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Understanding Ovulation

Understanding Ovulation

Most women ovulate once per menstrual cycle, shortly after they finish their period. That opens a “fertile window” of time where your chances of getting pregnant increase. However, it’s possible for you to ovulate more than once per cycle, irregularly, or not at all. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, a reproductive specialist can help you track your ovulation or even induce it for you. 

Our team of reproductive specialists at University Reproductive Associates, located in Hasbrouck Heights, Hoboken, and Wayne, New Jersey, specializes in women’s reproductive care and fertility problems. If you are unable to get pregnant due to ovulation issues, ovulation induction could be the answer.

Ovulation 101 

Most women are born with around one to two million eggs already in their ovaries. You’ll release about 300 to 400 through ovulation during your lifetime, while the rest will age and die without ever being released. 

Most women release one egg per month, typically alternating which ovary releases the egg. Some women release eggs more often from one ovary than the other, and sometimes, two eggs are released, which can lead to fraternal twins if both eggs are fertilized by separate sperm.

The average woman’s menstrual cycle runs between 28 and 35 days, and ovulation usually occurs between the 11th and 21st day of your menstrual cycle. As your ovulation approaches, your body experiences a spike in a hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH), which triggers the release of the egg that is most “ripe” and ready for fertilization.

The egg travels from your ovary and down the fallopian tube that connects it to your uterus. Simultaneously, your cervical mucus becomes more slippery to allow sperm the best chance of making it into the uterus to fertilize the egg. If fertilization doesn’t occur within 24 hours, the egg dies.  

Timing sex and ovulation to get pregnant

Most couples trying to get pregnant start having sex the day or two before ovulation, which can be tracked based on checking your mucus, testing hormone levels, and taking your temperature (your body temp levels will rise slightly when you are at your most fertile.) Sperm can live for up to five days, so having sex in the days right before ovulation can give you the best chances of conception. 

Ovulation-related infertility problems

Some women become attuned to their bodies and can tell when they are ovulating, while others find it more difficult to decipher. Other women ovulate irregularly or not at all, or there is a problem with the eggs, and they don’t survive the trip through the fallopian tube.

If many cycles pass and you can’t conceive, you can consult with an infertility specialist to get help. Get in touch with the team at URA by calling 201-288-6330, or visit the contact page for more information. 

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