The fertility of a woman is mainly connected with the eggs that are stored in the ovaries. Females come with these eggs at the time of birth itself. When born, she will have around two million eggs in her ovaries, but with maturation, these eggs start dying out and around 400 of them are discarded through menstruation cycle alone.
During the beginning of the menstrual cycle, around three follicles start maturing inside the ovaries. Out of these three, the one that has matured the most is then pushed out through the Fallopian tubes and it eventually gets fertilized if it comes in contact with a healthy sperm within 12 – 24 hours of its release. This is the best time to get pregnant if couples are looking forward to having a child. This process of releasing the egg from the ovaries is known as ovulation. If the egg is not fertilized it will immediately start disintegrating and will be thrown out of the body along with menstrual fluid and uterine lining.
If the egg is not fertilized, the body will go back to its normal state and start preparing for the next menstrual cycle. If there has been a conception, there will be a stark decrease in the levels of estrogen and progesterone as the ovaries will stop releasing these hormones.
It is not easy to exactly predict the exact time of ovulation as it differs with every woman. The differences arise due to the different time duration required for the maturation of an egg during the luteal phase. The period from ovulation to the onset of menstruation generally remains the same. 20 to 38 years of age have been regarded as the most fertile for women.
Fertility in men
Women come with eggs at the time of birth. Men, however, keep on producing sperms throughout their lives. These are produced in millions and carry one sole purpose that is to fertilize the eggs. There are, however, differences in the quality and quantity of sperms produced.
When a man ejaculates, around 40 million sperms come out of the body. Therefore, there is a dire need for the men’s bodies to keep on producing sperms continuously. One sperm cell takes about 3 months to fully mature. After that, it will stay alive for almost one week within the male body.
The sperms are produced at the scrotum, a sac that hangs down below the body. This strategic placement of this special organ is so that it remains at a slightly lower temperature than the body so as to provide the most favorable condition for the development of sperms. The matured sperms are stored in the coiled tubes of the epididymis. At the time of sexual intercourse, they are mixed with semen and ejaculated.
The men are at their highest peak of fertility during the mid-twenties. Although there is a gradual decline in the fertility after that, it is not so stark as in the case of a woman.
If males and female have an intercourse during the peak times of their fertility, pregnancy is easier. When a healthy sperm fertilizes a healthy egg, pregnancy takes place and blastocyst formation starts. However, you are not officially pregnant until and unless the blastocyst attaches itself to the uterus wall.