How To Know If A Woman Is Ovulating – When are you most fertile? Here’s how to tune into your body to know when you’re most likely to conceive.
A recent Yale study found that 90 percent of women don’t know when they might get pregnant. Does that number include you? Before you try to increase fertility naturally, it is important to know how to read the signs of ovulation so that you know when your body is ready to conceive.
How To Know If A Woman Is Ovulating
So before moving on to ovulation symptoms it helps to know exactly what ovulation is. So, what is ovulation? Every month, your body goes through a rhythmic cycle that is pretty magical.
Sneaky Signs You’re Ovulating — Because, Tbh, It Can Be Hard To Tell
On the first day of your period, your estrogen and progesterone levels are low, which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone. FSH stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles, the fluid-filled sacs that contain your eggs.
Follicles release estrogen to thicken the uterine lining in preparation for possible pregnancy (can you believe your body does this every month?!) Estrogen levels rise around ovulation, which triggers your pituitary gland to release LH, or luteinizing hormone. LH tells your body to release an egg (or two that can lead to twins) from your ovaries, and you’ve just ovulated.
If there are no viable sperm to fertilize your egg, your hormone levels, namely estrogen and progesterone, will drop and your period will resume.
If the timing and conditions are right and there are viable sperm to meet the egg, you’ll get that BFP sign (aka you’re pregnant!). This ovulation event only happens once a month, which means there’s a limited window of fertility (although technically you can get pregnant during your period, it’s unlikely).
The Secret To Ovulation Is In Women’s Faces (but Men Can’t See It)
Ovulation lasts about 24 hours, but sperm have about 6 days in which to fertilize. An ovulation calculator will help you track exactly when this fertile window occurs; However, there are ovulation symptoms that can give you a clue.
How can you tell if you are ovulating? Let’s look at the ovulation signs below to help you target your optimal fertile window.
A normal awake body temperature is between 97.2 and 99.0. It decreases slightly when ovulation occurs, then increases .4 – 1 degree directly after ovulation. To track such fluctuations you need a special thermometer (where to buy) that is sensitive enough to track such fluctuations and take your temperature before doing anything – even while sitting in bed. Basal body temperature varies slightly from day to day, but during ovulation you will see a steady rise due to changes in the hormone progesterone.
While you may not get a superhero-like “Spidey sense,” ovulating women sometimes experience heightened sensations. Our body is more attracted to the male pheromone androstenone, and our nose is looking for it. Some women also notice an increased sense of taste and sight as some of the main signs of ovulation.
Ovulation 101: Cycles, Calculators, And Conception
#3. Ovulation Pain Symptoms: Do You Feel When You Ovulate? When the egg descends in the direction of expected fertilization, it can cause tenderness and pain in the pelvic floor or lower abdomen. This is technically called Mittelschmerz, a German word meaning middle pain, and lasts from a few minutes to a few hours. This discomfort occurs on one side or the other part of the body. (Side note: I had lower back pain that felt like sciatica and was almost suffocating! It only lasted a few hours and ended.) Signs of Ovulation Cramps Some women feel nothing, while others describe it as cramping. Light or mild abdominal pain. If ovulation is painful, something is wrong and a professional should solve the problem, because it can indicate a hormonal imbalance such as estrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency or PCOS. (Here, find natural ways to balance your hormones.) #4. Although spotting or bleeding is rare, one of the symptoms of ovulation is bleeding. Yes, some women experience light bleeding that occurs when a mature egg comes out of a ruptured follicle. Also, when estrogen in the body drops a little, the lining of the uterus thins a little, which can also lead to bleeding. Although it is not bright red, you may notice a slight pink or brown color in your cervical discharge. Slight spotting during ovulation does not necessarily mean that it is caused by the above factors. Ovarian cysts can also bleed a little, or a lot. You may also experience light spotting if the fertilized egg has implanted in the uterus. Implantation bleeding occurs about five days after ovulation and can be confused with ovulation bleeding. Tracking your cycle on an ovulation calculator will help you know what’s going on in your body. #5. Ovulation Mucus Signs Cervical mucus changes constantly from day to day, depending on where you are in your cycle. Immediately after menstruation, secretions will be dry or absent. As the vaginal canal prepares for sperm entry, the cervical mucus becomes thinner and smoother. (Cervical mucus is creamy after ovulation.) During ovulation, this discharge looks like raw egg white and spreads more than an inch between the fingertips. For young women this phase can last for about 5 days, but as we get older it shortens to 1-2 days. Ovulation Mucus signs are one of the most accurate signs of ovulation. #6. Nausea and Headaches Although not every woman has these symptoms, sometimes you may experience headaches or nausea during ovulation. It is caused by sudden and rapid changes in your sex hormones. Women who have a good hormonal balance are unlikely to experience these unpleasant symptoms. #7. Libido Changes As the body tells the brain it’s time to give birth, some women experience an increase in sex drive. High levels of estrogen and testosterone tell your body that you are fertile and you may have a primal instinct to give birth! (Sometimes this continues throughout pregnancy) Some women have more energy to maintain their increased sex drive. So follow along and have fun! (BTW, this is usually a couple’s favorite for all signs of ovulation.) #8. A change in the position of the cervix, like a change in cervical mucus, is another sign of ovulation that all women will experience. Usually the cervix will be at the bottom of the vagina, feel more closed and hard like the tip of your nose. However, during ovulation, the cervix ripens and becomes taller, softer and more open. Instead it will feel like your earlobe or lips. To check, position yourself as you would insert a tampon and then reach a pair of clean fingers inside. It helps to check a few times a month when you know ovulation isn’t likely, so it’s easier to notice the difference. #9. Bloating Bloating During ovulation, the increase in estrogen causes the body to retain water. As a result, some women experience swelling and swelling in the fingers or feet as one of the symptoms of ovulation. If the reaction is severe or painful, be sure to contact a health professional, as this may indicate something more serious. #10. Sensitive Breasts Some women joke that they know when it’s going to rain because their breasts hurt. Although they are not sensitive to changes in weather, breasts are sensitive to hormonal changes in the body. During ovulation, mammary cells and alveoli multiply in the breast tissue in preparation for possible pregnancy. These changes cause some women to experience pain or tenderness in the breast tissue during ovulation. If fertilization is successful, tenderness persists as the breasts continue to prepare for lactation. Do breasts hurt before or after ovulation? Even if you are not pregnant, breast pain in the weeks or two before your period can be a symptom of PMS. Or it could be an early sign of pregnancy. So, while it’s possible to have breast pain or tenderness during ovulation, it’s not a sure sign that you’re ovulating, as it could be caused by other hormonal changes. Can you ovulate early in your cycle? When does a woman ovulate? Since every woman is different, cycle times vary not only from woman to woman, but also from month to month. Ovulation usually occurs around the 14th day of the menstrual cycle, and ovulation before the 14 day mark can be completely normal. However, if it occurs on or before the 11th day, there may be concern. Ovulation too early can be caused by a number of things: Cervical fluid may not be smooth enough to move sperm upward for fertilization. The follicle is not mature enough to fertilize. It is suspected that the endometrial lining cannot retain a fertilized egg. Smoking, heavy drinking and stress are the main causes of premature ovulation. Fortunately, this is a fixable problem. Post Ovulation Symptoms If fertilization is successful, you will start experiencing pregnancy symptoms about a week after ovulation. Thanks to increased hormone levels, your uterine lining is thickening for you
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