Menstruation is a vital part of the process of reproduction and the length of each menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. The general length of a menstrual cycle is 28 days. However, it is not uncommon for women to experience menstrual cycles ranging from 25 to 35 days.
The ovulatory phase of the cycle is the most important when it comes to conception and is called the fertile window. Ovulation occurs approximately mid cycle and is the period during which mature eggs are released from the ovaries. Every month an egg is released by one ovary.
At times, both ovaries may release an egg each. The eggs travel through the fallopian tubes. During this time, contact with sperm can result in fertilization leading to implantation.
The period exactly in the midst of two menstrual periods include the days of ovulation with the day approximately in the middle of the cycle being the most probable day of ovulation. For example, a woman with a menstrual cycle of 28 days would be the most fertile between the 12th and 17th day before the onset of the next menstrual period. Similarly, ovulating days in a woman with a menstrual cycle of 32 days would be between the 14th and the 19th day from the next menstrual period.
Besides the internal process, ovulation is accompanied by a number of physical telltale signs as well. The most common of these is an alteration in the consistency of the vaginal discharge. The changes in the consistency of the mucus can be monitored by physically taking a little discharge and stretching it between the thumb and the index finger.
Around ovulation day, the mucus can be stretched for quite a distance before the link snaps. At this stage, the mucus resembles the white of an egg and is clear. The quantity of discharge secreted also increases around this time. This provides suitable conditions for the sperm enabling it to stay healthy for up to three days thus making fertilization almost certain. Some women experience slight bleeding during ovulation. This bleeding usually last for a few hours and is generally enough to only stain a tissue used after urination. Sometimes, the discharge may be streaked with a little pinkish or brownish blood. Some women also experience a little pain in the lower abdomen, on the side of the ovary that has released the egg. Ovulating day is also followed by a marginal rise in body temperature.