The reproductive system is complex, especially the female anatomy. Periods and tampons aren’t the only things you need to learn about the menstrual cycle. And, unfortunately, ovulation is often overlooked. Our experienced doctors can explain everything in detail, but here’s a brief overview of what you missed in health class.
At University Reproductive Associates, with offices in Hasbrouck Heights, Wayne, and Hoboken, New Jersey, our team can help you find out what might be causing issues with your body’s ovulation process. We can even perform ovulation induction to help you conceive.
The truth about your menstrual cycle
When you talk about the “menstrual cycle,” most people will assume you’re referring to a woman’s period. However, the menstrual cycle has four phases.
- Menstrual phase — shedding of the uterine lining
- Follicular phase, which triggers the maturation of an egg
- Ovulation phase — when the egg is released into the uterus
- Luteal phase, which thickens the uterine lining to prepare for fertilization
If the egg released isn’t fertilized, your body will cycle back to the menstrual phase. Your uterus will shed its lining, and you will have to wait for your next fertile window to try for a baby.
What you need to know about ovulation
Ovulation is just one phase of the menstrual cycle, but it’s special for several reasons. Many women track their ovulation to increase their chances of conceiving. Fertility tracking can also be used as a form of natural birth control, but that is risky and not recommended.
While ovulation is usually painless and subtle, you might experience symptoms. These include:
- Clear, stretchy discharge
- Increased sex drive
- Light bleeding or spotting
- Tender breasts
- One-sided ovary pain
Note that the ovulation phase is not the only time you can become pregnant. Sperm can stay alive in the reproductive tract for days, and avoiding the “fertile window” will not effectively prevent pregnancy.
Ovulation usually occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle, but infertility can cause irregular or absent ovulation. Be sure to report any inconsistencies to our team, especially if you’re trying for a baby. We can provide fertility treatments to help you conceive, including ovulation induction.
At University Reproductive Associates, we work with people to track ovulation and increase fertility. If you’re struggling to conceive, consulting with our specialists can help you get the guidance and treatment you need.
To schedule a consultation with our reproductive experts at URA, call the location closest to you or visit the contact page for more options.