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What Are The Symptoms Of Ovulation?

Knowing the symptoms of ovulation is important if you are trying to get pregnant. Trying to conceive can be a complicated process, both physically and emotionally, so knowing all you can about the process can help you be successful in your journey towards being pregnant.

What is Ovulation?

Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovarian follicle. If you have a normal 28 day cycle, this usually occurs around cycle day 14, counted from your first day of menstrual bleeding. For women who have longer or shorter cycles, the cycle day that ovulation occurs can vary, but it will typically be about 14 days before their period is due. Once the egg is released, it travels to the fallopian tubes where it can be fertilized by sperm. An egg typically can only be fertilized for 12 to 48 hours after ovulation. After that time frame, the egg starts to disintegrate, and is passed in about 2 weeks when the menstrual flow begins.

Pinpointing the Day of Ovulation

If you are trying to get pregnant, you will need to know the day that you are supposed to ovulate. This will allow you to plan to have intercourse at the optimal time. An easy way to predict ovulation is by using an ovulation calendar and counting your cycle days. The first day of your period is the first day of your cycle or cycle day 1 (CD1). If you have a 28 day cycle, you will generally ovulate around cycle day 14. If you do not have a 28 day cycle, but your cycles are usually the the same length, like 33 days between periods, you can subtract 14 days from the total length and find out when you will be most likely ovulating. In this example, 33 day cycle minus 14 days equals ovulation at around cycle day 19. If you do suffer from irregular cycles, this method may prove very difficult as it will be hard to pinpoint exact ovulation. There are several other methods that you can use to determine ovulation.

Physical Symptoms of Ovulation

The body shows many different physicals signs of ovulation. Bleeding during the time of ovulation is common for some women. The bleeding should be light, light pink or orange in color, and should only last 24 to 48 hours. Cramping may also be present during ovulation and generally only takes place on one side of the abdomen. Cervical mucus changes are also present. During the ovulation process, cervical mucus will take on a stringing, stretchy appearance, much like egg whites. This mucus serves to protect the sperm and help the sperm reach the final destination of the egg. This fertile mucous should be present on the days surrounding ovulation. To monitor this process, you can keep a log of your cervical mucus each day. Check it several times a day to ensure that you do not miss any changes.

Basal Body Temperature and Ovulation

Another great way to see, if you are ovulating, is to take your basal body temperature. This is the temperature that your body is at upon waking. Your temperature needs to be taken at the same time each morning before you even get out of bed. While it cannot predict in advance when you will ovulate, it can show you a small rise in your temperature after you have already ovulated. This rise in temperature is a good indicator of ovulation but has to be tracked over several months to see if you have a consistent rise every month. Based on your charting of your temperature, you will be able to figure out what day in your cycle you will be likely to ovulate. In order to get started with this method, you will need a good basal thermometer.

Using all of these things above can help you accurately predict when your body will ovulate, giving you an accurate timeframe for trying to conceive. Be sure to keep records of everything including your temperature, cervical mucus, and cycle days. This will help you to optimize your chances at becoming pregnant.

Last modified: March 2, 2014

The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.