Text For Appointment 949-996-9522 | Financing Optionsāž”

Everything You Were Never Told About Ovulation

 Everything You Were Never Told About Ovulation

Considering that every human being on the planet started as an egg released by an ovary into a fallopian tube, most of us know precious little about ovulation. Even when you hit puberty, you probably didn’t learn much about ovulation except that it happens every month and can result in pregnancy if you have sex at that time.  

Once you become an adult and try to become pregnant, ovulation becomes extremely important. If you don’t ovulate regularly, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to predict the best times for intercourse to increase the chances of conception. If your periods are highly irregular or don’t ovulate at all, you may need to undergo ovulation induction.

At OC Fertility in Newport Beach, California, Sharon Moayeri, MD, Nidhee Sachdev, MD, and our team are experts at helping women and men better understand all the variables involved in the conception, including ovulation. The following is a brief guide to the process that sets us all in motion.

Phase one of ovulation: the follicular phase

The follicular phase of ovulation is the time when your ovaries mature and release eggs. It starts on the last day of your previous period and continues until ovulation, anywhere from 7-40 days later.  

You were born with about a million eggs divided between your two ovaries. However, only about 300,000 were left when you started to menstruate. Even so, that seems like a lot, considering how few children a woman gives birth to over a lifetime.

But all of those eggs aren’t viable and won’t be able to become a baby. Every month, your pituitary gland releases a substance called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates one of your ovaries to move several follicles from its interior to its surface.

Follicles contain immature eggs. As your body releases more hormones, the eggs mature and ripen. At the end of this follicular phase of your menstrual cycle, one or more of the follicles ruptures and releases their eggs. This is ovulation.

Phase two of ovulation: the luteal phase

Once you ovulate, you enter the next phase of the ovulation cycle, called the luteal phase. The luteal phase usually lasts just 12-16 days. 

After it’s released from the ruptured follicle, the egg (usually just one, but it could be more) enters a fallopian tube and travels toward the uterus. The egg only lives about 24 hours unless it’s fertilized. 

If the egg is fertilized by sperm before it dissolves, the resulting zygote travels into the uterus and implants in the lining so that it can develop into a fetus and, eventually, a baby. If not, you menstruate.

Outside factors can affect your cycle

Ideally, both phases of your ovulation cycle are regular and predictable. If you menstruate on schedule, it’s relatively easy to time intercourse, so that sperm and egg meet for conception. But if you’re irregular or don’t produce the hormones you need to release follicles and eggs, you may require the help of a fertility specialist.

Many different environmental and internal factors can affect your ovulation cycle. If you’re having trouble ovulating or ovulating regularly, your cycle may be disturbed by:

In fact, anything that affects your health may influence your ovulation cycle. When you come in for a fertility workup, we conduct a thorough physical exam, including blood work that helps us determine whether your hormones are balanced.

Depending on our findings, we may recommend simple lifestyle adjustments, such as a healthier diet, healthy workout routine, and stress management. If you have PCOS or other hormone imbalances, we may recommend a short course of hormonal birth control to reset your ovulation cycle.

In some cases, you may even need ovulation induction. We then give you medications that encourage your body to produce and release mature eggs. We monitor you closely to determine the best time for fertilization.

If your periods are irregular or you don’t have periods at all, you may have an ovulation cycle disorder. Find out today by scheduling a fertility workup or ovulation induction. Contact us at 949-706-2229 or book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Busting Fertility Medication Myths

Fertility medications are often crucial for successful fertility treatment, but myths crop up in media coverage and on social media from time to time. Let’s debunk some myths circulating now, and set the record straight on fertility medication.

4 Causes of Miscarriage

When you have a miscarriage, your first question is, “Why”? Why did this happen to your baby? Why did it happen to you and your partner? Miscarriage may be common, but it’s devastating. Here’s why it may happen to you.

The Importance of Progesterone for a Healthy Pregnancy

Progesterone is often referred to as the “pregnancy hormone,” and for good reason. Your progesterone levels not only play a key role in helping maintain a healthy pregnancy, but it also helps in preparation for pregnancy.

How Endometriosis Can Impact Your Fertility

Endometriosis has caused you painful, heavy periods for years. Will it also impact your fertility once you decide to become pregnant? If so, can you do anything to increase your odds of conceiving a healthy baby? You can.