What Happens to Your Body During Ovulation

Philip Druce - Founder Of Ovulation CalculatorToday, we welcome a guest blogger to share with us some important information about ovulation and why it’s important. Today’s blogger is Phil Druce, the Founder of Ovulation Calculator, a site which provides tools and education to help couples conceive naturally.


The body is an amazing thing. Just take a moment to think about all the life-crucial things your body does without your input. Take breathing, for example. You do not have to think about breathing, but in doing so, your body inhales crucial oxygen into your lungs and distributes it throughout your body. Amazing. And if you are in awe of that, you will really be floored by what a woman’s body can do. From ovulation to conception and childbirth, your body is a miracle-making machine. To begin to understand, let us take a deeper look at ovulation.

Ovulation Explained

Once per cycle, a woman’s body will release a mature egg in a process called ovulation. The purpose, to be fertilized by sperm. This will happen whether or not you want to conceive, so it is important to know when you are ovulating. Ovulation occurs about 12 to 14 days before your next menstrual period, so you can expect it to happen somewhere around the middle of your cycle. This will depend on the length of your cycle, but we will get to that later.

Symptoms of Ovulation

If you have no idea when you ovulate, do not worry. You are in good company. Most women do not know when they ovulate unless they are actively tracking their cycles. About 20 percent of women report cramping during ovulation, so in theory, they may know when ovulation is happening. There are other symptoms, including nausea, bloating, breast tenderness and more, but the majority of women who are trying to conceive track ovulation by charting basal body temperature, cervical mucus or tracking cervical changes.

Phases of Your Cycle

Your cycle begins with your menstrual period, and this is the start of the follicular phase. During the follicular phase, your body is preparing to release a mature egg. The name follicular comes from the follicle that houses the egg that is released. The follicular phase length can vary from cycle to cycle, even for the same women. The next phase is called ovulation, when an egg is released from a follicle. The follicle ruptures causing the egg to be pushed out of the ovary.  After ovulation the menstrual cycle transitions to the luteal phase, this final phase lasts about 14 days, on average.

During the start of the luteal phase your basal body temperature (BBT) should rise slightly. This is one way to know if you ovulated. Your BBT should then remain elevated through the rest of the luteal phase, which is until your next menstrual period begins.

Hormones and Ovulation

Ovulation actually begins in the brain. The hypothalamus, a part of your brain, produces something called gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). GnRH triggers your pituitary gland (also in the brain) to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH and LH act on follicles in the ovaries to initiate and control growth. Each follicle contains an egg. After ovulation, the empty follicle, called the corpus luteum, releases progesterone that helps build the lining of the uterus in preparation for pregnancy.

The Role of the Menstrual Period

If the egg is fertilized by sperm, it makes its way to the uterus and implants into the plush lining of the uterus for nourishment and protection.

If the egg is not fertilized within 12-24 hours, it will degenerate and disintegrate. Without implantation the uterus lining will eventually break up. This is what you know as your menstrual period, and it marks the beginning of a new cycle.

What to do When You are Ovulating

If you are trying to conceive, try to have sex in the few days before ovulation. Sperm can live up to five days and your egg can live for up to one day, which gives you a maximum fertile window of 6 days.


ToConceive Helps Couples Trying to Conceive Take Matters Into Their Own Hands

If you have a headache, you simply head to the drug store for pain relievers. If you’re dealing with infertility, you have to see a specialist. Now, imagine if treating infertility were as simple as treating a headache–simply using an over-the-counter treatment.

ToConceive is the first OTC therapy that can treat a number of infertility issues, including many male subfertility issues. Many couples incorrectly assume that it is the female’s issue that is leading to their inability to get pregnant. However, nearly half of all infertility comes from the man. Depending on what study you look at, male fertility issues account for anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of all couples’ infertility problems.

ToConceive is inexpensive, easy to use and available over-the-counter.

