Can your daughter explain to you what happens during ovulation?
This is a pivotal point in the menstrual cycle when an egg is released. It is important for her to understand the timing and what happens next. Here are the basics you can teach her.
In this anatomy figure from my book I’m a Girl, Hormones!, you can see eggs at different stages of development inside one of the ovaries. The little blue circle is one egg escaping from the ovary and being guided into the fallopian tube that will take it to the uterus. The moment this happens is called ovulation. In the menstrual cycle this typically occurs about midway through the cycle. We usually describe a menstrual cycle as 28 days but it can certainly be more or less by a few days.
What happens to the egg in the uterus?
It takes about 4 days for the egg to travel from the ovary to the uterus.
- If the egg joined with a sperm at the beginning of the fallopian tube, it is called a fertilized egg. When it arrives in the uterus, it attaches itself to the inside lining of the uterus, the dark orange layer in the anatomy figure that is called the endometrium. The fertilized egg continues to grow into a baby inside the uterus.
- If the egg did not join with a sperm in the fallopian tube, it will simply disappear when it arrives in the uterus as described in the anatomy figure.
The Brain is in Control
The brain is actually controlling when ovulation happens. It does this by sending hormones in the blood to the ovaries and directs one of the ovaries to release an egg. This is what happens during each menstrual cycle.
If your daughter has not begun her period yet, she might not have a period every month once she starts. It takes a little time for the brain and the ovaries to get their timing organized together. Make sure she knows this is normal in the beginning.
Let’s educate our daughters so they can make mature choices about their body and not guess what is happening. This will help them stay healthy and in control.