How Long Do You Ovulate & How Long Does an Egg Last...

How Long Do You Ovulate & How Long Does an Egg Last After Ovulation


How long does ovulation last once it starts and how long does an egg last after ovulation? Knowing these two aspects of ovulation is important if you are to avoid pregnancy safely since a woman can only get pregnant within about seven days.

How Long After Your Period Do You Ovulate – How Long Do You Ovulate?

To understand how long after the periods one ovulates, it is important to understand the various stages in a woman’s cycle.

The Menstrual Phase

This refers to a woman’s monthly period, which is characterized by bleeding. The first day of receiving the periods is marked as cycle day one in any cycle charts.

The menstrual blood is usually as a result of the uterine lining being shed when fertilization of the ovum does not take place and therefore no implantation occurs. It flows from the uterus through the cervix and is let out through the vaginal opening. Most of the times, this discharge is red and takes between three to seven days. About a quarter of a cup is discharged throughout this time.

The length of this stage varies with individuals. While some have long menses lasting up to seven days, others have short ones lasting only three days.

The follicular Phase

In this phase, estrogen hormones are dominant. They stimulate the thickening of the endometrium wall. This helps the uterus to get ready in case a pregnancy is to occur. Before ovulation takes place, estrogen increases in amount causing a dip in the basal body temperature.

It then triggers production of the follicle stimulating hormone. This leads to the growth of follicles in the ovaries. Each follicle has an immature egg in it. The follicle stimulating hormone promotes the development of the follicles but only one gets to dominate the rest and develop to maturity.

A few days to ovulation, there is a surge in the levels of estrogen. This triggers production of yet another hormone known as the luteinizing hormone. This is the hormone that is responsible for the rupture of the follicle and release of the mature egg.

The Ovulation Phase

The LH surge triggers ovulation. Once it has been released from the follicle, the egg is swept into the fallopian tube by finger like structures which are located at the end of the fallopian tubes. These also have some cilia which help to navigate the ovum towards the uterus.

Ovulation is therefore said to occur when one of the ovaries releases a mature egg. The egg travels out of the ovary, into the nearest fallopian tube and into the uterus. As the egg moves down the fallopian tube over several days, the lining of the uterus continues to thicken. Mostly, only one egg is released though it is possible for two or more to be released.

It takes about three to four days for the egg to travel towards the uterus. If fertilization is to occur, it must happen within 24 hours after ovulation since after this the egg degenerates.

The luteal phase of the menstrual cycle is usually standard and lasts for 14 days. As such, what varies is the follicular phase of the cycle. To get to know how long after the periods one ovulates, the total length of their cycle should be taken and 14 subtracted from it.

For people with regular 28days cycle, ovulation is bound to happen on the 14th cycle day. Since most women have cycles with varying lengths, ovulation occurs on average between 11 and 16 days after the onset of the previous period.

The Luteal Phase

After the mature ovum has been released, the follicles transform into corpus luteum  which is a hormone producing hormone. The cells in it are triggered to produce progesterone in large quantities and estrogen in smaller amounts. Progesterone remains as the most dominant hormone in this phase. This hormonal increase leads to a rise in the asal ody temperature. This is usually  too small to  e noticedby the woman ut a body basal thermometer can detect it.

Estrogen continues to facilitate the development of the uterine wall as the egg is en-route to the uterus. If fertilization does not occur within 24 hours after ovulation, it degenerates. The corpus luteum too degenerates within two weeks. As a result, progesterone levels drop.

These events lead to the shedding of the endometrium asa woman experiences another cycle.
If fertilization occurs, the egg moves to the uterus and implants on the lining.  This phase usually lasts for 14 days

How Long Does Ovulation Last

It is important for partners to understand the process of ovulation. Though some women do not ovulate every month, knowing how long ovulation lasts and the events surrounding it will help to avoid or try to get pregnant.

Every woman is born with thousands of immature eggs enough for her menstrual cycles all her life. In each cycle, the follicle stimulating hormone is released by the pituitary gland. It triggers the ripening of the maturing follicle.

The follicles in turn stimulate production of estrogen. When it rises above normal, estrogen facilitates the thickening of the uterine wall. This is in readiness for possible implantation. The high levels of estrogen stimulate production of the luteinizing hormone. The LH surge triggers a single follicle to release an already matured egg.

When the egg leaves the follicle, some finger like structures at the end of the tube sweep the egg with the cilia found on it. This motion helps it to get into the fallopian tube. Thetubes also have cilia which aid in the movement of the egg. The voyage of the egg from the ovary to the uterus takes around five days.

How Long Does the Egg Last After Ovulation?

When a woman begins to ovulate, the mature egg is ready to be fertilized by sperm. The egg can live for 24 hours after ovulation. As such, fertilization can only take time within this period.

However, a woman is not only fertile during this time. Within the right environment, the sperms can live for five days. As such, baby making intercourse done five days prior to ovulation could yield desired results.

Having sex two days before ovulation is a great way of improving your chances of getting pregnant.

Suggested Further Reading: