Without ovulation, a woman would not be able to conceive. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it can help to understand how ovulation works. Learn the basics from our fertility specialists at SIRM St. Louis.
Each month, one egg matures enough to be dropped into the fallopian tube. From there, the egg makes its way to the uterus where it can meet sperm to become fertilized. The lining of the uterus thickens as it prepares to welcome the egg. If fertilization does not occur, the lining sheds, causing menstruation.
That scenario is based on a normal, ideal ovulation cycle. Sometimes more than one egg may be released. Other times, ovulation will be delayed or missed due to extreme stress. It should also be noted that periods can occur even if ovulation has not, and vice versa.
Now how can we track ovulation to time intercourse ideally? First, you should calculate how long your cycles usually last. Count this by starting on the first day of your period until the first day of the next period. Usually it will come out to be somewhere between 28 and 32 days. Ovulation occurs around the middle of your cycle, anywhere between days 11 and 21. This is the ideal time to have intercourse in order to conceive.
You can track ovulation month over month to see if there is a trend over time to get a more accurate fertile window. Ovulation kits and apps can help determine if you are ovulating by tracking your basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and more.
Once ovulation has occurred, it is too late to try to get pregnant for that cycle.
After trying for six months to a year without becoming pregnant, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a fertility doctor at SIRM St. Louis.