Ovulation

Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from an ovary during the menstrual cycle.

Ovulation dates vary widely from woman to woman and from month to month. Many women need to use one or more methods to pinpoint their ovulation day, such as checking for several days of stringy cervical mucus, charting basal body temperature changes, and checking luteinizing hormone changes.

Some women feel a brief period of sharp pain on one side of the lower abdomen (the side where the egg was released) when they ovulate. This pain is called mittelschmerz. An increase in vaginal discharge or slight spotting may also occur near the time of ovulation.

Last Updated: March 27, 2009

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine & Deborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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