OVULATION (egg released for fertilization)
Knowing WHEN you Ovulate is Key to Getting Pregnant!
There are physical changes your body goes through just prior to ovulation so that you can properly predict when to send sperm in for fertilization.
Ovulation is the term used to describe the process of an egg(s) being released from the ovary. The egg must be fertilized within 24 hours after ovulation.
Here are some important definitions to have correct:
Ova = Egg
Ovary = The organ that harvests and holds eggs
Ovulation = Egg is pushed through the wall of ovary
Estrogen = The hormone produced by the ovaries and triggers ovulation
Fertilization = Sperm penetrates the Egg
BEFORE OVULATION, BBT drops (estrogen rises)
As your eggs mature in the ovary, they produce more and more estrogen.
There are 4 important indicators of high estrogen levels:
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) - The basal means the lowest temp of the day. Basal Body Temperature is the lowest temp of the day (after 3 consecutive hours of sleep. Put your thermometer by the bed and take your temp before getting up of the day. Estrogen lowers BBT. A rise in temp of at least 2/10ths would suggest ovulation has occurred. BBTs can only be used to estimate ovulation within a three day range. When your BBT drops, you should see a positive Ovulation Test.
Cervical Mucus - Cervical Mucus is a very important part of fertility. Mucus is what protects sperm from the acidic atmosphere of the vagina. Egg White Cervical Mucus (EWCM) is the most fertile mucus! EWCM with small clots is EXTREMELY fertile mucus. Mucus changes throughout the menstrual cycle. For several days around the time of ovulation, the "fertile" types of mucus are produced; they have a higher water content, and are less acidic and higher in electrolytes.
Cervical Position - After menstruation and directly under the influence of estrogen, the cervix undergoes a series of changes in position and texture. During most of the menstrual cycle, the cervix remains firm, like the tip of the nose, and is positioned low and closed. However, as a woman approaches ovulation, the cervix becomes softer, more similar to the lips, and rises and opens in response to the high levels of estrogen present at ovulation. These changes, accompanied by the production of fertile types of cervical mucus, support the survival and movement of sperm.
LH (Luteinizing Hormone) Surge - LH is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland. In females, an acute rise of LH ("LH surge") triggers ovulation and development of the corpus luteum. The Corpus Luteum (Latin for "yellow body" and surprise, surprise, it is yellow in color) is essential for establishing and maintaining pregnancy in females. It is a temporary endocrine structure in female mammals that is involved in the production of relatively high levels of progesterone which is a steroid hormone responsible for the development of the endometrium, the uterine lining that will receive the fertilized egg and provide support and protection. LH Surge occurs just prior to and triggers ovulation. Do you see how this could be a perfect indicator to determine when to try to conceive? If it's happening, ovulation is just about to occur so the eggs are coming! Time to introduce the sperm!
How To Predict Ovulation
Ovulation usually occurs 24-36 hours after the LH surge.
To become pregnant, intercourse is recommended within 2 days after the LH surge.
WOOOHOOOOO the most fun 2 days of the month! Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) detect the LH Surge.
So, test and dance!
Put sperm in play at the right time!
Out of the millions of sperm ejaculated, only 1 is allowed to penetrate the outer membrane of the egg (zona pellucida).
The membrane stays in place while the egg travels through the fallopian tube. To fertilize the egg, a sperm must penetrate this thinning zona pellucida. If fertilization takes place, the zona pellucida disappears, to permit implantation in the uterus.