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Ovulation and Fertilization

Posted Nov 01 2008 10:44pm

By: Vidula Chopra

What is the best time to conceive?

In order for the woman to get pregnant, one of her eggs needs to combine with a man's sperm (fertilisation). The woman's body releases an egg (ovulation) roughly 14 days before her period. She is most likely to conceive during this time. The ovulation period is the time when the woman's ovary releases an egg (ova)for fertilization. The ovulation period roughly lasts for 24-48 hours during acycle. Sperms, on the other hand, live for around 3 to 5 days,and sometimes even longer. Therefore, there is only a very short time each month when you are most likely to conceive. It may take up to a year to get pregnant, especially if your periodsare infrequent or irregular, so there is no need to worry if youare not pregnant after a couple of months. You can use this timeto enjoy yourself without using contraception.

When does ovulation take place during a cycle?

A woman's menstruation cycle is generally 28 days long, butcould last anywhere between 25 to 35 days (or even longer). Thecycle begins from the first day of menstruation and ends on thefirst day of the next menstruation. Roughly 14 days before thebeginning of the next period, the woman's body releases an egg.This egg generally lasts for 24-48 hours, known as the ovulatingphase. If the egg is not fertilized (combined with a sperm)during this period, it is discarded by the body duringmenstruation. For a woman with a 28-day menstruation cycle, theovulation period is approximately the 14th day of the cycle. Fora woman with a 32-day cycle, ovulation will take place on the18th day of the cycle.

Which are the most fertile days for a woman to conceive, andwhich are the safe days?

The most fertile period of a woman with a regular 28 day cycleis between day 10 (rarely 9) and day 18. The human ovum issusceptible to fertilization for 24 hours after ovulation. The sperm ejaculated into the vagina can live upto 5 days but can fertilize an ovum only for about 3 days. In a 28-day cycle the unsafe period is from day 7 to 21.the chance of conception is minimum (10/100 women a year) when coitus is avoided during these days. The first day of menses can be marked on a calendarfor 6 months. Then by subtracting 18 days from the shortestcycle & 11 days from the longest cycle we get the first and lastday of the fertile period, thus coitus should be avoided duringthis period to avoid conception.

Does ovulation take place every menstrual cycle?

No, ovulation does not necessarily take place in everymenstrual cycle. Even if your periods are regular, it ispossible that you will not ovulate in a particular month.Painful periods generally imply that you had ovulated duringthat cycle. However, ovulation could take place even if theperiods are not painful.

How often should a couple engage in intercourse in order to conceive?

Too much sex or too little sex can cause problems in getting pregnant. In general, it is best to refrain from intercourse afew days before the ovulation period, so that the sperm count ishigh. Some doctors recommend that you have sex every alternate day during the fertile phase. Having sex everyday may reduce the sperm count. Find information, advice and guidance on pregnancy, baby names ovulation, raising child, pregnancy tips, parenting style,teen issues, women's health etc.

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