What is ovulation?

Do you what ovulation is? And what is its purpose?

Ovulation is … the main event of your monthly cycle. Hopefully your hormones have been doing their job during the follicular phase (see previous posts), your follicles have produced enough oestrogen and an egg has matured enough to rupture the follicle!

A surge of luteinising hormone (LH) triggers the egg to be released into the fallopian tubes where it is either fertilised by sperm, or re-absorbed into the body.

You may notice a twinge or a mild pain in your lower pelvis when ovulation occurs.

At the same time, all that lovely oestrogen has been changing the cervical mucus from non-fertile (white, thick, sticky) to fertile (clear, slippery, wet) so that sperm have an easier swim up to the Fallopian tubes. Your cervix will also soften, move down and open slightly – all to help the passage of sperm.

If you’re temperature charting you might notice a dip in temperature just BEFORE ovulation, followed by a rise of at least 0.3°C which should then stay higher for at least 3 readings.

At the same time as the egg is released, the collapsed follicle magically restructures itself into the corpus luteum, a gland producing progesterone, which will support a developing embryo, or fade away over the luteal phase (see previous posts) until your next bleed.

Ovulation is the time in your cycle when you are most likely to become pregnant. And conversely, the time to avoid having sex or protect yourself from potential pregnancies if you are NOT actively trying to conceive.

What can affect ovulation?

*Post-contraception anovulation – this can last for months after stopping
*Hormonal factors like high LH, high testosterone, low progesterone etc.
*Being underweight
*You’ve reached peri-menopause

Can ovulation be improved? Yes. You can improve the hormonal balancing act that leads to ovulation, with a combination of charting (knowledge is POWER!) and targeted reflexology.

If you have physical issues with your ovaries, e.g. you have had an ectopic pregnancy and only have 1 ovary left etc., then you may need assisted fertility treatment in a clinic BUT reflexology can still work to support you and your body alongside this.

Do you know if you ovulate?