Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The wonders of Nature in a woman’s fertility cycle

Ovulation--the release of an ovum by the ovary--is the most important event of the fertile cycle; it occurs only once at a moment in time during the cycle, even when more than one ovum is released.

The ovulatory mechanism also produces the two ovarian hormones, oestradiol and progesterone.

Oestradiol is produced alone by the developing follicle before ovulation; it stimulates the glands of the cervix to secrete a particular type of mucus ("mucus with fertile characteristics") which is essential for the sperm to pass through the cervix and reach the ovum. Oestradiol also stimulates growth of the endometrium lining the uterus (womb).

After ovulation, progesterone and oestradiol are produced by the corpus luteum which forms from the ruptured follicle. This progesterone causes the abrupt change in the mucus which occurs immediately after ovulation and defines the Peak symptom.

Progesterone also prepares the oestrogen-primed endometrium for implantation of the fertilized ovum.

In the absence of pregnancy, production of oestradiol and progesterone begins to decline approximately 7 days after ovulation and this results in shedding of the endometrium as menstrual bleeding 11-16 days after ovulation.

The Billings Ovulation Method utilises the changes in cervical mucus production as observed by the woman herself for identifying the underlying events of the ovulatory cycle.
Source: Pituitary and Ovarian Hormones of a Woman's Reproductive Cycle
by J.B. Brown D.Sc. Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, Australia

WOOMB - World Organisation of the Ovulation Method Billings

- My wife and I, with the CFC Prolife Ministry, took a refresher/update teacher’s course for Natural Family Planning (NFP) conducted by WOOMB Phils. last weekend. I am sharing some material above and some other information here.

- The typical mentrual cycle is around 28 days, wherein ovulation occurs only once. At this time, the egg is available for fertilization from 12 to 24 hours, the only window where a woman is capable of conceiving within her entire menstrual cycle (of 28 days). NFP practitioners determine this fertile window by means of the Billings Ovulation Method (BOM) , in order to achieve or postpone pregnancy.

- BOM is effective regardless of the length/ regularity of a woman’s menstrual cycle.

- Mothers who fully breastfeed their child will not ovulate for up to 6 months. This is nature’s way of spacing births and protecting the health of the mother. I also learned that the act of breastfeeding also releases hormones for the fast natural healing of wounds and stress of child-bearing. Breast milk also contains natural ingredients that strengthen the baby’s immune system and food for brain development at the crucial 2-month period.

- I am amazed at the way natural hormones interact with the woman’s body for fertility, health, and child-care. It is a wonderfully intricate and amazing mechanism.

- Nature is great. God be praised.

No comments: