Ovulation is an amazing part of your menstrual cycle. Sure, periods get a ton of attention – and rightly so – but ovulation is a major player too. This is the phase of the menstrual cycle in which an ovary will release an egg into a fallopian tube. If you’re trying to have a baby and having intercourse, this is when that egg will patiently to be fertilized by some friendly sperm. But if the egg remains unfertilized, nature’s monthly gift will arrive. Certainly, the blood and tissue that accompanies a period is a big sign that, well, you’re menstruating. But there are actually also some really clear signs of ovulation.
Five ovulation signs to look for
And if you’re TTC with a partner, being aware of when you’re ovulating can be immensely important – since it’s during your fertile window surrounding ovulation when conception is possible – and let you know whether you’ll want to plan to set aside some time for baby-making. Getting pregnant isn’t always especially easy, but to be able to identify when you’re ovulating can help you on your journey toward pregnancy – and hopefully help you conceive that much faster.
1) Low basal body temperature
Basal body temperature, your lowest body temperature in any given day, tends to dip slightly just prior to ovulation and spike sharply immediately afterwards. If you’ve kept a careful log of your BBT, a dip in temperature is one of the best indicators that ovulation is imminent. The best way to tell if a dip has occurred is by carefully tracking your BBT every morning, and Ovia can help with that!
2) Mittelschmerz pains
Many women notice these “middle pains” on one side of the lower abdomen before and during ovulation. The cause of mittelschmerz is not entirely known, but most doctors believe it has to do with the rupturing follicle that houses the egg. Keep in mind that these are minor pains, and can be confused with period cramps. If major pain occurs consult a doctor immediately.
3) Feeling frisky
Believe it or not, many women report increased sex drive and feelings of excitement and confidence during or just before ovulation. While emotional symptoms are subjective and can be indicative of other bodily situations, being turned on while ovulating is your body’s way of telling you that babies might be on the horizon.
4) Fertile cervical fluid
Ever wondered about the fluids inside your cervix? Produced naturally by your body, cervical fluid starts out dry or thick at the beginning of the cycle, then becomes thin and stretchy while you’re ovulating. To determine if your cervical fluid indicates fertility, insert a clean finger into your vagina and observe the fluid you pick up by rubbing it between your fingers.
5) Positive ovulation tests
Ovulation tests, which search your urine for the presence of the hormone that instructs your ovary to release an egg, are taken by urinating on a cup or test directly. While taking ovulation tests can help let you know when you’re ovulating, relying on them effectively halves your fertile window because they do not notify you of ovulation more than a day or two in advance. As with all of the above signs, ovulation tests work best in conjunction with other ovulation tracking techniques.
- Bruno Scarpa, David B Dunson, Bernardo Colombo. “Cervical mucus secretions on the day of intercourse: An accurate marker of highly fertile days.” European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. Volume 125, Issue 1, Pages 72-78. Web. 3/1/2006.
- Samantha J. Dawson MSc, Kelly D. Suschinsky PhD, Martin L. Lalumiere PhD. “Habituation of Sexual Responses in Men and Women: A Test of the Preparation Hypothesis of Women’s Genital Responses.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Volume 10, Issue 4, pages 990-1000. Web. 4/13/2015.
- Stephen R. Pallone, MD and George R. Bergus, MD. “Fertility Awareness-Based Methods: Another Option for Family Planning.” Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. vol. 22 no. 2 147-157. Web. March-April 2009.
- “Ovulation Detection.” ASRM. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 2006. Web.