You’ve reached a point in your life where starting a family is a priority. You’ve put away your birth control and look forward to being pregnant next month. Well, it would be nice if it worked like that. For some women, it does, but for others it takes a bit more planning.
Knowing the particular ovulation symptoms and signs of ovulation are important. Did you know that you can only get pregnant about six days in a month? You need to have sex around ovulation, or it is “I love you SO much” sex, not “baby making sex”.
What is Ovulation?
Wait! You mean getting pregnant takes more than just having sex? Yep! That’s what we mean. Ovulation is when your ovaries release an egg into your fallopian tubes. That is where the “baby making” official starts. If you are lucky, and there is sperm waiting, you could a fertilized egg and be on your way to becoming a mom.
There are many signs and symptoms of pending ovulation. You need to be aware of what to look out for. Ovulation occurs around day 14 for most women. That is assuming you have a average 28 day cycle. If you have a period that doesn’t come every month or is longer than average, when you will ovulate will vary.
Do you know how long your cycle is? If you are starting out on your trying to conceive journey, there is a chance that you really don’t know. It’s not that hard to figure out. All you need is the last two starts dates of your period and we can calculate it for you. If you go over here and enter your period start dates, we will let you know how long your cycle is.
Research shows that a healthy egg can be fertilized for 12 to about 24 hours after ovulation. After 24 hours, the egg will start to deteriorate and your chance to fertilize the egg will be gone. You are fertile for about 6 days each month, but the your best chances of getting pregnant occur at right before and after ovulation.
Physical Signs of Ovulation
Our bodies can exhibit many signs that ovulation is near or has occurred.
Increase in Sex Drive
Hormones causes the changes you experience during your menstrual cycle. The hormones surge as ovulation approaches and help help boost your sex drive. An increased sex drive is a natural ovulation sign that encourages you to have sex at a time you can get pregnant.
As ovulation approaches another symptom you may feel is sore or tingly breasts. Estrogen is the culprit for this. As ovulation approaches, the estrogen levels rise to trigger the surge of luteinizing hormone (the LH surge). The LH surge leads to ovulation. The rise in estrogen also causes the ducts in the breast to enlarge causing breast swelling and tenderness.
For some women, another sign of ovulation is slight spotting or bleeding during the time of ovulation. This spotting will usually be a light red, pink, or even a brown color, and really should only last for 24 hours.
Cramping on the side of ovulation is a also another common symptom for many women. Known as mittelschmerz, this pain often ranges from dull pain to sharp twinges. About one-fifth of all women experience pain at ovulation. This lower abdominal pain should last for less than 24 hours. Some women do not even notice any pain at all.
Cervical Mucus as an Ovulation Sign
Your cervical mucus goes through many changes during your menstrual cycle. As ovulation approaches, your cervical mucus will become slick and stretchy like raw egg whites. This consistency of cervical mucus is also called egg white cervical mucus (EWCM). It indicates that you are in your fertile period of your cycle. The main purpose of fertile cervical mucus is to support the sperm so that it can move easily through the cervix.
If your mucus is too thick, it will prevent the sperm from moving. If they can’t move, you won’t be able to get pregnant. There are supplements available that help improve the quality and quantity of your cervical mucus.
Using Ovultion Predictor Tests
If you are not sure whether you are ovulating, you can always use an ovulation prediction kit. Right before your egg is released, your body will release a surge of LH (luteinizing hormone). Ovulation tests work by detecting the surge in the LH hormone in your urine. A positive OPK with show the test line as dark, or darker than, the control line. The positive ovulation tests is a definite ovulation is on it’s way sign! After the surge, you will typically ovulate within 24 to 36 hours. Now would be a good time for your to get busy with your partner.
Basal Body Temperature
Another way to discover when you are ovulating is to check your basal body temperature (BBT). This is one of the more complicated ways to determine when you are ovulating. Monitoring your BBT will only tell you that you have already ovulated, not that you are going to ovulate. It is an “after ovulation” indicator. After recording your basal temperature over a few cycles, a pattern should emerge. You can use our bbt chart to record your daily readings.
There are certain things you need to take into consideration if you want to use this ovulation prediction method.
- Make sure that the first day indicated on the chart is the actual first day of your period, i.e. red blood, not pink blood.
- Take your temperature every morning before getting out of bed or going to the bathroom.
- Use a special basal body thermometer as this will give you the most accurate result.
- Remember to use the same thermometer each morning./li>
- Try to take your temperature at the same time. Set an alarm if you need to.
Right after ovulation, there will be a temperature rise of approximately 0.4-0.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a sign that ovulation has occured. The elevation in temperature will last the two days after you ovulated.
You can figure out when you ovulate each month by reviewing your charts. Once you have this information, you can plan to have sex before you expect ovulation to happen in you cycle.