The menstrual cycle includes several phases that aren’t just your period. There are several stages that need to take place for your period to even show up. One of these stages is ovulation. We’re here to explain what ovulation is and how it fits into the rest of your menstrual cycle.
What is Ovulation?
Ovulation is the process by which your body produces and releases an egg. An egg is usually released around day 14 of your menstrual cycle. This can vary from uterus to uterus as every body is different. The important thing is getting to know what is normal for you.
How is an egg released?
Your ovaries contain follicles which grow the eggs. Throughout the menstrual cycle, the brain releases FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone. This encourages follicles to grow, which then produce estrogen. As the follicle continues to grow, the estrogen levels begin to rise. When estrogen hits its optimum level the egg is ready to be released. The hormone LH, Luteinizing Hormone, provokes the egg to be released and kickstarts the ovulation phase. The egg will then travel down the fallopian tube to the uterus so it can be fertilised. The uterine lining thickens so, when fertilised, the egg can be implanted and grow inside the womb.
What happens after you ovulate?
If the egg has been successfully fertilised and implanted, the egg can grow into a foetus and then a baby. If not, the follicle closes itself and forms a mass known as a corpus luteum. When the egg hasn’t been fertilised this mass begins to degrade, lowering the estrogen levels. This will then trigger progesterone production and your period will start. During pregnancy, the corpus luteum will produce enough progesterone until the placenta can take over.
What can affect ovulation?
The ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle is controlled by your hormones. Any factors that will imbalance your hormones can affect your menstrual cycle. Your diet, exercise, sleep and the environment can all cause dips and spikes in your hormones that dictate the ovulation phase.
What happens if I don’t ovulate?
Not ovulating every once and a while can happen. However, ovulation stopping altogether is a health concern. It can be a sign that your body has stopped producing estrogen and progesterone which you need to help maintain bone density, heart health, metabolism, sleep quality as well as your mental health. This is why tracking your cycle and noticing any significant changes is key.
What is ovulation bleeding?
Bleeding during ovulation, also known as ‘spotting’, is completely normal. The colour of your menstrual blood can vary depending on the phase of your cycle. Spotting tends to be light pink or red. Pink ovulation blood tends to occur because the cervical fluid is mixed with the uterine lining. This will usually last a day or two. Ovulation bleeding is triggered by a spike in LH and rapid changes in hormone levels.
What is ovulation pain?
Ovulation pain, also known as ‘mittelschmerz’ or middle pain in German, is also a common occurrence for some women. This pain can occur for a few minutes or hours and on one particular side of the body. Women will usually experience ovulation pain when the egg is physically being released from the follicle in the ovary. However, debilitating pain in the ovary area may be a sign of something serious. If you experience this kind of pain for elongated periods of time, we recommend paying a visit to your GP.
Our BeYou patches cannot only be used during menstruation but also when experiencing ovulation pain. The essential oils can naturally soothe the pain and tackle the inflammation caused by the release of the egg.
Comment below and tell us any other ovulation queries you may have, we would love to hear them! Share this blog on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to start the conversation on ovulation!
Jess is our Content & Community executive who writes about, well ...everything! She loves talking about period positivity and body positivity and, let's face it, loves a good debate. When she isn't talking about all things BeYou, she has probably got her nose in a book, cuddling her Jack Russell Terrier, Buster 🧚♀🐶📖