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Ovulation and Trying to Conceive

Ovulation occurs when a woman’s ripened egg, or ovum, is released from one of two ovaries, making the journey down the respective fallopian tube and into the uterus. By this time, the uterus lining has thickened to prepare to protect the egg if it becomes fertilized and turns into an embryo. If the egg is not fertilized, it is absorbed into the uterine lining and then expelled along with the lining during menstruation.

If an egg is fertilized by a sperm, it implants into the uterus and pregnancy begins! Some women experience implantation bleeding: light bleeding that occurs when the egg implants. This often happens 6 to 12 days after fertilization, sometimes right around the time a woman would be expecting her next menstrual period, and is nothing to be concerned about.

Women are born with 1 to 2 million follicles, or immature eggs, in the ovaries. By puberty, only about 400,000 remain. With each menstrual cycle, approximately 1,000 follicles are lost, with only one maturing into an egg.

In healthy women, both ovaries can release eggs, but they do not alternate consistently, with the right ovary releasing an egg one month and the left releasing an egg the next month. Even healthy women can occasionally have cycles in which they don’t ovulate, and they will still get their period on schedule. This can be caused by stress, rapid weight loss or gain, illness, change in diet or exercise routine, or medications.

Having sex a few days before, during and directly after ovulation is the best way to try to conceive. Because you can ovulate without a menstrual period, or have a menstrual period without ovulating, calculating from period to period is not always reliable, but it is one easy and free method. There are several different methods that can be used to predict when you are ovulating and to determine your next ovulation date.

  • Ovulation Calculator
  • Natural methods to track your fertility, which include charting your basal body temperature, cervical mucus and cervical position
  • Over-the-counter or prescription ovulation predictor kit.

Finally, some women can actually feel themselves ovulate. They will experience a sharp pain on one side of their abdomen, or experience a feeling similar to menstrual cramps. This is called “mittleschmerz,” literally translated from German to mean “middle pain.” For some, this pain is fleeting, for others it can last a few hours.

Using one or any combination of these methods will help you predict your time of ovulation.

Author: Dawn Allcot

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10 Responses to “Ovulation and Trying to Conceive”


  1. Male Infertility Treatment | TTC | Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting at Babies Online
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