Baby Corner
Member Login





Fertility Calendar & Cycle Days

Trying to Conceive Member Poll

Have you made lifestyle changes for TTC?

Have you or your partner changed anything about your lifestyle to help you achieve conception?

No
Yes
Not yet, but we will

Ask a Question About Fertility & Trying to Conceive

View More Polls


Follow Us!

New Today at Baby Corner


You are here: Home > Fertility & Trying to Conceive > Fertility Charting

Ovulation - Fact & Myth

by Lori Ramsey |
9 Comments


Most women have been taught that ovulation occurs on day fourteen of their cycle. Armed with this, women have intercourse around this day, and avoid intercourse if they wish to avoid pregnancy. Why, then, are so many women not conceiving, when they thought they should be? And why are so many other women conceiving, when they avoid intercourse on the day they thought their ovulation day?

Ovulation occurring on day 14 is a myth.

Ovulation can occur as early as day six, and much later than day fourteen. There are many factors involved in the timing of ovulation including hormones, stress, and your health

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen, luteinizing hormone (LH), and progesterone are the hormones of the female reproductive cycle. Any imbalance in these hormones can impede or prevent ovulation.

Follicle stimulating hormone

The first hormone to appear in a woman's cycle is FSH. FSH begins its peak production at the beginning of the cycle - while the uterus is shedding its lining. FSH prompts a woman's ovaries to produce about 15 to 20 mature eggs. Each of these eggs are encased in its own follicle. These follicles then produce estrogen.

Estrogen

Estrogen begins surging through the body roughly 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 come out of its follicle. The time period from which ovulation occurs and a woman's menstruation is called the luteal phase (LP). The average length of time during LP is 12 to 16 days long. 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 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.

With the collapse of the follicle, a "corpus luteum" forms.

Progesterone

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 basal body temperature, also known as the "warm hormone." If a woman is charting her temperatures, she should be able to tell that she had ovulated by an upward shift in her daily basal body temperature. A drop in progesterone signals the body to begin shedding the uterine lining, thus bringing on menstruation.

Stress and Your Health

If pregnancy is the goal, it is extremely important to have intercourse around the time of ovulation, preferably right before, or during, ovulation. Sometimes a woman's body can prepare for ovulation and release all the right hormones, and stress will halt the process. Vacations, moving, company or anything that causes undue 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 - 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 is safe to say that ovulation can occur at any point in the cycle, and not the day 14 that so many people once believed.


Related Articles

Ovulation Predictor Kits

Determining Ovulation When Your Cycles are Irregular

Fertility Charting: A Beginner's Guide

How to Know When You Are Most Fertile

From around the web

Comments


Showing 1 - 9 out of 9 Comments
Add Comment or question.

Jo Ann Sep 14, 2017 09:13:03 PM ET

First day of my last period was august 1st. since then i had a lumpectomy and the lymphnodes connected to it removed. i should have started around september 3rd. i did 3 home pregnancy tests and one at the hospital and all said positive. they said i was probably about 6 weeks along. they did an ultrasound and the tech said she couldn't see anything, so they took blood for another pregnancy test and i'll have the results tomorrow. but since then i've done another 3 tests (all different brands) and still all positive. what are the chances that they could all be a false positive?

Reply | Report

Guest Mar 7, 2013 07:04:07 PM ET

Two years ago i was diagnosis with psoc which makes it difficult to get pregnant. my husband sperm is abnormal but has the ability to fertilization to occur. currently i am attending treatment at ivf and under observation to figure our when do i ovulate. i realize two eggs on the 12th day from the day my period started. however, my eggs is not mature enough to get pregnant. on day five the right ovary release one egg that was size 17 and the left ovary release an egg that was size 13. on day 14 the egg next to my right ovary is size 19 and the left is size 17. still my egg is not the right size for me to get pregnant. i would say, it depends on the person.

Reply | Report

michele Oct 17, 2012 12:13:43 PM ET

Iam 37 and trying to conceive,its been a year and still nothing,when is the best time to have intercourse,is three too four days before my period good?

Reply | Report

tina Sep 14, 2012 10:51:19 AM ET

I had tow children and they are girls and on my third pregnancy i did every thing possible to make a baby boy but i still turn out to be a girl.my period is 27 days and i had sex with my husband on the 15th day it turn out a baby girl,what do i do,i any thing wrong with me and why have i not been able to concive a baby boy.

Reply | Report

Jenfrmdblok Aug 22, 2012 04:31:55 AM ET

I had sex with my ex on june 21st and then got back with my current boyfriend and had sex with him the following days consecutively till about july 3d and found out i was pregnant. im really confused now who's it might be? i'm hoping it's my current boyfriends? but is their a chance for it to be my ex? my doctor said i conceived june 30 two days prior or after. i could not remember when was my last period but according to my ultrasound i'm about 9 weeks now? can someone help with advice?

Reply | Report

Curtisha Mar 20, 2012 04:17:07 PM ET

I definitely agree. i had sex once, just a week before my period was due and became pregnant with my first child. so i'm still trying to figure out how, if i am "suppose" to ovulate & be fertile two weeks before my period.

Reply | Report

Anabel Feb 8, 2012 07:42:26 AM ET

Thanks so much for sharing am really ttc and i tell you its stressful but knowing when you ovulate might be easier.thanks

Reply | Report

maha Mar 21, 2011 02:04:54 PM ET

Very clear and informative article

Reply | Report

Kim Aug 31, 2010 02:46:05 PM ET

I really enjoyed reading this article. a lot of unanswered questions were answered for me today.i'm now clear on the topic of ovulation. thank you love it!!!!!

Reply | Report

Add Comment

You are commenting as Guest.
Please register or login if you would like to be notified by email of replies to your comment.

Type your comment in the box below.