After Ovulation: What Happens within the Body?
So, you are certain that you were ovulating and you tried everything you now to remain pregnant. Now what?
After ovulation, the waiting time until you can take a pregnant test or simply go through your monthly period can be agonizing, especially if you try to remain pregnant for some time.
In a regular menstrual cycle of 28 days, menstruation appears in day 1 and ovulation appears after this day around the 14th day.
A lot of women are confused by the terminology of “day 14” and assume that ovulation appears at 14 days after their period ends, when in fact (assuming an “average” of 5 days of menstruation) ovulation occurs around day 9 after the periods ends.
Usually, around 14 days after ovulation, menstruation starts again – even though few women have a “normal” menstrual cycle.
The phase after ovulation is known as the “luteal phase” and is the longest period of the menstrual cycle.
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Can I Remain Pregnant After Ovulation?
It`s possible to remain pregnant after ovulation, but only in a short period of time. After ovulation, when the egg is released from follicle, there`s a period of time of 12 – 48 hours in which the egg can be fertilized by a mature sperm.
Sperm can “live” even up to 5 days inside a woman`s body supported by the cervical mucus, so often after ovulation sperm can wait in the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg after it was released.
It takes about 6 hours until health and active sperm reach the egg in the fallopian tubes and to the egg after passing through the cervix and uterus, so for 1 – 2 days after ovulation, it`s still possible to remain pregnant.
Can I Ovulate Twice in the Same Menstrual Cycle?
There`ll be only one fertile period within the menstrual cycle. While the level of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) increases, a number of follicles develops in the ovaries, but usually only one is released.
Because ovulation is triggered by a special mixture of hormones which increases and decreases their level during a normal menstrual cycle, the eggs can only be released from the ovaries during a period of 24 hours when the hormones which promote ovulation are at peak.
Between 1% and 3% from all pregnancies are the ones with twins. However, ultrasounds have now led to research on the vanishing twin syndrome.
Today, it`s believed that between 1 and 8 pregnancies are involved in an early fertilization of minimum 2 eggs, but less than half from the secondary embryos will survive more than a few weeks after ovulation. If the embryos won`t survive, they are reabsorbed into the body.
After ovulation, the level of hormones decreases and you need to pass through a retroactive cycle that triggers menstruation before ovulating again.
What Happens Immediately After Ovulation?
For around 8 days, the same events will take place inside your body, no matter if the egg was fertilized or not.
The follicle which releases the egg grows bigger and transforms itself in a structure which resembles with a gland, known as “corpus luteum.” Then, this starts to produce the progesterone hormone which causes as the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to thicken and also become covered with mucus which is produced by the glands inside the endometrium
After Ovulation If You Aren`t Pregnant
After ovulation, if you aren`t pregnant within maximum 48 hours, the egg moves along the fallopian tubes, disintegrates and is absorbed back into the body.
Corpus luteum survives and continues to produce progesterone for 12 – 14 days. Then, it dies – if it doesn`t receive the hCG hormone released by an embryo.
The level of progesterone from the body decreases and endometrium responds by closing its arteries, thus preventing the blood to flow from the surface of the uterine lining.
The blood that already exists in the lining goes below in the uterus, and the uterine lining is deprived by oxygen and dies again. The blood and mucosa penetrate the vagina for the menstruation to occur and menstrual cycle to start again.
After ovulation and until menstruation, the basal body temperature remains about 0.5 degrees Celsius higher. The cervical mucus becomes slippery and sticky, or even creamy in consistency.
After Ovulation If You Are Pregnant
When one of the millions of sperm enters the external surface of the ovule, its shells changes so no other sperm can enter, and this along with the ovule combines and forms a “zygote.”
Then, the travel of the zygote towards the fallopian tubes lasts for around 5 days, where the cells divide and eventually forms a “blastocyst.”
After 8 – 10 days from fertilization, the blastocyst is implanted in the uterine wall. Before implantation, there aren`t so many changes within the body; it in fact behaves as if you weren`t pregnant.
After ovulation and implantation, the fun starts. Sometimes, there may be a mild or more intense bleeding after implantation (it can easily be confused with menstruation).
When the blastocyst attacks the endometrium becoming an embryo, more hormones are released. They are thinning the endometrium and seal the cervix with a plug of mucus.
The embryo and placenta are developing separately. After implantation, the placenta produces the hCG hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin). In only a few days, the level of hCG can be detected in urine using a pregnancy test.