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What happens during ovulation?

Ovulation
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During ovulation your body communicates with your brain and other parts of the body by way of hormones. These hormones are messengers that tell your body what to do and when to do it. During ovulation the sequence of hormonal events take place. Scientists have developed tests that are designed to help you predict ovulation and fertility monitors.

Prior to ovulation

There are three phases to your menstrual cycle; follicular phase, ovulation, and a luteal phase.

Follicular phase; this is the first part of your cycle, starts on the first day of bleeding and ends just before ovulation. During this time your progesterone and oestrogen levels are low.

Try to think of your brain as a car, when your petrol tank is running on empty you know it’s time to add more fuel. But your brain can’t just produce fuel, it needs to start maturing eggs for ovulation to produce oestrogen. Your body just can’t add more “fuel” because your uterus lightning from your previous cycle is old and an egg won’t thrive in it.

Low progesterone and oestrogen levels alerts your body that it’s time to start a new menstrual cycle. Your body knows that the egg won’t thrive, said so it starts shredding the lining of your uterus to make way for a new nutrient rich lining. During this time your body is producing hormones.

Fertility chart

GnRH, FSH, and ovulation

Now that your body is getting the ball rolling, it starts producing a hormone known as GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone). Your body needs to communicate with the hormones to produce oestrogen and to get the eggs ready.

FSH stimulates follicles found inside your ovaries, this is where the eggs are living whilst they grow and mature.

LH surge and ovulation

As the eggs mature they release oestrogen, but not all the eggs maturing will be released during ovulation, only one will be released. The other contenders will at some point realise they are not the dominant egg and will retire from the race. The last egg standing will produce oestrogen but the other eggs disintegrate.

Once your oestrogen levels are reached they tell your body it’s time to ovulate. Your brain then releases another hormone; LH (or luteinizing hormone) it’s this hormone that tells your follicle it’s time to release the egg. This process usually occurs two days before ovulation.

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