LiveMD discusses ovulation and fertility to help you increase your chances of becoming pregnant
What is Ovulation?
A woman’s body contains two ovaries, one on either side of the lower pelvis. These ovaries produce the eggs that are needed in order for a woman to become pregnant. When a woman is entering the fertile stage of her monthly cycle, an egg is released from one of these ovaries. The egg then travels down the fallopian tube, into the uterus, where it waits to become fertilized by a sperm. This process is called ovulation.
Ovulation occurs once a month, usually half-way through the menstrual cycle, 12 to 14 days before the next period will begin.
How can I Tell if I’m Ovulating?
Often it can be difficult to tell if you are ovulating so one of the best ways to tell is by keeping a calendar. Track all of your periods and if they are regular and predictable, you know that you should be ovulating in that 12-14 day window of time before your next period begins.
Some women can feel when they are ovulating. Often when an egg is released from the ovary, women can feel a twinge of pain or discomfort on one side of the pelvis or the other, depending on which ovary is releasing the egg that particular month. By paying close attention to how your body is feeling, especially around that fertile window of time, you may be able to feel when you are ovulating.
A more precise way of determining ovulation is by measuring your body temperature. Certain temperature fluctuations occur throughout a woman’s cycle and it is possible that by charting daily temperatures over the course of a few months, a woman is able to predict when her next ovulation will occur.
The easiest way to know whether you are ovulating or not is by purchasing an ovulation kit. These kits can usually be purchased at your local pharmacy. By using either urine or saliva samples, the kit can let you know whether or not you are ovulating and how good your chance of becoming pregnant are.
How can I Increase my Chances of Becoming Pregnant?
The best way to increase your chances of conception are to follow one of the methods above to determine when you may be ovulating. Pregnancy can only occur during ovulation so it is important that you and your partner are both ready for intercourse during that small window of time. The more times that you are intimate during that possible ovulation period, the better your chances of pregnancy. A sperm can survive inside a woman’s uterus for 3 to 6 days and is still capable of fertilizing an egg once it is released, even if ovulation has not yet occurred at the time of intercourse.
If you and your partner are considering starting a family and have questions about becoming pregnant and what to expect after you have conceived, the gynecologists and obstetricians at LiveMD have the experience and knowledge to answer all of your questions. They are available online, right now, for a live video chat or by text message and can give you the advice you need right away. Visit www.mylivemd.com.
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