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How ovulation works

Ovulation is the point at which one of the two ovaries releases a mature egg (ovum). This usually happens around the middle of the menstrual cycle, so if your period arrives every 28 days, you ovulate about Day 14 after the start of a period.
The process if triggered by hormones produced by the pituitary gland.
Once the egg (ovum) is released it travels down a Fallopian tube which connects to the uterus (womb), and on the way may – if sperm are present – be fertilised. If the egg is fertilised it will then embed into the womb lining. If it isn’t then it’s shed along with the womb lining, and that’s a period.
One way to know you’re ovulating is that vaginal discharge changes and becomes clear and stringy – rather like raw egg whites. Some women feel a sharp twinge for a minute or two, or have a bit of a dull ache in their abdomen or back for a few hours while ovulating – and that’s called Mittleschmerz (German for middle pain). No need to worry, that’s perfectly normal.

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