Recently a friend told me there are only one or two days a month when you can actually get pregnant. Considering the number of ‘surprise’ pregnancies I’ve come across through the years, I thought this sounded extremely low. But according to whattoexpect.com, couples in their 20s and early 30s who aren't using birth control only have a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant. And apparently this largely depends on one thing: ovulation.
Q: What is ovulation?
Ovulation is when one or more eggs are released from the ovaries and move into the fallopian tubes.
Q: When does ovulation occur?
On average, ovulation occurs about two weeks (12 – 16 days) after the first day of your menstrual cycle. Once the egg is released it will only live for about 24 hours.
Q: How do you know when you are ovulating?
If you have a regular cycle, you can roughly calculate which days you’re ovulating, but in order to be more accurate you can take an ovulation test like the Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test. The test works the same way as a pregnancy test, except instead of confirming a conception; it helps you identify your two most fertile days (aka when you’re ovulating).
Q: Is ovulation the only time you can fall pregnant?
Yes. Carolyn Kubik, fertility specialist, babycenter.com says: “Conception occurs when an egg and sperm meet in a fallopian tube. An egg can survive in your fallopian tube for about 24 hours after it's released from the ovary. So the only way you can get pregnant is if sperm are present in your fallopian tube during this window of opportunity. If the egg isn't fertilised, it's shed along with your uterine lining during your period.” It is important to note that sperm can survive inside the uterus for up to five days, so becoming pregnant does not always depend on having intercourse on the same day as ovulation.
Q: Can I ovulate more than once during my cycle?
Bill Ledger, Clearblue expert and Professor and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia says, “Yes, it's possible to ovulate twice but this usually happens at about the same time of the cycle. This is how non-identical twins occur, from ovulation of two separate eggs. It happens more often in women over 35 which is one reason why the older group have more twins.”
Have you ever taken an ovulation test? Did you track your ovulation when trying to conceive?