Knowing When you Ovulate is Key to Getting Pregnant

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1. Ovulation Is Key 

If you only needed to know one simple thing about getting pregnant, that thing is ovulation. Ovulation is the key to conception. What exactly is ovulation? It is the time when the mature egg is released from the ovary and pushed down the fallopian tubes to be fertilized. Each month, one egg will mature inside the ovaries.

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Once that egg reaches maturity, it is released from the ovary and then travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus where it can be fertilized by the sperm. The lining of the uterus has thickened to prepare for the fertilized egg. If no conception occurs, the uterine lining as well as blood will be shed. The shedding of an unfertilized egg and the uterine wall is the time of menstruation.

2. Knowing Your Time

Ovulation is a very short window of time. The egg can only live for 24 to 48 hours after it is released from the ovary. That’s why it is so important to know when your ovulation dates are so that you can time sex in order to get pregnant.

There are several different ways for women to know when they are ovulating. You can buy an over the counter ovulation predictor kit test that you can take every day, much like a home pregnancy test, to determine whether or not you are ovulating.

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You can also use a special thermometer called a basal body thermometer, to track your temperature every day. When you notice a spike in temperature. That is when you are ovulating. You can also learn to pay attention to your cervical mucus, or even your cervical position to determine whether or not you are ovulating.

3. More About Ovulation

Ovulation can be kind of complicated sometimes, and there are many things to know and remember about this important process. For example, ovulation can be disrupted by many different things, including illness or stress, and even just the disruption of a normal routine. Some women experience light spotting during ovulation, and that is completely normal and not a cause for concern.

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If the egg is fertilized, it usually implants around 6-12 days after ovulation has occurred, and can also come with some light spotting, known as implantation bleeding. Another thing that many women do not realize is that menstruation can occur even if ovulation has not occurred, and ovulation can occur even if a menstrual period has not occurred.

The two are not mutually exclusive. So what happens to the egg if it is not fertilized? It is shed and absorbed into the uterine lining. If you have any other questions about ovulation, be sure to talk with your doctor.

Dr. Karen Leham, MD

Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.