When Does Ovulation Occur? PDF  | Print |  E-mail

When does ovulation occur? Ovulation is an indication of fertility, it signals the release of an ovum or egg from the ovarian follicle. The pituitary hormones that are produced with each cycle will trigger the maturation of a few follicles. Of the many that are developing only one follicle will fully mature and leave the ovary. This follicle will secrete larger amounts of oestrogen as it matures. Once oestrogen levels peak there is an upsurge in luteinizing hormone which will in turn triggers the release of the ovum. This ovum once released will make the journey down the fallopian tube into the uterus where it will be ready for fertilization by spermatozoa (sperm cells).

There are different phases within the menstrual cycle with ovulation playing the most pivotal role in the cycle. These phases are identified in relation to the instance when ovulation occurs. The phases of the menstrual cycle include the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase. The follicular phase is the portion of the menstrual cycle leading up to ovulation while the luteal phase is the part of the cycle following ovulation. The lutheal phase typically remains constant in every woman's cycle occurring anywhere between 10-16 days. A longer or shorter than normal period is not the result of an extended luteal phase but because of a delay or quickening of ovulation.

When does ovulation occur?

Many women, especially those who are trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy may wish to know when they ovulate. The exact day of ovulation may not be obvious because the changes that occur during ovulation are not as prominent as those that occur shortly before a woman menstruates. Hence many women may use the standard method of predicting ovulation based on a 28 day cycle. This would mean that the view that ovulation occurs on day 14 of the cycle is used to determine the day of ovulation. However, this can be inaccurate when cycle abnormalities occur or when used for women with a longer or shorter cycle. The average menstrual cycle falls within 21-35 days. This basically means that for a woman who has a 32 day cycle and a 12 day luteal phase she will ovulate at around day 20. Since every woman's body is different there is no one day that ovulation must take place. There are some signs that may indicate ovulation however, a woman will need to be conscious of her body to recognize any of these signs.

Signs of Ovulation

  • Increased fertile cervical mucous
  • Possible lower abdominal pain
  • Increased desire for sex
  • Increase in Basal Body Temperature directly after ovulation takes place.
  • The cervix will be higher in the vaginal canal.
  • The vagina may feel slightly swollen and slippery when touched.

Ovulation can occur at different times within different cycles. However, the number of days that the cycle lasts can be an indicator of a woman's fertile days. If a woman has a cycle that lasts 30 days on average then she would expect to ovulate anywhere between 14-20 days depending on her luteal phase.

Now you know the answer to your question, "When does ovulation occur?"