What is Ovulation?

What is Ovulation?

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(*Source: Nucleus Medicine )

Ovulation is the release of a mature egg (ovum) from the ovarian follicle. Each menstrual cycle, several ovarian follicles begin to mature and develop under the influence of pituitary hormones. Usually only one follicle develops fully. While the other follicles recede, this dominant follicle produces an egg which will be released and which can be fertilized. The growing follicle secretes increasing amounts of the hormone estrogen. Following peak estrogen production, there is a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH). The LH surge triggers the release of the mature egg from its follicle. This is ovulation.

After Ovulation
Once ovulated, the egg is picked up by one of the fallopian tubes and begins to travel towards the uterus in the fallopian tube. This is where fertilization, if it is to happen, takes place. The follicle that released the egg becomes known as the corpus luteum after ovulation and begins to secrete the heat inducing hormone, progesterone.

The lifespan of the egg after ovulation is just 12-24 hours, maybe even less. Fertilization must take place within this timeframe. After this timeframe, the egg begins to degenerate and is no longer capable of being fertilized. This seems like a very short window of time for conception to take place. However, sperm deposited prior to ovulation can survive in the female reproductive tract for a few days, so the few days before ovulation takes place are also considered fertile days.

Learn more about CONCEPTION

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