What Are The Symptoms Of Ovulation?
Ovulation is a release of a mature egg from a follicle that developed in the ovary. It generally occurs around day 14 of a 28-day menstrual period. Once released, the egg is capable of being fertilized for 12 to 48 hours before it begins to disintegrate. Even though there are a number of days of the month when a woman is fertile, she is most fertile during the days around ovulation. Making love, on alternate days in that week is a good strategy, if you are planning to conceive.
If you are attempting conception, predicting your ovulation period can enhance your chances of getting pregnant. The easiest and least technical method of predicting ovulation involves simply counting days. Our ovulation calendar provides an easy and free way to learn about your most fertile times.
When counting days in an attempt to pin point ovulation, the first day of your period, when you start bleeding, is commonly 14 days after your ovulation.
If you have a regular cycle, then this method can work for you. For example, if you have a perfect 30-day cycle, you will ovulate around day 16 (30-14=16). Day 1 is the first day of your next period. Women who frequently miss periods or have widely varying cycles will gain little information from this method. It is best to combine this method with others in order to get a more accurate determination of when you are ovulating.
A better natural method involves noticing physical symptoms, which deal with ovulation such as basal body temperature, cervical mucus changes and others like lower abdominal pains, which are symptoms of ovulation. The body temperature chart is a daily recording of body temperature, which is an indicator of ovulation (body temperature will rise after ovulation). Cervical mucus monitoring involves examining the mucus that is secreted from the cervix, which enables you to predict the time of ovulation.
Basal Body Temperature
Another way for you to know if you are ovulating is to keep a record of where you are in your menstrual cycle. The Basal Body Temperature chart records the change in temperature that occurs after ovulation. It cannot predict when ovulation will occur in a given cycle, but by looking at records from a few cycles you can notice a pattern from which ovulation can be estimated.
The best way to record and monitor body temperature is with a BBT chart. You can download a free blank Basal Body Temperature chart in two different formats: PDF or Excel Spreadsheet. This chart also includes an area to record your Cervical Mucus assessments.
A BBT chart provides a good visual basis for determining ovulation:
* Make sure that day one on the chart is the first day of menstruation.
* Every morning, before getting out of bed or going to the bathroom, take your temperature. The use of special basal body thermometers is highly recommended for accurate results. Also, the same thermometer should be used every time.
* Make note of any lack of sleep, drinking alcohol, fever, illness, or emotional stress. It is also helpful to describe the condition of any mucus or discharge.
Just after ovulation, there should be a rise of approximately 0.4-0.6 degrees Fahrenheit (about 0.2 degrees Celsius). The day of ovulation there will be a slight temperature shift. The following two days will climb progressively higher. The rise on the day of ovulation is not distinguishable from the normal ups and downs in the entire pre-ovulatory phase. It is only recognized in retrospect when it forms an upward line with the two days afterward. The post-ovulatory temperatures remain at this new, higher level, until menses when they drop and start the cycle over again. If you are pregnant, your basal body temperature will stay at an elevated level. Due to the fact that the temperature shift happens during ovulation, if you are trying to get pregnant, charting your bbt for at least two months will be necessary so you can determine the point BEFORE ovulation when you are most fertile.
Cervical Mucus Monitoring
The presence and tactile consistency of your cervical mucus undergoes a number of changes during your menstrual cycle. By observing changes in cervical fluid, you can predict ovulation – your most fertile time for conceiving a baby.
Cervical Mucus Chart
One of the purposes of cervical mucus during ovulation is to sustain the sperm in a healthy medium and to allow it to move freely through the cervix. Logically, there will be an increase in cervical mucus at ovulation, as well as a change in texture – the mucus becomes more clear, “stretchable”, and slippery.
Using clean fingers, or if you prefer, toilet paper, you can examine your cervical fluid. Prior to ovulation, during non-fertile periods, you will experience a dryness (or lack of cervical mucus). Gradually, as you approach ovulation, the cervical mucus will increase, though the consistency will be “sticky” and the color will be white, yellow, or cloudy in nature.
Directly prior to ovulation, cervical fluid will increase greatly, and now the mucus will be semi-transparent, slippery, with the consistency of “raw egg white”. This is your most fertile period and ovulation will take place at about this time.
Products for Fertile Cervical Mucus
If you find that your cervical mucus is not reaching the “raw egg white” stage, you may want to try a lubricant like Pre-Seed. Pre-Seed is the only truly sperm friendly lubricant currently on the market at this time, and many people have found success in getting pregnant while using it.
Mittelschmerz/Lower Abdominal Discomfort
About one-fifth of women actually feel ovulatory activity, which can range from mild aching to twinges of sharp pain. This ovulation symptom, called Mittelschmerz, may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and is usually noticed in the right side of lower abdomen.