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Pregnancy WEEKS

Pregnancy Week 2

Ovulation


Although we call it the 2nd pregnancy week, at this point you are still not pregnant. Read on to discover exactly what is happening in your body, why we speak about ovulation and what this means. 

What's going on inside you right now?

In a woman's body, various hormones are working flat out to prepare for ovulation. The follicles are maturing, and each contains a single egg cell. In the meantime, a new uterine lining builds up to offer the fertilised ovum a perfect environment.


Ovulation

Various areas in your brain are working to ensure that the right hormones are released at the correct times, so ovulation can regularly take place.  In addition to estrogen, the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and the luteinizing hormone (LH) are important for this process. These two substances are responsible for maturing the ovarian follicles.

Although multiple follicles grow, generally only one follicle "wins the race". This splits or bursts open. The fertile egg cell emerges and then makes its way via the Fallopian tube to the uterus.

In some cycles there may be two eggs that mature. If these are fertilised and implant successfully, non-identical twins will grow from them. With in vitro fertilisation, multiple follicles are stimulated in order to remove and fertilise several egg cells to improve the chances of success.

How do you feel at 2 weeks pregnant?

For many women discovering what your hormones are up to inside your body can be a useful first step in helping to improve your chances of becoming pregnant. If you are especially anxious, you can take an LH (urine) test to determine the time of ovulation and remind you to have sex on these special days. The LH concentration rises rapidly as ovulation approaches and can be measured in the urine.


An LH test can be used to determine the time of ovulation.


But did you know that you can also determine the time of ovulation by feeling the cervix and monitoring the cervical mucus to find out the ideal time for having unprotected sex? Not many women actually ovulate on the 14th day of their cycle. This assumption is based on the egg maturation phase taking exactly 14 days during a regular 28-day cycle. But for over 60% of women, ovulation takes place after the 14th day of their cycle. Some women will also track their cycle by recording their daily basal body temperature.

Signs of Ovulation.

At the time of ovulation, the cervix is slightly open and the vaginal secretion (cervical mucus) is generally a white and/or transparent stretchy liquid, rather than milky-white and sticky.

Some women feel a pulling, pressing or stabbing sensation before ovulation – this may affect just one side of the lower abdomen, alternate between the two sides or be felt in the middle. The cause of this "Mittelschmerz" (German for "middle pain") is not yet clear, and also differs from one woman to the next, as do the type and duration of the pain

It may be caused by the growing follicles. It is also thought that the fluid that emerges when the follicle splits apart can irritate the peritoneum. If you don't feel any mittelschmerz, this doesn't mean that you have not ovulated! The name also comes from the time of ovulation, which is theoretically in the middle of the cycle – but like so many things the perception of ovulation and the time at which it occurs varies between women.

If you notice increased vaginal discharge, this can be another sign of ovulation. The vaginal fluid is "optimised" for the sperm: it is more liquid, sometimes viscous like liquid albumen and more nutritious than usual. This enables the sperm to progress more easily and also gives them the power they need for their journey to the ovum. 

And that's not all – during ovulation, the vaginal secretion contains more pheromones (scents) that men perceive unconsciously. Finally, there is one more sign that ovulation is pending: your libido is rising and you become more interested in sex. 

Have fun!


Photo Credit: Unsplash

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