One of the most important stages in the passage of the menstrual cycle is the ovulation of the egg. This term refers to the process of rupture of a follicle that has matured in a woman’s ovary. After rupture, a mature egg, which is ready for fertilization, enters the abdominal cavity of the body.
When ovulation occurs, a mature egg is released through a rupture in the follicle and moves through the fallopian (fallopian) tube. Just during this period, the process of fertilization can occur in the uterus. If fertilization of the egg does not occur within two days, then the egg dies.
The function of controlling the process of ovulation is assumed by the hypothalamus. This is the part of the diencephalon, due to which hormones are secreted – luteinizing (LH) and follicle-stimulating (FSH). The formation of these hormones is regulated by the pituitary gland, by secreting biologically active substances.
Under the influence of the pituitary hormone, during the first, follicular phase of the cycle, the primary follicle begins to grow. When it reaches the desired degree of activity and size, then the maturation of the egg occurs in it.
Every healthy woman is capable of conceiving a child. This implies that inside her body from the very beginning there is a normal regular menstrual cycle, followed by the onset of ovulation. The cycle and the onset of ovulation can change when a woman turns 40, or when a woman’s body is preparing for the pre-menopausal period. Also, the rhythm of the menstrual cycle may remain unstable for a certain period after an abortion or after childbirth. At the time of pregnancy, menstrual function fades and ovulation stops.
It is very important to know the period when ovulation occurs. It is this information that helps to choose the right time for the process of natural insemination, IVF or artificial intrauterine insemination.
As a rule, with a stable menstrual cycle, the egg begins to prepare for release every 21-35 days. True, small deviations are also possible, which are also considered the norm.
Methods that determine the onset of ovulation
There are several available and well-known methods for determining the onset of the ovulation process.
- The first is the calendar method of determination. It consists in independent observation of calendar numbers. If a woman has a monthly cycle of 28 days, then the process of ovulation occurs on the 13-14th day. If the cycle lasts 30 days – on the 15-16th day. The approximate accuracy of this method is 30%, since the cycle of a modern woman often fails. And once or twice a year, the egg cannot be fertilized at all.
- The second is the tactile method of determination. With its help, the upcoming ovulation is determined by subjective indicators. It has long been known that the discharge from the cervical region becomes less viscous on the eve of ovulation and during the entire process of its passage.
- The third method is the method of taking measurements of basal or, in other words, rectal body temperature. It is necessary every day for the whole month, without getting out of bed, to measure the basal body temperature, and draw up a schedule based on the data obtained. You will need to observe one or even two menstrual cycles in order to create an accurate schedule. The probability of conception by the rectal method, with accurate scheduling, will be at least 90%.
- A convenient and practical test indicator quickly and accurately allows you to determine at what stage of maturation the egg is. The onset of the process of ovulation is indicated by an increased content of hormones. The test can detect signs of the onset of the ovulation process, both in the woman’s saliva and in the urine.
Signs of the onset of ovulation
The fact that the process of ovulation has begun in the body is evidenced by such subjective signs as short-term lingering pains in the lower abdomen. Known objective signs of onset are the appearance of more intense vaginal discharge. On the day of ovulation, rectal temperature indicators decrease, and the next day they increase. In the blood plasma, the content of progesterone is increased.
Ovulation, which occurs in the middle of the cycle, divides the cycle into two phases. During the first phase of the cycle, before ovulation, a woman’s rectal body temperature is usually lower than in the second phase, after ovulation. This is due to the fact that after ovulation, the hormone progesterone is produced in the body. Progesterone contributes to the fact that the basal body temperature rises by 0.4 – 0.6 degrees, and this is observed over the next two days after the ovulation process. Rectal temperature should be measured in the morning, after at least six hours of sleep. If during the entire cycle the rectal temperature does not change, then it can be argued that there is no ovulation.
On ultrasound during the period of ovulation, processes of change in the follicles are observed. A rupture forms in one of the follicles, from where the egg is released.
Following all these characteristic signs, using various methods, it will not be difficult to establish the day of ovulation.
Ovulation after pregnancy and abortion
During the course of pregnancy, the maturation of new eggs, ready for fertilization, does not occur. However, when the pregnancy is left behind, the question arises: when does the next ovulation occur? Experts note that the restoration of the menstrual cycle after childbirth is carried out within 3-10 weeks. This recovery process takes place against the background of anovulation. It will take at least 6 weeks to 3 months for ovulation to fully recover. In some cases, after the birth of a child, it happens that ovulation is absent for six months.
After an abortion, regardless of whether the interruption was caused spontaneously or artificially, ovulation normally occurs in the first 4 weeks. After another 2 weeks, menstruation returns and the normal monthly cycle is restored.