Ovulation and Menstruation

15 Thing Every Girls Should know about Difference Between Ovulation and Menstruation

 Ovulation and Menstruation

Ovulation and Menstruation are integral parts of the menstrual cycle, with ovulation releasing an egg for potential fertilization, while menstruation involves shedding the uterine lining if conception doesn’t occur.

Ovulation marks an essential phase in the menstrual cycle when an egg matured enough for fertilization is released from its ovary and available for fertilization by sperm. Ovulation typically happens around midcycle due to an LH surge. Signs of ovulation include changes in cervical mucus production, mild pelvic discomfort, and temperature fluctuations as it allows fertilization by sperm during this period.

Ovulation plays an essential part in fertility during ovulation, an egg becomes fertilized by the sperm phase and this period allows fertilization to take place and play its part in fertility.

Menstruation refers to the process by which menstrual bleeding occurs if no fertilization has taken place and marks the start of a new menstrual cycle and usually lasts several days.

Menstruation is controlled by hormonal shifts including drops in estrogen and progesterone levels when pregnancy does not take place and symptoms of menstruation include cramps, bloating, and mood changes during this timeframe.

Understanding the difference between ovulation and menstruation can be essential to reproductive health, family planning, and overall well-being. Tracking these processes enables individuals to make educated decisions regarding their bodies and fertility.

what is Ovulation?

 Ovulation and Menstruation
Figure 01: Ovulation and Menstruation

Ovulation is a critical physiological event in the menstrual cycle of sexually mature females. Ovulation involves the release of a fully developed egg (ovum) from one of the ovaries at about the midpoint of each 28-day menstrual cycle; typically this happens around day 16-17 of the menstruation cycle length. Ovulation is controlled through intricate hormonal interactions between FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) produced by the pituitary gland.

As menstruation advances, an ovarian follicle with the developing egg continues to expand and mature until, when LH levels spike – typically on day 14 of 28-day cycle menstruation cycles – this triggers its release into the fallopian tube where it remains viable for fertilization for approximately 24 hours before dissipating completely.

Ovulation is a crucial aspect of reproduction as it marks a window of fertility. If a sexual encounter occurs within this fertile window, an egg could become fertilized by sperm and result in its fertilization by both. A fertilized embryo could implant within the uterine wall to become pregnant if fertilization happens at this point in time.

Ovulation can be affected by various factors, including stress, hormonal imbalances, and certain medical conditions. Tracking ovulation can provide individuals with valuable insight into their reproductive cycle, optimize chances of conception, and even assist natural family planning methods by helping individuals understand when ovulation will happen.

Monitoring changes in cervical mucus consistency or basal body temperature or using an ovulation predictor kit are valuable ways to gain valuable information regarding when an egg will be released from ovaries and give individuals and couples control in their reproductive journeys.

What Happens During Ovulation?

  • Hormonal Changes: To start off the menstruation cycle, hormonal adjustments need to occur that regulate it. An increased release of LH from the anterior pituitary gland occurs with rising FSH levels – as LH becomes an indicator of an impending menstrual cycle.
  • Dominant Follicle Development: When numerous immature eggs begin to mature in various ovarian follicles, one becomes dominant and continues to mature into maturity, increasing estrogen production which has an indirect positive feedback loop effect on LH production.
  • LH Surge: Once a dominant follicle reaches maturity, its increased estrogen production leads to an abrupt spike in LH levels that triggers final stages of ovulation.
  • Ovum Release: An increase in LH causes mature follicles to rupture, discharging an egg (ovum) into the pelvic cavity – this process is called ovulation.
  • Fimbriae and Fallopian Tube: At the end of each fallopian tube are finger-like projections called fimbriae that sweep over an ovary to catch released eggs that have fallen away, before gradually drawing it further along via ciliary movements of its inner lining and back down again into its body.
  • Fertile Window: After an egg has been released into its fallopian tube it has approximately 24 hours before degenerating into infertile. If this timeframe passes without fertilization occurring then degeneration occurs and degeneration sets in.
  • Corpus Luteum Formation: After ovulation, the ruptured follicle transforms into an endocrine structure known as the corpus luteum which produces progesterone to prepare the uterine lining for possible implanting embryos.
  • Potential Pregnancy: Fertilization can only happen successfully when two sperm meet an egg in the fallopian tube; once fertilization has taken place and fertilized eggs (zygote) begin to travel towards their final destination of implanting into uteri for implantation. Otherwise, the corpus luteum degenerates eventually leading to lower progesterone levels and eventual menstruation.

what is Menstruation?

