There’s still no baby yet, but around day 14 of your menstral cycle, which should be this week or early next, ovulation occurs. If you’re trying to conceive, knowing exactly when you’re ovulating is really important, so be sure to track yours using our ovulation calculator.
What is my body doing?
It sounds very complex, and in a way it is, but our menstrual cycles really are quite amazing. Thanks to hormone changes, your levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) rise and stimulate the production of follicles in your ovary.
These follicles are actually fluid filed sacs containing those all-important eggs – although usually only one becomes larger than the others and produces the egg. That follicle also begins to produce oestrogen which helps the lining of the womb become thicker to aid ‘implantation’ of the egg.
Hopefully, in the 24 hours after the egg is released, one of the nearly 250 million sperm your partner releases will manage to swim all the way from your vagina, through your cervix, and up to the fallopian tube, where it can penetrate the egg.
It might sound simple, but this is a ten-hour journey for the sperm. Only about 400 of them will even make it and only one can burrow through the eggs outer membrane.
What happens next?
Once his sperm makes it to your egg, the sperm’s nucleus merges with the eggs and they’ll combine in the following 10 to 30 hours. Believe it or not, this is when the sex of your baby is actually determined, as if the sperm is carrying a Y chromosome, you’ll just have conceived a boy and if it’s an X chromosome, it’ll be a girl.
What can I do to help my body conceive?
It might sound obvious, but this is one week where you really need to get into the rhythm of regular, baby making fun. Try to relax and not turn this time into another chore (and have a read of the best sex positions to try when you’re trying to conceive). Experts believe the best positions are those that allow you man’s sperm to get close to your cervix, and that having an orgasm helps too as the contractions draw in more sperm.
Common symptoms to look out for
- Your temperature will fall, then spike: Did you know that when you ovulate, your basal body temperature (BBT) will drop to its lowest point? It won’t, however, stay there for long and as soon as ovulation occurs, it will shoot up half a degree. So, although ovulation calculators give you a good idea, if you want to know exactly when you’re ovulating, buy a special thermometer and start tracking.
- Your discharge might change: If you’ve been trying to conceive for a while, you’ll have got used to monitoring your discharge and will know it’s consistency and colour will change over the month. As you head towards the day you’re ovulating, look out for thick, sticky and creamy discharge, which will increase in volume and start to look cloudy when the day arrives.
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