It is important for any woman trying to get pregnant to be familiar with their ovulation cycle. You need to be aware of the fact that ovulation signs vary from woman to woman. It is possible that you may not even experience any of the listed signs!
So, what exactly is Ovulation?
To put it in simple terms, ovulation is the release of an egg from your ovary. Unless fertilized this egg will live only up to about 24 hours. You only ovulate about 400 times in your entire lifetime! So you better be aware of the signs to tell when you are ovulating.
When do you generally Ovulate?
Time of ovulation is different for every woman. For some it happens like clockwork and for others it may vary each month. Generally most women ovulate 15 days before their next period.
Read More: How To Use An Ovulation Stick
What are the signs and symptoms that will help me know if I’m Ovulating?
There are certain signs that your body gives to let you know when you are ovulating. Once you learn to read these symptoms you can increase your chances of getting pregnant by timing your intercourse right.
Here are 11 signs of ovulation that you can look out for.
1. Ovulation Pain or Mittelschmerz
Some women are known to feel a sudden and constant pain in their lower abdomen. This is ovulation pain or mittelschmerz. This is a German word meaning mid (mittel) pain (schmerz). It is important to understand that a mild sensation of pain is normal, but a painful ovulation is not. Severe pain may be an indication of ovarian cysts or adhesions from previous abdominal surgery, or other heath issues. Investigate painful ovulation immediately in consultation with your doctor. Proper and timely diagnosis is paramount in case you are trying to conceive.
2. Change in Cervical Fluid
Cervical fluids that resemble “egg whites” is a sign that you are near ovulation or are ovulating. During each cycle your cervical mucus goes through a pattern of changes under the influence of hormones. At peak fertility, your CF should resemble raw egg white in consistency. Using a finger and thumb you should be able to stretch it more than an inch. This is really fertile CF, it provides the best environment for sperm.
3. Position change of cervix
Your cervix connects your vagina to your uterus and acts as a barrier which opens to allow sperm to enter your uterus when you’re fertile and stays closed at other times. You can learn when you’re approaching ovulation by identifying the changes your cervix goes through. Your cervix position, opening and texture changes during the fertile phase of your cycle. These changes can be observed by feeling your cervix. The changes are easy to learn, but should be observed over a few cycles to ensure you are confident in identifying the changes. As you enter your fertile window and approach ovulation your cervix will change. It will feel softer (like your lips), higher, open and wet (due to the presence of cervical fluid). This is known as ‘SHOW’ (soft, high, open, wet).
4. Rise in Basal Body Temperature
Tracking your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is definitely one of the best ways to detect if and when you are ovulating. Here is how you can track your BBT.
- Starting from the first day of your period take your temperature each morning at the same time, as soon as you wake.
- Take your temperature in your mouth by inserting the tip of the thermometer under your tongue and push it toward the back where the tongue meets the bottom of the mouth.
- Do this each day and record the temperatures on a chart
- You will notice the temperature shifts and it stays higher until the end of your cycle. The shift happens about one to two days after ovulation.
It’s important to take your temperature before it naturally increases from movements, so it’s a good idea to set an alarm and take it before even sitting up in bed.
5. Slight Spotting
Some women experience slight spotting during ovulation. This happens due to a drop of estrogen at the time of ovulation. The drop in estrogen causes the endometrium (uterus lining) to decrease a little, causing slight spotting known as ovulation bleeding.
6. Increased Sexual Desire
Some women have noticed increase in sexual drive during ovulation. This is definitely one sign of ovulation. However, keep in mind that your libido can be enhanced by any number of things. It may be that you are just in the mood for it.
7. Feeling Wetter
Not only does your cervical fluid become thinner and stretchier as ovulation approaches, it also becomes more abundant. You may not be able to tell whether or not if your cervical fluid has changed to the right consistency, but you should be able to observe how your body feels. When you are ovulating you are more likely to feel wetter. Your vagina is also likely to be more lubricated during sexual intercourse. This is not to be confused with the arousal fluid that your body makes. During ovulation you are likely to feel wetter throughout the day and not just during sex.
8. Heightened Senses
During ovulation the hormone’s in your body can influence heightened senses. These can include senses of smell, taste, oe vision. In the fertile phase of ovulation your body is primed to be more attracted to the male pheromone androstenone.
Another sign of ovulation to look out for is abdominal bloating. You may notice slight bloating when you are ovulating. You may feel slightly bloated in the abdomen. This symptom can be caused by increased water retention due to a rise in the hormone estrogen. If you notice your clothes feeling a little tigher or a little extra bloat in your abdominal area, chances are you could be ovulating.
10. Breast Tenderness
Some women experience tenderness in their breasts just before or after ovulation. This is related to the hormones in your body, getting ready for ovulation and the potential of pregnancy. Right after you ovulate, your progesterone levels go up. This increase in progesterone may be what causes your breasts to feel tender during ovulation. In some women the breast tenderness is similar to that felt during premenstrual period. This can be noticed by some around the time they ovulate. However, some women ay not notice this until after they ovulate. In either case breast tenderness is a good sign that you are ovulating or have ovulated recently.
11. Nausea or headaches
Some women feel nauseous or have headaches before ovulation. This may be due to the hormone changes occurring in your body. The hormone changes during ovulation are likely to leave you more sensitive to changes around you causing feeling of nausea or headache.
In case you aren’t feeling any of the above signs and symptoms of ovulation try finding out with an ovulation prediction kit (OPK). This is a popular choice for many women to find out whether they are ovulating.
There are two types of kit available, those that check urine, and those that check saliva. Select the type you are more comfortable with and follow the instructions to find out whether you are ovulating.
Knowing when you’re most fertile from your ovulation signs can increase your chances of getting pregnant sooner.
With a little bit of practice you’ll get to know the pattern of events that happen each cycle and be able to pinpoint when you’re ovulating.
The best time to have intercourse is in the two days leading up to ovulation day.