Figure 02: Menstruation

Menstruation (commonly referred to as periods) is a normal physiological process in sexually mature females as part of their reproductive cycle, during which menstruating women shed the uterine lining when fertilized eggs don’t implant successfully in the uterus and shed their contents as menstruation occurs. Menstruation typically lasts a few days with vaginal bleeding as its hallmark symptom.

Menstrual cycles consist of distinct stages menstruation, follicular phase, and luteal phase. During the menstrual phase, any excess uterine lining no longer needed due to potential pregnancy is shed through the vagina and bleeding typically lasts 3-7 days on average.

Hormonal changes play an integral part in menstruation. A drop in estrogen and progesterone levels triggers menstruation by leading to a shed of the uterine lining, helping eliminate potentially harmful pathogens while simultaneously providing space for new healthy tissue formation in preparation for next month’s menstruation cycle.

Menstruation brings with it many physical and emotional changes for its participants. Common symptoms may include abdominal cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, and fatigue – each individual may experience them differently though these side effects should generally be expected as part of menstrual cycles.

Understanding menstruation is crucial to overall reproductive health, family planning, and well-being. Tracking one’s menstrual cycle provides key insight into fertility status. Speaking openly about this subject helps break taboos and empower individuals to manage their menstruation cycle effectively.

What Happens During Menstruation?

  • Menstrual Cycle Phases: Menstruation is part of the menstrual cycle, which comprises three main parts – menstruation phase, follicular phase and luteal phase – in sequence.
  • Change in Hormone Levels: Once the luteal phase comes to an end, levels of estrogen and progesterone – hormones responsible for maintaining your uterine lining during previous cycles – begin to decline.
  • Uterine Lining Breakdown: Low hormone levels cause blood flow to the endometrium to decrease, as its supply vessels tighten without enough support from hormones; without hormone support, these blood vessels constrict further leading to its breakdown and leading to breakdown of its protective lining.
  • Uterine Contractions: When hormone-like substances known as prostaglandins are released, causing contractions to the uterine muscles that help expel disintegrated tissue and blood from within it; leading to menstruation bleeding.
  • Menstrual Bleeding: Shedding of the uterine lining causes vaginal bleeding that will typically last several days and signal the start of another menstrual cycle.
  • Menstrual Fluid Composition: Menstrual fluid contains blood, tissue from the uterine lining and cervical mucus; its color and consistency may change during each menstruation cycle.
  • Hormonal Reset: As the body sheds the old uterine lining, its hormones reset themselves readying itself for another chance at pregnancy in an upcoming cycle.
  • Symptoms: Many individuals experiencing menstruation can experience both physical and psychological discomfort during menstruation, including abdominal cramps (dysmenorrhea), bloating, breast tenderness, mood swings, fatigue and headaches.
  • Menstrual Bleeding Lasting Three to Seven Days: While individual periods may last three to seven days, this will vary from person to person.
  • Cycle Reset: Menstruation signals the start of a new menstrual cycle and, eventually, leads to the development of new follicles for ovulation.

