When trying to plan a pregnancy, it is helpful to know how to calculate your ovulation cycles. It is when the egg is released during ovulation that the opportunity to become pregnant is optimal, so having this information is vital.
To understand ovulation cycles, one must understand the reproduction cycle. Ovulation is part of a woman’s reproduction cycle, which occurs just about every 28 days. This means that approximately every 28 days it is possible for a woman to become pregnant. The menstrual cycle occurs in that same 28 day cycle. The process begins when certain hormones stimulate follicles, or small sacs, on one of a woman’s two ovaries to begin maturing. Although many follicles are stimulated, only one will form a fully mature egg. Again hormones intervene, prompting the now mature egg to be released from the ovary and begin a 5 day trek through the fallopian tube, which leads to the uterus. During this travel period, the uterus is being prepared for the egg’s arrival by developing a soft lining.
If the mature egg is fertilized during its journey through the fallopian tube, it will begin to develop into a blastocyst. This blastocyst will, upon arrival in the uterus, attach itself to the uterine soft lining. If the egg does not become fertile, it will not reach the uterus to attach. As the body realizes that the lining in the uterus is unnecessary, it breaks down the lining which passes out of the uterus through the vagina in the form of blood.
The first day that blood appears is considered to be Day 1 of the 28 day menstrual cycle. The ovulation cycles occur about halfway between menstrual cycles, so at around day 14. This is when the mature egg is released by the ovary.
While 28 day cycles are considered as the typical reproduction period, it is important to know that each woman’s cycle may be different. Some women experience a 24 day cycle, some the typical 28 day, and others may have a 30 day cycle. Every woman should get to know their particular menstrual cycles by charting the dates over a several month period. In this way, she will also become familiar with the pattern of her normal ovulation cycles.
When deciding to plan a pregnancy, special attention must be paid to the timing of the ovulation cycles. Since the mature egg needs to be fertilized during the travel through the fallopian tube, timing will be critical for becoming pregnant. Seeing the pattern from previous months should enable a woman to calculate when during her cycle will be the optimal time to become pregnant.
Reproduction can be a very precise process. Becoming very familiar with your own body’s patterns, and knowing how to calculate menstrual and ovulation cycles can help you to plan pregnancies.