There are many things that a woman who is dreaming of becoming a mummy needs to know about ovulation and the ovulation cycle. If that is you, read on!
Your body has two ovaries located in the abdominal cavity. Each one is around 3cm - 4cm in length. These ovaries consist of follicles. Each of these follicles has an ovum (Egg). Did you know as a little baby girl is born, she already carries close to 2,000,000 ova (eggs)? By puberty, only 300,000 remain, out of which, only around 500 will mature.
- As the ovum matures, fluid accumulates inside the follicle.
- The follicles will grow as the ovum expands.
- It gradually nears the ovary wall.
- The Follicle will emerge like a blister and eventually erupt.
- This is when the ovum is released.
From puberty, a girl’s ovaries will release an ovum each month. Each ovary will take turns in releasing an ovum. This means it takes approximately 56 days for an ovary to release an ovum.
Once ovulation occurs, a yellow scar will appear in its place, from which progesterone hormone will be released. Progesterone hormone stimulates the growth of the uterine wall. It results in the creation of a delicate covering which strengthens these inner walls. At the same time, the uterine cavity gets filled with blood vessels. This is the uterus preparing for implantation if the ovum is fertilized with a sperm.
An ovum’s lifecycle is approximately 24 hours. So if the ovum does not get fertilized, the progesterone levels will start dropping. The covering of the uterine wall will also pass through the vagina as blood flows out. This is the menstrual cycle.
But if the ovum is fertilized, the continued production of progesterone will ensure the process that started with the release of the ovum continues. This will help create the environment needed for the fertilized ovum. These hormonal functions of a woman's body are therefore crucial for the birth of a child.
Due to a lack of sex education, many people do not know these details about the pregnancy. If you are looking to become a parent, it is best to be aware of these.
Article by Dr. Krishan de Silva, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Balapitiya Base Hospital.