What are ovulation cycles and do you need to consider that when trying to conceive?

When you’re trying to conceive, you’ll learn a lot of information that may feel confusing. One of the most important things to understand during this time, though, is the ovulation cycle. There’s a very small window within this cycle when it’s possible to conceive, so knowing when that window occurs is crucial to your success. While ovulation can seem mysterious, especially to a person who doesn’t menstruate, it’s actually fairly simple science. Here’s what you need to know.

First, let’s talk about the amazing fact that women are born with one to two million eggs in their bodies. Of course, they only release 300 to 400 of those in a lifetime, but it’s still very interesting. Eggs are generally released one at a time, once a month, and each egg is available for fertilization for about 24 hours before it dissolves. That’s a pretty short window! Even when you consider the fact that sperm can hang around for about three to five days in order to meet up with the egg, it’s pretty miraculous that conception ever occurs at all. It’s easy to see, though, why timing is everything.

Ovulation happens somewhere between day 11 and day 21 of a woman’s cycle, but how do you know when it’s happening? If a woman has a very regular, 28 day cycle, you can count 14 days back from when the next period is going to start, and plan to have sex every other day right around that time. It might seem counterintuitive to skip days, but the fact is that a man’s sperm count can be lowered by having daily sex.

What if your partner doesn’t have a regular cycle? Cycles can vary widely, ranging from 23 to 35 days, and even within a cycle, the time of ovulation isn’t always the same. The best way to determine if ovulation is happening is by tracking it through a few different methods.

  • Pay attention to bodily clues. Cervical mucus starts resembling egg whites, the senses of smell and taste may be heightened, breasts may become tender, and she may experience mild abdominal pain. In some women, the sex drive may be heightened. Other women may feel nauseous or lightheaded.
  • Check temperature. When an egg is released, progesterone levels go up, and this raises the body temperature slightly. A basal thermometer can be used to track the temperature, every morning before your partner gets out of bed.
  • Use an ovulation kit. These convenient, highly accurate kits track hormone levels in the urine to determine when it’s the best time to try and start a family.

At the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we love helping people start families with healthy pregnancies. We pride ourselves on helping men improve their fertility through uncompromising, concierge-level patient care. Under the direction of Dr. Joshua Green, our team provides state-of-the-art treatment for men who need a reversal of their vasectomy or have other fertility concerns. To learn more, contact us through our website or call 941-894-6428.