March 27, 2021 11:33:09 am
By Dr Preeti Mahawar
When an egg, or ovum, is released from the ovaries, this is known as ovulation. The egg moves to the uterus through the fallopian tubes after ovulation. Conception can occur if the sperm and egg meet at the right time. If you’re new to trying to conceive or just want to learn more about how the female reproductive system works, learning about ovulation and its function in the pregnancy process may be beneficial. We go into how ovulation functions in more detail below.
What happens during ovulation?
Reproductive hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, function together to activate the ovaries during each menstrual cycle. Follicles in the ovaries begin to develop in response to these hormones. Each follicle contains an immature egg, also known as an oocyte that is beginning to mature.
Even though many oocytes begin to develop at the start of each cycle, only one dominant egg is normally produced. Non-identical twins may be conceived if two eggs are produced. In addition, though two or more eggs may be released in one cycle on rare occasions, this occurs at the same time, not at various times within one menstrual period.
Most women ovulate between days 11 and 21, not always on day 14, of their cycle. The duration of the follicular process, which typically lasts 10 to 16 days, is usually the determining factor. The luteal process lasts approximately 14 days because its duration is constant.
Although it isn’t always a concern, late ovulation can trigger issues. Ovulation disorders are the cause of infertility in 25–30 percent of infertile couples. However, late ovulation does not rule out the possibility of ovulation. Often it’s only a matter of waiting. In fact, delayed ovulation can also hamper the quality of eggs thus impacting fertility. Irregular ovulation may be a sign of hormone disturbances also and women must not ignore the condition and rather seek medical intervention.
When to seek fertility counselling?
If couples seeking to conceive are having frequent and regular unprotected sex but are unable to conceive especially if you are over 35 years then it is perhaps time for you to evaluate fertility treatments and consider an intervention from fertility expert.
Causes of late ovulation
Breastfeeding and anovulation (delayed ovulation or anovulation) are related. And if you have menstruation while breastfeeding, that doesn’t mean you’ve had ovulation, and vice versa. Lactation interferes with ovulation due to elevated prolactin levels. The lactation amenorrhea procedure is a kind of birth control method that uses the effect of breastfeeding.
If you have polycystic ovary syndrome, you’re likely to have ovulation problems. Multiple cysts on one or both ovaries, elevated levels of the male hormone testosterone, and irregular menstrual cycles are all symptoms of PCOS. If you have symptoms including irregular or no periods, excessive hair growth on the face, chest, or belly, acne, or unexplained weight gain, see your doctor or ob-gyn or even a fertility expert who could guide you on the way forward.
Thyroid gland problems can cause reproductive health issues such as irregular cycles, anovulation, and infertility because it controls different processes in your body. Irritability, weight loss, excessive sweating, and an erratic or rapid pulse are all signs of a hyperfunctioning thyroid gland.
High levels of stress
Studies prove that there is a direct correlation of stress and late ovulation. Women undergoing deep stress both mentally or physically could hamper ovulation upto a large extent. In fact, stress can adversely impact your fertility as well and therefore it is important to be mindful about over-stressing yourself.
How to enhance chances of conceiving and boost fertility naturally?
Keeping yourself well-nourished increases the chances of becoming pregnant! Make sure you’re getting enough protein, iron, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin D in your diet, as these nutrients have been related to normal menstrual cycles (and therefore regular ovulation) and a lower risk of miscarriage. It is important to have a balanced meal that can work wonders on your fertility in a natural way.
If possible, quit drinking
Although an occasional glass of Pinot with your dinner is unlikely to affect fertility, alcohol changes oestrogen levels, which can interfere with egg implantation. Excessive caffeine should also be avoided during your pregnancy and when trying to conceive.
Watch your weight
Excess body fat can cause an overproduction of certain hormones that disrupt ovulation, in addition to the other risks it poses to your health. You can have irregular cycles, ovulate less often, and have a lower risk of becoming pregnant.
When to seek medical advice?
*Changes in bleeding patterns, if there is heavy bleeding or no bleeding at all.
*Menstrual cycles are erratic, earlier than 21-odd days or delayed by over 35 days.
*If you experience excruciating period cramps/pain.
*Finally, if the pregnancy does not happen within a year if you are under 35 years of age.
It is good to take charge of your ovulation before it is too late.
(The writer is Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility Kolkata.)
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