If you are planning your pregnancy, it is essential for you to understand your ovulation cycle in order to increase your chance of conceiving. You need to know when you ovulate in order to time when you and your partner should engage in sexual intercourse – during the period when you are most fertile.
In order to work out when ovulation is for you, you need to first understand how your body works. Most women’s cycles last approximately for 28 days. First day of your period is “Day 1”. Counting backwards 12 to 14 days from Day 1 is when you are the most fertile.
The following are the effects of the 4 different types of hormones in your body. For an egg to be released, it has to first be mature. The follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) produced by the pituitary gland is responsible for this. You might have guessed from the name, this hormone causes an egg in your ovary to mature, stimulating the release of estrogen in the ovaries. Estrogen which is released by the ovaries then stops the production of the follicle stimulating hormone in order to prevent more than 1 egg maturing per cycle. This estrogen hormone then stimulates the production of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) by the pituitary gland, while thickening and maintaining the lining of the uterus. This Luteinizing Hormone is what triggers ovulation. In most cases, 1 mature egg is released from the ovaries and this is when you become fertile. The subsequent progesterone that is released by the ovaries helps maintain the uterine lining during your pregnancy once your egg is fertilized.
There are plenty of interactive “online period calculators” where you just need to key in your data in order to find out when you are most likely to be fertile. Do give them a try. To get a more accurate estimation of when you are most fertile, you may consult your doctor.