Grace's ovulation guide - Everything you need to know!
Almost every woman who menstruates has heard the word ovulation. While it is superficially understood, frequently women still wonder why ovulation is so important and what role it plays when it comes to conception.
Indeed, understanding ovulation is a central process to conception, but do you know how to use that knowledge to increase your chances to conceive? Here are the basics to understanding everything you need to know!
What is Ovulation?
Ovulation is the time in your cycle when your egg is mature enough to be fertilized, and this lasts for about 24hs. Yes, that’s right: You only ovulate for 12-24hs one menstrual cycle at a time. That means, in one year, a healthy average woman ovulates about 12-16 times.
If that egg is fertilized by a sperm within those 12-24 hours lifespan, the egg will become a fetus. If not, it will disintegrate and be shed along with the rest of the uterine tissue as (blood) period.
Conception is all about getting to know the right time for the sperm to fertilize the egg. For the majority of women trying to conceive, knowing when this occurs is the most crucial thing to maximise their chances of getting pregnant.
When does ovulation occur?
Ovulation typically occurs about 14-15 days within the menstrual cycle, counting from the start of a new cycle (that is, starting from the first day of your period). So for instance, If a woman’s cycle is 28 days long and she starts her period from the first day of July, her ovulation is likely to be 14th or 15th of July. Note that not all women have a 28 days long cycle. Cycle lengths vary from woman to woman with a range of about 21-35 days. This means there may be slight variations in your ovulation depending on your cycle length. Due to these disparities many women experience irregularities in menstrual cycles making it difficult to tell when some women are ovulating.
How can I tell I’m ovulating?
There are some cardinal signs and symptoms that informs ovulation. These include the following:
Ovulation discharge: During the time around your ovulation, you may notice a watery, egg-white like discharge, usually indicating that you are ovulating. This is the best time to have sex for conception. - Make sure to track your discharge consistently with Grace!
Increased libido/Sex drive: There is an increased sexual urge around the window of ovulation. There is a natural strong feeling or urge to have sex. It is usually the ideal time for conception, so your body sets you in the mood.
Tender breasts: Not every woman experiences tender breasts during ovulation. However, some women will notice their breasts are tender to touch, because of the hormones your body produces after ovulating.
Lower abdominal pain: The pain which you can feel in the lower abdomen when you're ovulating is called ovulation pain or mittelschmerz. It affects one in every five women and it is not dangerous, but you should see your doctor if it gets unbearable.
Increased basal body temperature: If you monitor your temperature every day when you wake up, you will be able to tell when you are most fertile to conceive. If you notice a little spike in temperature for 2 or 3 days, this may be a sign of ovulating.
For example: Body temperatures vary from woman to woman, but let’s say your average body temperature is 36℃ and during 3 consecutive days it increases to 37,5℃ that is an indication you might be ovulating!
Although many may experience these signs and symptoms, they may vary from one woman to the other and some might not experience symptoms at all - it is normal! Just make sure to learn about your own body signs, keep track of your symptoms with Grace and make the most out of your ovulation period, especially if you’re trying to conceive!
How can I make the most of my ovulation period?
For a TTC (Trying to Conceive) woman, tracking your cycle consistently every month is crucial and highly recommended. There is no need to calculate or monitor and circle your calendar every day when you have or could download the Grace Health App. The app will calculate your next period, ovulation and fertile days for you at no cost. (Click to download Link)The old way of doing this is inefficient because we have busy schedules and might forget and omit days. Tracking your cycle and symptoms every month informs you of your ovulation and fertile days, as a woman trying to conceive this information tells you when to have intercourse with your partner with the aim of conception. Make good use of this app available to help you track your cycle every month.
Tracking your symptoms is equally important. As women, this assists us to get in touch with our own bodies. Getting to know the changes in your body, noticing your tender breasts, knowing your vaginal secretions or discharge and what it means is part of recognizing the signs of ovulation. Get personalized tips when you track your symptoms on the Grace Health App!
Tracking when you have intercourse is another way of making the most of your fertile days. Even though ovulation lasts for 12-24 hours within your whole cycle, the possibility of getting pregnant is beyond just these hours. Sperms can live up to 3-5 days within the body after sex. Your fertile days now become 5 days. A woman who tracks her periods and intercourse would know these days and how to utilise the chances within these times to conceive.
Keep in mind that conception only occurs 20% of the time and couples trying to conceive should not be surprised if it takes a few months to conceive. Remember you have to track consistently. Get the Grace Health Period Tracker and Fertility Assistant app now to begin your journey.
Linda, one of our Kenyan users, has used the Grace app to conceive. She downloaded Grace a year ago to try understanding her irregular periods. She tracked consistently, every month.
After getting married, Linda decided to start trying to conceive - within 3 months of watching her fertility predictions and meeting her husband at the right time, she conceived a beautiful baby girl!