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Monthly Cycle
A Women's body function before and after ovulation is very complex and amazing!  This page will help you understand exactly what takes place and why in a women's monthly cycle.  Three things are necessary to become pregnant.  The egg, the sperm and a vehicle in which the sperm travels - cervical fluid.  We will take you through a women's monthly cycle step by step and show you what takes place both with and without a successful conception.
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The Follicle & the Egg
Follicles are what house each individual egg.   A hormone called FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) enables your body to mature 15 to 20 eggs in each ovary.  The follicles that hold the eggs will start to grow and produce estrogen which is a very necessary hormone for ovulation to occur.  Ovulation is the actual process of one ovary releasing an egg from the most dominant follicle.  The time it takes to ovulate is approximately two weeks from the first day of your monthly cycle but will vary from woman to woman and even within your own cycles due to your body waiting until you have reached a sufficient level of estrogen.  When you have reached this level your body will release a surge of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) which is the hormone that causes the egg to actually burst through the ovarian wall.  The other eggs will eventually ripen and disintegrate.   The egg then ventures into the pelvic cavity and what happens next will decide if conception will occur. 
 
A Cycle Without Conception
If the egg is not picked up and drawn into the fallopian tubes no pregnancy will take place.  The follicle that held the egg will collapse on itself becoming a corpus luteum.   The presence of the corpus luteum is what constitutes the luteal phase of a women's cycle.  It will remain behind after the release of the egg on the interior ovarian wall and will start to produce yet another hormone called progesterone.  Progesterone is responsible for three things.  Prevents the other eggs from being released during that cycle,  strengthens and thickens the uterine lining (endometrium) and causes all of the fertility indicators (waking body temps, cervical fluid and position) to change.

If pregnancy does not take place the uterine lining - endometrium is shed which causes the cyclical bleeding from the uterus to occur which we all know as menstruation.  The first day of menstruation is the first day of a monthly cycle and the whole process begins again.
 

When Pregnancy Occurs
When the egg enters the pelvic area it is swept into one of the fallopian tubes by fingerlike projections called fimbria.   Sperm travels up the fallopian tube by way of cervical fluid.  Fertilization occurs in the outer portion of the tube when the sperm penetrates the egg.  The now fertilized egg will travel down to the uterus which takes  approximately 6 to 8 days and will burrow into the uterine lining.     

The burrowed egg immediately starts to release HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) which is referred to as the pregnancy hormone and is what is detected to give a positive pregnancy test result.   HCG communicates to the corpus luteum to stay alive longer than the normal 12 to 16 days.  The lengthened life of the corpus luteum enables continued release of progesterone which is responsible for sustaining the uterine lining (supplying nutrients and oxygen to the fetus) until the placenta can take over and continue to provide for your ever growing precious fetus.