Ovulation Fact and Myth
by Lori Ramsey
Most women have been taught that ovulation occurs on day 14 of their cycle. Armed with this, women have intercourse around day 14 to conceive and avoid intercourse if they wish to avoid pregnancy. Then why are so many women not conceiving, when they thought they should be? And why are so many other women conceiving, when they avoided the big O day?
It’s because ovulation occurring on day 14 is a myth. Ovulation can occur as early as during the menstrual bleeding and much later than day 14. In my own experience, I have ovulated as early as day 12 and as late as day 22. There are many factors involved in the timing of ovulation.
Hormones, stress, and the health of the individual all play roles in ovulation. Let’s start with hormones. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen, luteinizing hormone (LH surge), and progesterone are the hormones of the female reproductive cycle. Any imbalance in these hormones can impede or prevent ovulation.
The first hormone to work in the cycle is FSH. FSH begins peak production at the beginning of the cycle - while the uterus is shedding it’s lining. FSH prompts the ovaries to produce about 15 to 20 mature eggs. Each of these eggs are encased in it’s own follicle. These follicles then produce estrogen.
Estrogen begins surging through the body about three or more days before ovulation. This causes the cervical fluid to be clear, thin and stretchy*. This type of cervical fluid is referred to as “egg-white cervical mucus or ewcm”. EWCM offers the best mode of travel for the sperm to get to the egg.
The high levels of estrogen prompts the release of luteinizing hormone (LH). The surge of LH causes the egg to actually pop out of it’s follicle. The period from ovulation to menstruation is called the luteal phase (LP). It is this part of the cycle that seldom varies by a day or two each month. The average length is 12 to 16 days long. With the collapse of the follicle a “corpus luteum” forms.
The corpus luteum begins producing progesterone - the hormone that helps maintain the uterine lining long enough for a fertilized egg to implant. Progesterone is responsible for raising the basil body temperature, also known as the warm hormone. If a woman is charting her temperatures, she could tell she had ovulated by an upward shift in her daily basil body temperature. A drop in progesterone signals the body to begin shedding the uterine lining, thus bringing on menstruation. The luteal phase - the time progesterone is being released lasts about 2 weeks.
The LP, however, can be longer or shorter. An LP shorter than 10 days is considered deficient in progesterone and is unable to maintain a pregnancy. There are measures to take to increase the LP, such as hormone therapy and/or herbal and vitamin supplements. No matter what day a woman ovulates, she can always tell approximately what day her menstrual cycle will begin, or what day to take a pregnancy test.
If pregnancy is the goal, it’s extremely important to have intercourse around the time of ovulation, preferably right before or during ovulation. Sometimes a woman’s body can gear up to ovulation- releasing all the right hormones and stress will halt the process. Vacations, moving, company or anything that causes undo stress can delay ovulation until the woman is at peace and relaxed again. The role of hormones combined with the woman’s state of health - i.e.. sick or stressed, determines when and if ovulation occurs.
Sometimes ovulation does occur on day 14, but this is, by far, not the rule. Because the different elements that bring about ovulation can be varied or interrupted, it’s safe to say that ovulation can occur at any point in the cycle and not the day 14 that so many people once believed.
Lori Ramsey is a published author and mother of 6 who also runs many businesses. Read One Of Her Books On Kindle: How to Get Pregnant by Learning How to Increase Fertility
Reproduced with Permission