24 May 2022

Period, cycle, test... All about ovulation

You and your partner have decided to have a baby, and it's going to be a great adventure! But one word can be a real headache: ovulation. How do you define it? After reading this article, you'll know everything about the timeframe during which fertilization is possible.

  • The female cycle varies between 21 and 35 days, with an average of 28 days. However, what happens during this time? When does ovulation occur?
  • The first phase, called the follicular phase, occurs from day 1 to day 14 for women with a 28-day cycle. The ovary produces estrogens, the egg matures and is enveloped by a follicle, and the uterine lining thickens.
  • On day 14, ovulation occurs: the follicle ruptures to release the egg, ready to be fertilized.
  • From the 14th to the 28th day, the post-ovulatory phase occurs, known as luteal. The ovary then secretes a new hormone: progesterone. This will lead to the thickening of the uterine lining.
  • If there is no fertilization, the “corpus luteum” of the ovary which secretes this hormone atrophies after 14 days, the level of progesterone falls, and causes the evacuation of the uterine lining. This is the period.
  • If there is fertilization, the uterine mucosa will continue to thicken, and the production of estrogen and progesterone continues.

To give yourself the best chance of success, you should determine your ovulation period according to your cycle.

  • To calculate it, you don't need a Ph.D. in math! If your menstrual cycle is regular, you should be able to simply calculate your ovulation period by subtracting 14 days from your cycle.
  • Your body will also send you many signs that you are ovulating: temperature, abdominal pain, tender or swollen breasts…
  • If you have irregular cycles or want to be certain, you can also take an ovulation test, which is 99% reliable.
  • During the time of ovulation, it is advisable to have regular sexual intercourse to boost your chances of conceiving a baby: three days before and three days after ovulation are a great rule of thumb.
  • Try to avoid having sex three days before your fertility window is there! Why? To preserve a high sperm count.
  • Beware of preconceived ideas: making love before ovulation to have a girl or after to conceive a boy is a legend yet to be proven true!
  • All that truly matters is welcoming a healthy baby nine months later!

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In this article

How to determine your ovulation cycle?


To maximize your chances of having a baby, you can determine when you ovulate by following a few tips!

There are several ways to find out when your ovulation cycle begins:

  • Ovulation occurs around day 14 of your cycle, so try to keep an accurate calendar of your period dates and calculate your potential ovulation day.
  • You may notice a rise in your body temperature when you ovulate, so make a temperature chart to help you spot the rises.
  • There are ovulation tests available at the pharmacy to check for the presence of the luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine, as it appears when you ovulate.

Difficulty getting pregnant: ovulation disorders


Ovulation disorders are still the most common cause of infertility in women.

  • You've made up your mind to have a baby, but since you stopped taking the pill, everything is out of whack: your cycles are irregular, longer than usual… or you don't have a cycle at all. This is called anovulation.
  • There can be polycystic ovary syndrome with too many follicles (more than 10 per ovary), so none of them mature or are of poor quality.
  • Imbalances can also come from the pituitary gland (also called hypophysis), which secretes hormones. Most often, a benign adenoma leads to excessive secretion of prolactin and then to an ovulation disorder.
  • Psychological shock, stress, anxiety, and eating disorders are also causes of ovulation disorders.
  • In any case, don't panic! Make an appointment with your gynecologist if the problem lasts for more than six months.

How does a fertility test work?


You are ready to have a baby, but it's taking a while? Ask your doctor for a fertility test. To make sure you can ovulate under the right conditions, we can check several things:

  • Your ovulation date by monitoring the length of your cycle.
  • Your blood hormone levels on different days of your cycle.
  • Your temperature, as there is a small temperature peak that can be observed when you ovulate.
  • Your mucus level in the cervix to see if it is compatible with spermatozoa.