Symptoms of Ovulation and Menstruation

Menstrual symptoms:

  • Vaginal Bleeding:  During menstruation, vaginal bleeding typically lasting three to seven days before an outbreak occurs and abdominal cramping known as dysmenorrhea can create discomfort or pain within the lower abdomen. Several days prior, usually three or seven days’ of Vaginal bleeding is followed by menstrual cramping, as it leads up until an outbreak takes place and can last up to seven days before it begins. Cramping or dysmenorrhea, which occurs prior to menstruation, often known by their symptoms.
    Breast Tenderness and Sensitivity: Many individuals report experiencing soreness or sensitivity in their breasts. Hormonal fluctuations may contribute to mood swings ranging from irritation to sadness; whilst water retention causes abdominal swelling that causes feelings of fullness or discomfort in some.
  • Fatigue: Many women report feeling tired or fatigued when experiencing their period, due to hormonal shifts that cause headaches for some individuals and food cravings or appetite changes that arise during this time. Irritability may increase due to hormonal fluctuations causing further hormonal fluctuations which in turn increase irritation or sensitivity levels during these cycles.
    Back Pain: Lower back pain may be related to menstruation periods.
  • Acne: Hormonal fluctuations may contribute to acne breakouts.
  • Emotional Changes: Hormone changes may alter emotions, leading to greater emotional sensitivity.

Ovulation Symptoms: 

  • Changes to Cervical Mucus: Cervical mucus often becomes clear, slippery and stretchy like egg whites during this phase of fertility treatment.
  • Mittelschmerz (Ovulation Pain): Certain individuals may experience mild pelvic discomfort during ovulation while Breast Sensitivity can increase.
  • Increased Libido: Ovulation can result in an increase in sexual desire. A successful Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) result indicates the surge of LH that causes ovulation to take place, while basal body temperature changes after the event as LH spikes increase and trigger ovulation. Eventually these two effects combined may contribute to greater sexual desire than ever before!
  • Heightened Sensations: Some individuals report enhanced senses of taste and smell.
  • Cervical Alterations: Cervix may become soften and higher within vaginal canal. Increased Energy: Ovulation can bring with it an increase in energy.
  • Light Spotting: Release of Egg may result in minor amounts of spotting within vaginal canal area.
  • Sense of Attractiveness: Some individuals report feeling more attractive or confident.
  •  Ovulation Discharge: There may also be an increase in vaginal discharge during Ovulation Discharge.

How to Track Your Ovulation and Menstruation

Tracking both the menstrual cycle and ovulation can provide valuable insight into your reproductive health, fertility, and overall well-being.

Here are a few methods you can use:

  • Calendar Method: Track and record both the start and end dates of your menstrual periods on a calendar, then calculate its average length over several months. Predict ovulation by subtracting 14 days from when your next period should begin; keep this estimation flexible as your cycle length changes and basal body temperature (BBT) charts may help as well.
  • Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Charting: Measure your basal body temperature every morning before getting out of bed at an exact time and graph it over several months. Look out for any sudden rises of approximately 0.5-1degF just after ovulation has taken place; that will indicate it occurred successfully.
  • Monitoring Cervical Mucus Production: Maintain an awareness of changes to the cervical mucus throughout your cycle. At ovulation, cervical mucus turns clear, slippery and stretchy like egg whites – recording these alterations on a chart will allow you to better predict when fertile windows occur. Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) offer additional guidance.
  • Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs): These kits detect the increase of luteinizing hormone (LH) that occurs one or two days before you ovulate, typically starting several days beforehand. Follow the instructions included with each kit to check your urine daily until ovulation occurs – typically starting several days earlier than anticipated.
  • Mobile Apps & Online Trackers: Use menstrual cycle tracking apps or online tools to keep a record of your menstruation dates, symptoms, and any pertinent details. Some apps even feature predictive algorithms based on your data to estimate fertile days and predict when it might happen!
  • Physical Symptoms and Sensations: Stay alert for physical symptoms like mild pelvic pain (Mittelschmerz), breast tenderness and changes in libido around ovulation time, which some women can experience.
  • Seek Professional Help: If your cycles are irregular or you’re having trouble tracking ovulation, speaking to a healthcare provider or fertility specialist could be beneficial.

Why Tracking Your Cycle is Important for Fertility

Tracking your menstrual cycle is vitally important when it comes to fertility; by tracking changes such as ovulation, cervical mucus production and basal body temperature levels in your cycle you can pinpoint your most fertile days and increase your chances of conception.

