Understanding a Woman’s Egg Cycle and Ovulation

images (2)This article brought to you courtesy of Dr. Zeenobiyah Mc Gowan – A mother to one and Editor at Ovulationcalendar.com, a website that best predicts your most fertile days by using your big data and machine learning. Dr. McGowan has just become a mother adding to her fertility knowledge first hand.

Each menstrual cycle, your body discharges a mature egg hoping that a sperm will fertilize it. Luckily due to the modern methods of contraception, conception doesn’t take place every month. But unluckily for those who are trying to get pregnant, conception may not take place every month withstanding your need for it to happen. In order to fully comprehend this, it is imperative to understand the life cycle of a woman’s egg during its ovulating cycle.

It begins with a follicular phase:

The first day of your menstrual cycle is stamped as the first day of your period. One approach to explain the menstrual cycle is by the stages of the ovary (Ovarian Cycle); another approach is by the stages of uterus (Uterine Cycle). For this article, we will be continuing with the Ovarian Cycle. Every cycle starts with the follicular phase which goes on until ovulation. The moderate follicular phase length is normally encompasses a time period of approximately two weeks, but the length can differ from cycle to cycle. Amidst this time, a lot of ovarian follicles start maturing under the effect of hormone namely Follicle Stimulation Hormone (FSH). These follicles battle with one another for dominance and only one will begin developing. The dominant follicle will keep on growing until ovulation.

Ovulation Stage

The second stage of the ovarian cycle is ovulation. A surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) and FSH, which stays for about 24 hours, develops the egg in the dominant follicle which makes the follicle break and discharge the mature egg cell.

Next is the luteal stage

The last and final stage of the ovarian cycle is known as the luteal phase, which begins on the day after you ovulate and stops the day before your next period. After the egg has been discharged, it is cleared up by one of the fallopian tubes (Depending on which ovary discharged the egg). The egg will move down the fallopian tube towards the uterus where it will be hopefully fertilized by sperm.

The Time is ticking for the Egg

The luteal phase will go on for approximately 12 to 16 days from when you ovulate, yet once the egg is discharged, its time is very constrained. As a matter of fact, the egg only has life of about 12 to 2 hours and often time even less. After this time, the egg will start degenerating if not fertilized.

How does conception ever happen in such a limited time?

Luckily for the egg, the sperm has a longer life and can live in a woman’s body for up to five days and truly sperm has a lot more to do than egg so this makes sense. Since the sperm needs to go from the vagina, into the cervix and the uterus and then into the accurate fallopian tube before they have a shot at reaching the egg, they definitely require more time. So sperm that got into your body up to five days ago may have the capacity to fertilize the egg is a short period of time available.

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