Can you tell when you’re ovulating? If the answer is no, be assured that you’re not the only one.
Every month, millions of women around the world get their periods, but only a fraction have any idea of when their ovulation actually occurred.
Often, it’s only when a woman decides to try for a baby that she starts thinking about when ovulation actually happens in her menstrual cycle. It is at this time that some women realise that if they do not have sexual intercourse in the days leading up to and during the ovulation date, they cannot get pregnant.
But how do you know when you are ovulating, since it occurs inside the body, takes just a few minutes, and is completely invisible from the outside?
That’s what I’m going to tell you about in this article.
As your body heads towards ovulation, it gives you many clues that you may soon become pregnant. You just need to pay attention to these symptoms so that you know what to look for.
Five Signs that You’re About to Ovulate
Your body may react in different ways when it’s about to ovulate, but here are the five most common signs that ovulation will happen soon.
1. Your Vaginal Secretions Change
Leading up to ovulation, you will have increased vaginal discharge, and the appearance and consistency of these secretions will change. This discharge will come to resemble raw egg white and will be flexible and may be stretched several centimetres.
This increasing discharge may make you feel more moisture between the legs, not only during sexual activity, but in general. These vaginal secretions serve primarily to help the sperm reach the egg more easily.
2. An Ovulation Test Will Be Positive
About 24-37 hours before ovulation occurs, the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) will rise sharply in your body. When you take an ovulation test at this time, it will be positive.
Since LH levels can rise and fall very quickly, it is important to take ovulation tests regularly and often from the end of your menstrual period until you get your first positive ovulation test.
Ovulation tests come in the following forms:
- Test strips
- Stick tests
- Digital tests
3. A Fertility Monitor Shows High Fertility
If you are using a fertility monitor, you will need to take a test every morning from the start of your cycle until you have ovulated. You know that ovulation is approaching when the fertility monitor, either through symbols or words, tells you that you have reached maximum fertility.
4. Changes in Your Cervix and Uterus
For most of your cycle, your cervix can be felt low down in the vagina, and will be hard and closed. As you approach ovulation, however, a change occurs. Your cervix will change its position in the vagina so that it sits higher up. If you gently probe it with a finger, you may notice that the uterine mouth is softer and has opened up a little.
5. Your Saliva Changes
When the female sex hormone oestrogen rises in the runup to ovulation, research has discovered that a woman’s saliva changes due to increased salt content. Examination under a microscope will show a pattern that resembles a fern.
There are several reasons why many women do not use this method, and it has not become particularly popular in some parts of the world, because it can be hard to detect the pattern.
Other Ovulation Symptoms
All women are different, and their bodies also react differently during ovulation.
However, the following symptoms are typical for many women as they approach ovulation or while they are already ovulating.
It may be a sign of ovulation if you:
- Feel more sexy
- Have increased sexual desire
- Experience changes in the breasts
- Feel sick
- Experience greater sensitivity in the sense of smell, taste and sight
- Have vaginal spotting
- Have increased energy
- Feel bloated
About 20% of all women feel pain on one side of the abdomen during ovulation. This phenomenon has been called “mittelschmerz,” which means “pain in the middle” and refers to pain that occurs in the middle of the woman’s cycle.
Three Signs that Ovulation has Taken Place
You may be able to tell when ovulation has taken place by reading your body’s signals.
Your Body Temperature Rises
After ovulation, the follicle that released the egg becomes a corpus luteum and begins to produce the hormone progesterone. This hormone can cause your body temperature to rise 0.2 to 0.5 degrees.
This is a very subtle temperature difference, and most people do not notice it as they go about their daily life. However, if you take and chart your temperature every day of your cycle, you will notice a significant change in your temperature curve.
If you take a blood test seven days after ovulation, your progesterone level may be 25 or over. This is a sign that ovulation very likely has occurred.
Ovulation Test is Negative
If you receive a positive result on an ovulation test, there is no point in continuing to take more tests during that cycle. However, if you were to take another test, it would likely show up negative, because the level of LH will have fallen.
Concluding Remarks on Ovulation Symptoms
Once an egg is released from the ovary, it’s viable for about 12-24 hours.
If it does not come into contact with a sperm during this short time frame, the egg will perish and be expelled from the uterus during the woman’s next menstruation.
Sperm live longer than eggs, and the strongest sperm cells can survive inside the woman’s body for up to five days. A woman can only get pregnant in the days around ovulation. This means that, for most of her cycle, she will have little or no chance of conceiving.
In short, according to the natural course of events, a woman only needs to have sexual intercourse once at some point in the five days before ovulation in order to have a chance of getting pregnant. So, why not optimize your chances of getting pregnant by having intercourse multiple times and as close to the time of ovulation as possible?
In order to get the timing right, it is therefore important that you know when ovulation occurs in your cycle, and which symptoms and signs from your body you should pay attention to.
You can also try to use an ovulation calculator to work out which days in your cycle you can conceive. However, an ovulation calculator is most reliable if you have a regular cycle that falls within the normal range.
I hope this article has given you the tools to find out when you might be ovulating and what signals from your body you should may attention to so that you can optimize your chances of getting pregnant.