Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from an ovary which typically happens once during each menstrual cycle. The egg cell lives for up to 24 hours after being released, if the egg cell is not fertilised, the egg cell dies and the menstrual cycle progresses to the next phase.
Ovulation takes place at the end of the first phase in the menstrual cycle, typically this happens around 2 weeks after your period, although this can vary a lot from woman-to-woman. This variation means that this information on its own is not enough to prevent pregnancy.
However, understanding your menstrual cycle is a great first step to identifying ovulation. The menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and ends right before your next period begins. The menstrual cycle is made up of two key phases: the follicular phase (named for the follicle which in time becomes the mature egg released at ovulation) and the luteal phase (the second phase when you are typically not fertile).
Being able to monitor ovulation and identifying when this happens in the menstrual cycle is key in fertility tracking. It has been used in age-old methods and can be harnessed by modern methods and new technology too. With this information, it’s possible to either prevent or plan a pregnancy as the fertile window reveals the best time to conceive or to use birth control to prevent a pregnancy.
Fertility tracking is more complex than just finding out the fertile window. To do this effectively it’s important to take other factors into account, such as period length and sperm survival. There is a knowledge gap around the menstrual cycle, prompting questions such as, can I get pregnant on my period? And, what causes period cramps? If you’re curious about learning more about your body and the menstrual cycle, check out the Cycle Matters hub for more content on female health.
By measuring your temperature orally most days, it’s possible to identify a shift in basal body temperature, which happens right before ovulation takes place. This is how Natural Cycles works to calculate your fertility. If you are looking for an alternative method of birth control or a way to help you plan a pregnancy, Natural Cycles might just be the app for you. Get to know your body with the birth control app that’s grounded in science.