The Ovulation Process: Understanding Infertility

Whether you are trying to get pregnant for the first time or are having problems getting pregnant, fertility issues might be the problem. Some couples try for months or years to become pregnant, with no luck. There are some things that are important to know and tips that will help, when trying to get pregnant, especially if a couple are worried about infertility.

How Ovulation Works

Most couples think they know the basics about fertility and how ovulation works. However, the ovulation cycle is more complicated than tracking a simple 28 day cycle. Most women do have a classic 28 day ovulation cycle, however averages can vary from as few as 21 days to as much as 35 days. Anything outside of these norms, call for a trip to the doctor to discuss periods and the ovulation cycle. This could be one of the reasons it is difficult to become pregnant.

In order to understand the ovulation process, it is important to follow the process from day 1, the first day after the end of the menstrual cycle. The body releases hormones which trigger the ovary to start developing an egg. The egg begins as a minute follicle, that will develop and be released through the fallopian tubes, and travel to the uterus. This however can take up to 14 days to occur. Anywhere from day 10 or 11 to day 17 or 18, the egg will have traveled to the uterus, waiting to join its other half, the ideal sperm. If pregnancy occurs, progesterone is released, telling the body to begin preparing for a baby. When the fertilized egg, now called a zygote receives the hormonal message, it implants in the uterine wall. A women will then miss her period, letting her know she is pregnant. If the egg is not fertilized, no excess hormones are released and the period will begin within about 2 weeks. These are just the basics of the ovulation cycle.

How To Know When Ovulation Occurs

It is important to know when ovulation occurs so a couple can increase their chances of getting pregnant, The average woman has an ovulation cycle of 28 days, so using the average woman as an example, ovulation occurs anytime between day 12 and day 16. The best way to figure out the most likely dates are to track the length of the monthly cycle. Then simply cut this amount of time in half to get the center point, or most likely time that an egg as been released into the uterus. A women would then add 2 days to either side of that number to figure out when she can get pregnant. A woman with a 24 days cycle, would use 12 as the middle point and figure that she can get pregnant from day 10 of her cycle to day 14.

Couple also use a temperature method to figure out when ovulation occurs. Experts argue as to whether or not this is a reliable method, but couple use it both for birth control and to know when ovulation has most likely occurred. It is important to take the oral temperature at the same time every day and to chart the number. When the temperature rises by as much as .5 of a degree, some people claim that ovulation as occurred. This would be the best time to try to get pregnant, as the rise in temperature signals that the egg has been released into the uterus.

No Pregnancy, What Next?

For couples who have tried the ovulation cycle method or temperature and are still not pregnant, it is time to go to the next step. The problem might as simple as a lack of ovulation or low sperm count. Either would lead to infertility. A couple will want to contact a doctor to have a hormonal workup and to check for other possible problems. It is not always a woman’s issue and sometimes a man has issues with a low sperm count or other hormonal problems. Doctors will run blood tests to determine if hormones are low. They will also do ultrasounds or MRI’s of a woman’s reproductive organs to assure everything is fine. A man may be required to give a sperm sample, so the doctor can check for a low sperm count. Couple will generally go to Fertility Specialist and a man might be asked to contact a Urologist.

There is hope for couples who find it difficult to get pregnant and are worried about infertility. The solution could be as simple as a hormone shot. With modern medical procedures and tests, it is easier than ever to solve infertility issues.

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