Azoospermia, the complete absence of sperm, is typically untreatable, but also extremely rare. Fortunately, most male infertility issues are treatable with the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) of IntraUterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

To treat male infertility, IUI and IVF both use laboratory in-vivo sperm washing, sperm swim-up and sperm capacitation to choose only the perfect, motile and capacitated sperm needed to achieve pregnancy. Unfortunately, IUI and IVF are invasive, expensive and not an option for many couples.

Like IUI and IVF, ToConceive mimics in-vivo sperm capacitation and accomplishes the same exact sperm selection functions to produce perfect, motile and capacitated sperm. However, ToConceive is inexpensive, easy to use and available over-the-counter.

As Dr. Thompson explains, in-vivo sperm capacitation works to allow only the fittest sperm to fertilize the egg, but can only do so with normal vaginal conception lubrication. When a woman uses ToConceive, it helps her produce and increase her own natural conception lubrication, which in turns capacitates the sperm, allowing it to travel the six or seven inches up the fallopian tube to penetrate and fertilize the egg. This in-vivo sperm capacitation also selects out immature and abnormal sperm and washes sperm coated with anti-sperm antibodies, according to Dr. Thompson.

Currently, ToConceive comes in one and three-month supplies and is available online through the Key to Conceive website (www.keytoconceive.com), as well as through Amazon, Drugstore.com and the Kindara app.

Win a free bottle of ToConceive in honor of NIAW!

Hope is...In honor of the 25th anniversary of National Infertility Awareness Week, ToConceive is giving away 25 bottles of ToConceive to couples trying to conceive, in hopes of spreading hope to all couples TTC.

To enter, comment on this post letting us know what hope means to you. The first 25 to comment win!

To promote infertility education, we’ll also donate 25% of all profits during that week to RESOLVE.

The contest runs through Saturday, April 26.


Don’t Forget….March Madness is now Maternity Madness!

Basketball ToConceive Retail PackageWe want to turn March Madness into Maternity Madness!

ToConceive wants to help those couples TTC to get a slam dunk and achieve their dream of pregnancy. We’re offering $15 off any 1-bottle order or $25 off any 3-bottle order till April 7.

Visit our website http://www.keytoconceive.com and enter promo code save15off1 or save25off3 at checkout to receive your $15 or $25 off and win one for your home team!

Exercising while pregnant

images-1I am a group fitness instructor and I am frequently asked by pregnant women in my class how they should change their exercise routine during the pregnancy. You too may be wondering what changes you will need to make to your exercise routine when you find out you are pregnant. During my first pregnancy I had read about not doing any abdominal work and not lifting my hands over my head among other things. These restrictions have since been proven as myths and now most in the health and fitness world would encourage pregnant women to keep up their pre-pregnancy routines with only a few modifications. However, it is always important to first see your healthcare provider before beginning or continuing any excercise program when you become pregnant.

Generally, the only suggestions I have for my participants concerning changes to their routine are the following:

1. Listen to your body and don’t push too hard.

If you are like me, pushing through the pain is part of nearly every workout. No pain, no gain, right? Well not when you are pregnant. The goal of exercise during pregnancy is not to chisel your body or loose weight, but to benefit yourself and your baby. If you are in pain or are feeling unwell while exercising during pregnancy, stop! Give yourself a few days rest and check in with the doctor. If he/she gives you the green light and you are feeling up to it, then give it another shot. Maybe your routine is too vigorous for your pregnant body and you may want to try something new like swimming or yoga.

2. Don’t do anything that is uncomfortable for you, even if it is considered safe

I planned to keep running through my entire second pregnancy but by 6 months I was already  big enough that it was uncomfortable due to the bouncing. I also noticed jumping jacks and jump rope motions were almost unbearable. Generally bouncing is not unsafe for healthy, pregnant women, but it wasn’t worth it for me. If you find anything uncomfortable, find another routine that works for you. For example, from 6 months on I stopped running, but continued to do high impact aerobics with several modifications and a lot less intensity.

3. Drink more water than you think you need

Drinking water during exercise is always important, but staying hydrated while pregnant is vital! Drink more than you think you need and make sure to stop if you feel dehydrated- lightheaded, dry mouth, unusual weakness.

