A woman’s reproductive system is complex, and it operates on a monthly cycle with distinct phases. It’s important to learn when you’re ovulating, especially if you want to avoid pregnancy or want to get pregnant. It helps to understand what’s going on with your cycle and how that affects your body.
Dr. Daniel Kushner is a highly skilled and respected OB/GYN serving White Plains and Queens, New York. He understands that women need good information so they can make decisions about their gynecological health. Along with his friendly and experienced staff, Dr. Kushner provides a full range of services to allow women to stay healthy and vibrant, whatever stage of life they’re in.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle in which an egg leaves an ovary and travels toward the uterus. This is the time of the month when a woman can get pregnant, if a sperm fertilizes the egg. It’s especially important to understand when you’re ovulating for the best chances of becoming pregnant.
When does ovulation happen?
The exact time when ovulation happens can vary from woman to woman. Typically, ovulation happens somewhere around day 14 of a 28-day cycle. Your cycle begins on the first day of your period, so typically this means you’re likely to ovulate about two weeks after your period begins, plus or minus about four days. Learning the signs of ovulation can help you determine when you’re ovulating.
What are the symptoms of ovulation?
The symptoms of ovulation vary in how each woman experiences them. Once you’re aware of what they are, you can pay more attention and may notice them more readily. Typical indications of ovulation that you may notice include:
- Mild cramps in your lower abdomen
- Cervical mucus that becomes thinner and more slippery
- Increased sex drive
- Light spotting, like when you’re starting your period
- Slight swelling in your vulva
During ovulation, your basal body temperature — the temperature when you’re at rest — goes down slightly and then increases again. You can learn when you’re ovulating by taking your temperature first thing in the morning, before you’ve gotten out of bed. By tracking your temperature over time, you can learn when you’re ovulating.
Ovulation and pregnancy
You’re the most fertile about two days before your basal temperature rises. If you’re hoping to get pregnant, this is the best time for you to do so. However, even if you miss this point by a few days, sperm can live up to five days inside your body, waiting for the egg so it can fertilize it. The egg is viable for up to 24 hours.
On the other hand, if you want to avoid pregnancy, knowing when you’re ovulating allows you to avoid having intercourse without using some form of birth control during the time of the month when you’re most likely to become pregnant.
Understanding ovulation helps you know what’s happening with your body. For all of your questions about ovulation or other gynecological concerns, call Daniel Kushner, MD, at the office nearest you to set up an appointment. You can also use our convenient online appointment booking tool anytime.