When a mature egg gets released from the ovary and is pushed down the fallopian tube, and is available to be fertilized, this is called ovulation. What usually happens during ovulation is that one of the eggs in your ovaries will mature each month. A common misconception is that if you're ovulating, you are fertile, and therefore have the ability to achieve pregnancy.
Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. Just because you're ovulating regularly doesn't mean you're fertile. Your eggs may not be maturing fully, or you could have other problems with your reproductive system.
Key Factors Regarding Ovulation
- Eggs live approximately 12-24 hours after they leave the ovary.
- Women are born with millions of eggs that are immature, and simply waiting for ovulation.
- Typically, just one egg will be released when you're ovulating.
- You can have a period even when you're not ovulating, but you can be ovulating without having a period as well.
- The implantation of a fertilized egg will normally take place within six to 12 days after ovulation.
- For some women, there will be aching or pain near the ovaries while they are ovulating.
- Illness, a break in your normal routine, and stress can all affect your ovulation.
- During ovulation, some women may spot bleed.
- An egg that isn't fertilized will disintegrate and be absorbed into the lining of the uterus.
Common Issues that Affect Fertility in Women
Three main areas commonly affect fertility in women --
- hormonal problems,
- fallopian tube hindrance, and
- vaginal dryness.
Hormonal problems can lead to early menopause, anovulation, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and a short luteal phase. Early menopause occurs in some women, before the age of 40, and causes a cessation of menstruation, and fertility. Anovulation is when an egg is not released from the ovaries for more than three months. A woman with PCOS has several cysts on her ovaries, and typically has a hormonal imbalance as well. Finally, short luteal phases are defined as too few days between ovulation and menstruation.
Fallopian tube hindrance is defined as a blockage to your tubes preventing sperm from getting to an egg. Some of the common causes for Fallopian tube blockage include fibroids, untreated chlamydia infections, and endometriosis. Fibroids are muscular tissue growths that abnormally occur in the womb, and endometriosis is when uterine tissue grows outside the uterus.
Vaginal dryness can lead to fertility troubles as well because in most cases, a woman will use a lubricant to be able to comfortably engage in intercourse. However, many lubricants are toxic to sperm. In fact, saliva is as well. To avoid fertility complications, it's important to use sperm-friendly lubricants.
The issues listed above could explain why you’re having difficulty achieving pregnancy. However, it could be a different issue entirely.
How Can You Determine if You're Fertile While Ovulating?
A fertility doctor will be able to evaluate the full scope of your reproductive system to determine if you are fertile or not. Your doctor can also help you track your ovulation including when you're ovulating, and therefore indicate the best times to attempt achieving pregnancy. There are a variety of fertility tests that can be performed on both men and women to determine where the troubles, if any, are originating as well. Then, if it is found there is a factor or factors hindering your ability to get pregnant, your doctor will also be able to offer options for treatment, and help you decide on the best course of action.
We Can Help Answer Your Questions
When a woman struggles with the difficulty of achieving pregnancy, it can be an incredibly frustrating experience. The good news is you don't have to face questions about ovulation and fertility alone. One of our fertility specialists would be happy to work with you.