Do you wish to become pregnant and want to know when you are at your most fertile? Then it is important for you to get to know your cycle. A little bit of basic knowledge is necessary.
How long does the cycle take?
Ideally, the female menstrual cycle takes 28 days. Many factors such as illness, taking medication, stress, sleep deprivation, etc. affect the cycle and lead to deviations from the norm.
The cycle can be divided into three phases:
First half of the cycle: Maturation process of the egg cell
The cycle always begins with the first day of menstruation. With this signal, hormones are released which promote the maturation of the follicles in the ovary. The strongest follicle, also referred to as the “dominant follicle”, continues to develop, whereas the other follicles die off.
In rare cases, two or more dominant follicles form. If these are fertilized, a multiple pregnancy may result.
Middle of the cycle: Ovulation
The egg cell is released from the follicle into the funnel-shaped end of the fallopian tube and begins its 24-hour journey towards the uterus. During this time, the egg cell is capable of being fertilized.
However, the woman is fertile for a longer phase than this, as sperm can survive in her body for up to five days. Fertilization is also certainly possible if sexual intercourse takes place a few days before ovulation.
Second half of the cycle: Implantation or rejection
As soon as the egg cell is released into the fallopian tube, the remaining corpus luteum forms the hormone progesterone. The release of this hormone causes the uterine lining to build up, thereby preparing for the implantation of a fertilised egg cell.
If the egg cell has not been fertilised, it is shed with some of the uterine lining during the next menstrual period. And with that, the cycle starts all over again...