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Ovulation Process

Did you know that ovulation takes place about 400 times total in each woman’s life? That is roughly once a month from the time she starts menstruating, until she stops at around 50 years of age. It is quite a guessing game as to which of the two ovaries will discard the ovum. If a woman has an ovary removed surgically, ovulation would still take place monthly in the ovary that remains. This is the body’s way of protecting itself from diseases of the reproductive organs.

Throughout a woman’s life most of her almost half of a million egg cells are never used. These eggs never mature enough to be fertilized. Instead, they deteriorate steadily until, by the time a woman stops menstruating, there are no healthy ova left.

During ovulation, a portion of a follicle ruptures very quickly and fluid containing millions of cells, which produce female sex hormones, pour out. It all amounts to about 2/3 to 1 tablespoon of fluid. In the middle of all these cells is the ovum (the female reproductive cell capable of developing into a human being after being fertilized). The cells surrounding the ovum provide the nourishment and protection that it needs.

The Fallopian tube will most likely receive signals as to where the rupture on the surface of the ovary will occur hours before the actual ovulation. The fimbriae, which are finger-like projections of the Fallopian tube, will be in a position to receive the ovum and keep it from vanishing into the abdominal cavity. The mucous membrane of the fimbriae moves continuously back and forth over the surface of the ovary. It is believed that this membrane is tasting the chemical messenger substances which are there. Tiny cilia cover the entire membrane, all thrashing in toward the inside of the Fallopian tube. This creates a sort of suction for the fluid which was shed by the follicle. Also with this fluid comes more chemical signal information, which in turn makes the Fallopian tube muscles contract in rhythm. This will help the cilia to trap the ovum.

Sometimes it is possible for the Fallopian tube to reach the opposite ovary. It would need to be long and versatile in order to accomplish this feat. The ovum could then be successfully lured in. It is a fact that ova can actually “jump across” to the opposite Fallopian tube. Women without a Fallopian tube on one side and an ovary on the other, have become pregnant. However, a woman’s Fallopian tube may lose its ability to move if the woman has ever had inflammation caused by gonorrhea or Chlamydia, for example. During the process of healing from these inflammations, adhesions develop around the Fallopian tube, keeping it from trapping the ovum. In a worst case scenario, the whole tube can become blocked and prevent pregnancy, altogether.

When the ovum is enclosed in the Fallopian tube, the conditions surrounding the ovum are as compatible as inside of the follicle. The ovum will now mature steadily as it gets ready for meeting up with the sperm. As it waits for its male “mate”, it slowly rolls over the top of the folds of the membrane. While that is happening, the empty follicle is changing. The hormone producing cells which were enclosed in the follicle during ovulation, start increasing in size and changing their hormone production. The most prevalent hormone being produced to this point was estrogen. However, now the corpus luteum will start to produce progesterone in its place.

The brain and pituitary gland sends information to the ovary and if that information changes, it can result in more than one ovum being released during ovulation. The ovum released is either from each of the ovaries, or two (or more) from the same ovary. It is then possible for twins or triplets to be conceived.

Would you believe after reading all of this that the ovulation process takes only about a minute or two from start to finish? It’s true!

DLDowney is an entrepreneur in internet website creation and marketing with previous experience in graphic arts.

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