4.  Expect to be worn out after exercise

Although overall exercise gave me more energy during pregnancy, the mornings after I worked out my energy was gone. If I had anything planned for the rest of the day, I would have to skip the exercise in order to save my energy for that event. Not everyone may feel this way, but with your body working overtime, don’t expect to be able to keep up the same non-stop working days that you had before baby. Try and get extra rest, and if at all possible, plan a time to sit and relax on the days you work out.

Exercise during pregnancy has many benefits for both mom and baby. The key is finding the right routine for your body and making sure to pay attention to what your body is telling you. For more in depth medical information concerning exercise during pregnancy, there is a great article on Webmd. Take a look and prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy!


Unexplained Infertility

While researching the topic of unexplained infertility, I stumbled across an interesting article on advancedfertility.com. To illustrate all of the things that “must happen perfectly in order to get pregnant and have a baby,”  they made an oversimplified list of the science involved in a successful conception.


What must happen for a successful conception:

  • The hormones that stimulate egg development must be made in the brain and pituitary and be released properly
  • The egg must be of sufficient quality and be chromosomally normal
  • The egg must develop to maturity
  • The brain must release a sufficient surge of the LH hormone to stimulate final maturation of the egg
  • The follicle (eggs develop in structures called follicles in the ovaries) must rupture and release the follicular fluid and the egg
  • The tube must “pick up” the egg
  • The sperm must survive their brief visit in the vagina, enter the cervical mucous, swim to the fallopian tube and “find” the egg
  • The sperm must be able to get through the cumulus cells around the egg and bind the shell (zona pellucida) of the egg
  • The sperm must undergo a biochemical reaction and release their DNA package (23 chromosomes) into the egg
  • The fertilized egg must be able to divide
  • The early embryo must continue to divide and develop normally
  • After 3 days, the tube should have transported the embryo down into the uterus
  • The embryo must continue to develop and expand into a blastocyst
  • The blastocyst must hatch out of its shell
  • The endometrial lining of the uterus must be properly developed and receptive
  • The hatched blastocyst must attach to the endometrial lining and “implant”
  • Many more miracles in early embryonic and fetal development must then follow…

A weak link anywhere in this chain will cause failure to conceive

The above list is very oversimplified, but the point is made. There are literally hundreds of molecular and biochemical events that have to happen perfectly in order to have a pregnancy develop.

(from http://www.advancedfertility.com)

Wow! The way I see it is that those suffering with unexplained infertility should not be considered “unfortunate,” but that each time a baby is successfully conceived should be considered a miracle! This reminds me of my college biology class. I remember being completely blown away by the many “miracles” that have to occur in order or a baby to be conceived, carried through pregnancy and then delivered. Among other things, it definitely strengthened my faith in my Creator God!

All of this to say, there are many factors involved in conception and pregnancy, and if any one of them does not function properly, infertility occurs. Unexplained infertility simply means that the doctor cannot find that “weak link” that is not properly functioning. During his studies and through years of experience, Dr. Thompson, founder of ToConceive, found that sexual arousal and inadequate normal vaginal lubrication are probably main causes of unexplained infertility. This is because of the lack of optimum sperm support and the lack of adequate sperm capacitation necessary for ovum fertilization. ToConceive is a natural and inexpensive product that is designed to do just that- increase the female’s sexual arousal and aid the body in producing an adequate supply of vaginal lubrication.  It also aids in male subfertility issues (oftentimes also unexplained) as it capacitates the sperm to allow it to fertilize the ovum. Before heading down the road to IVF, why not give it a try and see if your diagnosis of unexplained infertility can be cured!

For a much more in-depth explanation of the science behind conception, please visit http://www.keytoconceive.com.

10 Indications You Have Had Too Many Snow Days

If you have noticed an inconsistency to my  blog posts in the last couple of months, you are right. I can sum up the reason in two words: Snow Days. Here’s a little snow day fun for those of you who are in the same boat!

Ten indications you have had too many snow days:

1. Normally fun, special indoor activities such as play-doh and painting become as mundane as setting the table.

2. When the phone rings at 5:30am you don’t even listen to the recording, but silence the phone and go back to sleep.

3. Rainbow Loom rubber bands or bracelets can be found in every room of our house.


4. Your 7 year old is almost in tears because he knows how many days he will have to be in school in June instead of at the pool.

