are two lines, the doctors usually advise you to give sexual contact tomorrow or in 48 hours.
Serum progesterone – It is a test to measure the amount of progesterone in the blood. Usually done in clinics, this test is used to check if and when you are ovulating. “Make sure you’ll have sexual contact in the next day or two days, okay?” Dr. Christine said.
If you are having a hard time with your ovulation, you may try ovulation induction. It is the process of using medications to stimulate ovulation in women who have irregular or absent ovulation (anovulation). There are many factors why some women are having difficulties in getting pregnant such as lifestyle modifications, meal factors or eating habits, etc. You should maintain proper weight or normal BMI. Also, avoid smoking and heavy alcohol drinking, and other vices which can negatively affect your ovulation.
We learned about ovulation and why it contributes to a successful pregnancy, as well as the timing of the ovulation phase and different ways to test for ovulation. Keep the main points in this article in mind and check if your ovulation is normal or if not, we highly suggest that you visit a certified OB-GYN to help you in normalizing your ovulation. In the next article, we will discuss the second part of the 8th live class.