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What is Ovulation?

If you’re trying to conceive – or simply want to understand your body better – it’s important to understand the processes going on inside you that govern your fertility, and your monthly chances of getting pregnant.

Your menstrual cycle is a monthly process of change within your body all geared towards one big event: ovulation. It prepares you for ovulation and the potential of the resultant egg being fertilised, and then clears house if that doesn’t happen.

So, let’s take a proper look at ovulation to understand this key to the whole menstrual cycle, your body, and its fertility.

In Brief

To be concise, ovulation is when your ovaries release an egg to be fertilised. For many women this happens once a month, but some have longer, shorter or less regular cycles so it may happen more or less frequently. There are also medications and health issues that can affect ovulation, sometimes delaying it or even causing your body to skip it entirely.

What Causes Ovulation?

Ovulation is triggered by the release of the hormone gonadotropin by the hypothalamus. This is the top-level signal that causes your pituitary gland to begin preparations for your ovaries to release an egg. These include stimulating mucus production in the cervix to help sperm reach the egg in the fallopian tubes, and the growth of the lining in your womb that will shelter and nurture the egg if it is fertilised.

Stress Effects

Unfortunately, your hypothalamus is the part of your brain where stress is expressed: it’s where the psychological symptoms of stress start to become physical, so this means that stress can affect ovulation, delaying it, or sometimes causing you to miss it altogether. This makes sense: a stressful environment is not a good one to raise a child so when stress crosses a certain threshold your brain itself can shut down that process.

While there’s often little you can do to prevent spikes of intense stress, you can take steps to lower your background level of stress to minimise its effects on your fertility. Draw clear lines between work and rest, and find things that relax you, from walks in the country, to cooking to binging on boxsets. Remember, you have the perfect excuse: you’re trying for a baby.

Pinpoint Precision

If you’re looking to pin down precisely when you ovulate each month, to maximise your chances of conception, OvuSense offers a precision solution that can tell when you’re due to ovulate each month with 24 hours of notice. This makes it an indispensable tool when you’re trying to conceive.