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What is ovulation in women?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 01.06.2018
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What is ovulation in women? The answer to this question is sought either by those who plan the birth of a child, or those who are not yet going to supplement the family with a baby. It is no coincidence that the calculation of the period of ovulation is of interest to both the woman and her responsible, caring partner: it is at this time that a significant meeting of one of the many millions, the only active spermatozoon and a mature female ovum takes place. Every month the woman's organism lives according to the rhythms, determined by nature, all biological processes must take place in the given regime, preferably without failures and changes. Starting from the age of 12-14, a hormonal "revolution" occurs in the body of the girl, which ends with a completely normal phenomenon - readiness for reproduction.

Of course, the body of the girl after the first menstrual cycle from the biological point of view is ready to conceive, but many of her systems, including the mental one, need several years for a real, harmonious preparation for the birth of a new life. Nevertheless, the cycle is launched and in almost every month (28-30 days) in the female body there are truly grandiose transformations, both physiological and hormonal. A healthy woman every month is a potential childbirth, because during the ovulation in her body a cell ripens, ready for fertilization. Men in this sense are more reactive: the process of formation of spermatozoa in them is continuous and occurs daily, beginning with the period of puberty and until the end of life.

What is ovulation in women and how is the process of maturation of the egg?

Before telling what is ovulation in women, it is necessary to understand the reproductive system of girls. In the body of the girl, born, there are already small ovaries, not larger than a pea. In these miniature ovaries, from birth, there are about one million tiny bubbles - the follicle, in which there are also contents - eggs. In turn, the eggs carry all the hereditary information in the same way as the male spermatozoa.

Over time, the number of female follicles decreases, one-fifth of them die, and by the time of the first menstruation there are no more than 800 thousand. How and why the selection of the necessary bubbles is taking place, science has not yet found out, just as the criteria for choosing one, the fructifying follicle during the ovulation period remains a mystery. The dominant follicle begins to increase at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, suppressing its "brethren", and after a while it breaks completely, releasing the mature gamete - a female egg. Actually, the time of the release of the ready-for-fertilization cell is called ovulation.

What is ovulation in women, why is this information necessary for every woman?

For ladies who plan to have a baby it is important to know what ovulation in women is, since counting helps to answer one single question - when one can expect conception. How the answer will be used is not a secret, it usually helps to solve the following two tasks - long-awaited conception or protection from it. It should be noted that determining the timing of ovulation does not always prevent unwanted conception, since male and female gametes (cells) are able to remain active for about two days. These days may not coincide with the onset or end of ovulation. The most reliable in terms of protection from pregnancy is the contraceptive method.

In what terms can ovulation occur?

Ovulation in adolescent girls is not formed immediately. This explains the incomplete readiness to conceive girls, despite the coming menstruation. Obviously, a wise nature has provided for many risks, including early pregnancies. During the year, sometimes and longer, the menstrual cycle is formed, its normalization occurs. At this time there may be disruptions, breaks, until 15-16 years such phenomena are considered normal. As soon as the cycle becomes predictable and occurs in the same period, the time of ovulation comes. Standard ovulation begins two weeks after the start of the next proposed menstruation. For example, the beginning of the menstrual cycle is scheduled for September 28, therefore, ovulation is likely to occur on September 14th. In gynecology, there is such a scheme of calculation: 

  • The cycle lasts 26 days - ovulation occurs in the 12-13th days of the cycle; 
  • The cycle lasts 28 days - ovulation occurs in the 14-15 days of the cycle; 
  • The cycle lasts 30 days - ovulation occurs in the 16-17 days of the cycle.

Of course, this is not the only way to calculate these days, the more so that they can shift under the influence of many factors - stress, food poisoning, inflammatory processes, time zone changes during the move, and so on.

Methods for determining the ovulation period

It is very important to know what ovulation in women is, because this information is necessary to determine the ovulation period. More recently, a few dozen years ago, the beautiful sex was diligently engaged in "scientific" research and analysis of the state of your body during menstruation. What has not been done by women to more accurately count ovulation: the compilation of complex graphs, and the measurement of basal temperature, which presupposed a six-hour strong sleep, and after - a ten-minute temperature measurement in the "frozen" position. Any movement during the measurement or a natural urge to morning urination made all efforts to no effect. Modern methods offer simple, accurate and low-cost methods. The most popular is the test for LH - luteinizing hormone, which stimulates ovulation and helps the connection of estrogen and progesterone. The test determines the concentration of LH in urine, if the hormone is detected there, then the ovulation process has begun. In addition to testing hormone in the urine, there are tests that determine LH in serum and even in saliva. Also effective is the ultrasonic method of determining ovulation, when the device can visually show the process of movement of the female gamete along the oviduct - the fallopian tube. This method is not able to predict ovulation, it is rather a finding.

What is ovulation in women can also be incomprehensible to those women who have problems with the menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, there are situations when ovulation becomes desirable, but temporarily unattainable. These are serious pathologies that exclude the normal functioning of the hormonal system. These include the following diseases: 

  • Anorexia, which becomes a problem of our century. In pursuit of the propagated canons and proportions of the body, some young ladies literally suppress the basic instinct of survival - the saturation of food. The first response to aggressive fasting responds to ovulation, it just stops. The menstrual cycle is then broken and lost. Any deficiency of body weight, accompanied by fat loss, directly affects the reproductive functions of women. 
  • Overweight, obesity. Ovulation responds to the excessive amount of fat. Initially, the ovulation period is knocked down, then stops, followed by a violation of the menstrual cycle. According to statistics, more than 20% of amenorrhea (absence of cycle), more than 25% of dysmenorrhea (malfunction in the cycle mode) are supervised, cured completely only by normalizing body weight. 
  • Endocrine diseases, pathologies - pituitary, thyroid disease, polycystic ovary (PCOS - polycystic ovary syndrome). These factors can also affect ovulation and either disrupt its frequency, or "turn off" ovulation in principle.

What is ovulation in women? This is information that helps a woman to manage not so much her condition - nature has taken care of it, how to plan her future. Agree, it is better if the pregnancy will be realized and desired, but not accidental, unforeseen and alarming.

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