5. The same 7 year old tries to perform a triple axel off the couch and is now missing 1 square inch of skin on his back from the landing.

6. You have watched the “SchoolClosings” You Tube video at least 13 times now. It really is funny… see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=sUtPG2J5RwQ&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DsUtPG2J5RwQ%26feature%3Dyoutu.be&app=desktop

7. You hand the kids rags and send them to dust off all the ridges in the woodwork on the doors.securedownload

8. Screen time has gone from 1 hour a day to “play until the batteries run out.”

9. The Soundtrack from Frozen has become the soundtrack to your life.

10.  The kids’ Valentine’s Day cards for the class are done 10 days before Valentine’s Day.


Seriousness of Male Infertility

spermMale infertility as serious a problem as global warming? An Irish fertility clinic seems to think so, according to an article in the Offaly Express. Looking at data from the European Science Foundation, the rates of male infertility are drastically on the rise. Male infertility accounts for anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of all infertility cases.

The types of male infertility comprise an alphabet soup of unpronounceable medical conditions and terms, including azoospermia, oligospermia and spermatogenesis. Typical male infertility issues, also known as subfertility, include anti-sperm antibodies caused by an infection in the prostate, inability to ejaculate, insufficient numbers of sperm and abnormal sperm that prevents fertilization.

Whether it’s as serious as global warming is up for debate, but it is a serious issue facing many men and many couples. ToConceive can help alleviate many issues of male subfertility by promoting proper and natural sperm capacitation. For more information on male infertility, check out our Male Subfertility page.

Can Past Birth Control Methods Impact Fertility

imagesMy husband and I are in the midst of choosing the right permanent birth control method as we feel our family is complete with the three beautiful, healthy children God has blessed us with. Even with that complete feeling we are finding it very difficult to make such a final decision about our ability to produce children. Especially with working so close with woman experiencing the struggles of infertility it feels wrong to voluntarily make the decision to end my own fertility. I have nothing against most permanent forms of birth control, I am just struggling to take that step for my family. While this has been at the forefront of my mind for the past few weeks, I also have wondered how past methods of birth control could impact fertility in general. So began researching and this is what I found.

1- Birth Control methods generally do not cause infertility issues.

According to FertilityAuthority.com, Fernando Gomez, M.D. of the Reproductive Medicine Institute in Orlando, Florida, says there is no scientific evidence that birth control pills cause infertility. “This idea is a common misconception of patients using birth control pills for prolonged periods of time. Birth control pills are the most effective reversible therapy to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.”

2- Some Birth Control methods can actually increase fertility.

In the same article, Dr. Gomez continues, “In fact, since birth control pills inhibit ovulation, some studies have suggested that the use of birth control pills may have a positive effect on preserving women’s ovarian reserve, the number of eggs available for ovulation.”

3- Birth Control Pills can mask signs of infertility.

Because of the way birth control pills regulate monthly cycles, some women may not see signs and symptoms of infertility until after they discontinue use. (infertility.about.com )

4- Obviously the decision to use permanent birth control methods should be made carefully as the chances for conception after most procedures is less than 1%. (contraception.about.com)

Conception Counseling

Before making a major life change, such as buying a house or purchasing a car, most of us spend many hours researching, talking with experts and finding out as much information as possible. Why shouldn’t a couple trying to conceive take the same care? Getting pregnant and having a baby is one of the BIGGEST life changes, but most couples go into the process willy-nilly without any information.

counselEnter in pre-conception counseling, a new trend in TTC couples. Not just for those struggling to conceive, pre-conception counseling gives couples just thinking about starting a family helpful information such as the best time to conceive and how to best prepare your body for pregnancy. Pre-conception counseling also helps the couple pinpoint potential hereditary problems and find any current lifestyle choices that may hinder a pregnancy.

Find more information on pre-conception counseling here. When you are ready to try for a baby, check out ToConceive!