  • By closely watching for any significant shifts such as ovulation or cervical mucus production you can:
  • Track Your Cycle To Pinpoint Ovulation: Monitoring your cycle enables you to pinpoint ovulation – the time when fertilization should occur – so you can direct all your efforts at having intercourse during that fertile window.
  • Enhance Fertility: Knowing when you’re most fertile enables you to plan sexual activity around ovulation to increase the odds that sperm meet egg.
  • Timing Intercourse Accurately: For couples trying to conceive, timing intercourse accurately can significantly increase their odds of conception.
  • Gain A Better Understanding: Tracking can provide invaluable insight into your body’s natural rhythms, variations, and any irregularities that might interfere with fertility.
  • Identification of Issues: Monitoring can alert you of irregular cycles or patterns that require medical intervention in the form of fertility issues that require further medical advice.
  • Empowerment: Tracking your cycle gives you knowledge about your reproductive health, helping inform decisions regarding family planning.
  • Natural Family Planning: Cycle tracking may assist those wanting to delay pregnancy by helping identify periods when conception is less likely.

Key Difference Between Ovulation and Menstruation

Here’s a concise comparison chart outlining the key differences between tracking your menstrual cycle for fertility:

Aspect Tracking for Fertility
Purpose Enhance chances of conception or pregnancy.
Focus Identifying fertile days in the cycle.
Method Variety Involves various methods: BBT, OPKs, cervical mucus, apps, etc.
Timing Centers around ovulation timing.
Targeted Intercourse Aims to have intercourse during fertile window.
Fertile Window Focuses on several days around ovulation.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Measures resting temperature for ovulation detection.
Cervical Mucus Observes changes in mucus consistency.
Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) Detects LH surge signaling ovulation.
Empowerment Provides knowledge and control over fertility journey.
Conception Planning Helps couples optimize timing for conception.
Safe Periods Enables identifying low-fertility days for avoiding pregnancy.
Irregular Cycles Can identify irregularities and potential issues.
Medical Assistance Aids in seeking medical help for fertility concerns.
Data-Driven Decisions Informs decisions based on tracked cycle patterns.


What is the best medicine for Ovulation?

  • Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid): Clomid is an oral medication commonly prescribed to induce ovulation by stimulating hormone release that trigger egg development and release.
  • Letrozole (Femara): Much like Clomid, Letrozole is another oral medication designed to stimulate ovulation – typically for women suffering from PCOS or an ovulation disorder.
  • Gonadotropins: When taken by injection, medications containing FSH and LH can stimulate your ovaries to produce eggs more rapidly and release them for fertilization.
  • Metformin: Metformin can provide women suffering from PCOS or insulin resistance with essential assistance to regulate hormones and improve ovulatory function.
  • Bromocriptine or Cabergoline: These medications can be used to treat hyperprolactinemia, where elevated prolactin levels disrupt ovulation.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Adopting healthier habits such as weight management, exercising regularly and eating well may help restore regular ovulation cycles.

What is the best medicine for Menstruation?

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Ibuprofen or naproxen can provide temporary relief of menstrual cramps while simultaneously relieving pain and inflammation.
  • Hormonal Birth Control: Birth control pills, patches, injections and intrauterine devices (IUDs) that release hormones may help regulate menstrual cycles by making periods lighter while relieving symptoms like cramps and PMS.
  • Tranexamic Acid: This medication helps women reduce heavy menstrual bleeding by encouraging blood clotting.
  • Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy offers women approaching menopause a potential solution to irregular periods and symptoms like hot flashes.
  • Oral Contraceptives (Birth Control Pills): It can help regulate periods, alleviate symptoms, and provide birth control.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Making healthy lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a nutritious diet, engaging in regular physical activity and stress reduction techniques as well as getting sufficient rest is proven to increase menstrual health.


Ovulation occurs around the middle of each menstrual cycle and involves hormonal fluctuations like an LH surge that results in cervical mucus changes or mild pelvic discomfort marking an opportunity for conception to take place.

Menstruation (commonly referred to as periods) occurs when the uterine lining sheds without a pregnancy occurring, marking a new menstrual cycle with vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramps, breast tenderness, and mood changes as it enters menstruation, follicular phase, and luteal phases – tracking these milestones is integral for family planning, reproductive health and understanding the body better.