Definition - What does Periovulatory mean?
Periovulatory refers to the stage of a woman's menstrual cycle between ovarian stimulation and ovulation. This is the time when ovarian follicles mature so that an egg can be released during ovulation. A woman is most fertile during the last few days of the periovulatory phase and the day of ovulation.
The periovulatory phase is also called the follicular phase.
FertilitySmarts explains Periovulatory
Ovulation is divided into three different phases:
- The Periovulatory or Follicular Phase
- The Ovulatory Phase
- The Postovulatory or Luteal Phase
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) released by the pituitary gland initiates the growth of ovarian follicles. This period of follicular growth is known as the periovulatory or follicular phase.
During the periovulatory phase, multiple ovarian follicles begin the process of maturation. This process causes a layer of cells around the egg to expand and become more like mucus. The growing follicles release estrogen, which causes a change in cervical mucus and growth of the uterine lining.
Eventually, one of the maturing follicles begins to grow at a faster rate than the others. This dominant follicle will be the only one to release an egg at the time of ovulation.
The periovulatory phase occurs in the days leading up to ovulation. This phase, along with ovulation, makes up the fertile window of a woman's cycle.