Ovulation Symptoms: 5 Signs of Ovulation
Noticing ovulation symptoms helps narrow down when ovulation may occur. You may want to pay attention to the signs that indicate that you are ovulating. Pregnancy is related to ovulation. Thus making it important to become familiar with ovulation and the way it works.
Signs and symptoms of ovulation strongly vary among women. Hence, when some women ovulate, they might not even experience typical ovulation symptoms. Furthermore, the time of ovulation also varies between women. Not every woman ovulates on day 14 of the menstrual cycle.
Each month during ovulation, one of the ovaries releases a mature egg. A mature egg then travels down a fallopian tube, where it can then be fertilized by a sperm. The timing of ovulation naturally fluctuates from month to month. This is why learning about the signs that you’re ovulating can prove extremely helpful.
1. Ovulation Pain
Ovulation pain can be an irritating symptom of ovulation. Ovulation pain is also known as mittelschmerz, German for “middle pain”. The pain may occur on a day before, during, or after ovulation.
Only one in five women experience ovulation pain. Pain-related to ovulation should feel mildly irritating but extreme pain is not normal. Pain can be a sign of ovarian cysts adhesions and other health issues. That is why ovulation pain is not generally viewed as a healthy method to track ovulation.
Symptoms of ovulation pain:
- Lower abdominal pain, right beside the hip bone
- Pain starts about two weeks before your menstrual cycle is expected to start
- Pain on the left, or right side. This depends on the side the ovary which is releasing the egg
- The side of pain can alternate between cycles or stays on one side for several cycles
- Ovulation pain is commonly described as uneasy pressure or sharp cramps
- Pain can last from a few minutes up to 48 hours
2. Change in Basal Body Temperature
Before ovulation, the basal body temperature drops, with a quick increase quickly after ovulation. Charting your menstrual cycle daily is essential for tracking your basal body temperature. This means checking your basal body temperature (BBT) every morning, close to the same time every day.
BBT is a difficult method because of its relatively less reliable. The basal method can be influenced by a variety of factors: stress, fevers, alcohol, or prescription medications.
Another issue is that BBT rises after ovulation occurs. Nevertheless, the fertile window starts from 4-5 days before ovulation and lasts till the day ovulation. Once the egg is released, it only lives for up to 12-24 hours. Thus BBT is a good method to confirm ovulation, but it is not good at predicting ovulation or detecting the fertile window.
3. Sharp Increase in Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
Ovulation predictor kits (OPK) use urine-based tests that can be used at home to help detect upcoming ovulation. These kits work by detecting the levels of luteinizing hormone in your urine.
When nearing ovulation, the level of LH increases to help to release the egg from the ovary. Ovulation occurs about 24-36 hours after the LH increases. This gives you a relatively large notice for sexual intercourse during your fertile window compared to other methods. You are at your peak fertility days when LH surges.
Women’s hormone level varies from woman to woman and cycle to cycle. However, OPK determines the ovulation based on a fixed hormone level. The results are likely to be a false positive or false negative.
Mira fertility tracker can help you track when you are fertile and non-fertile even with variable cycles. Mira measures your actual fertility hormone concentrations and shows your unique hormone curve on the app. Unlike typical ovulation predictor kits, Mira’s algorithm learns your unique cycle. This means you are unlikely to miss your ovulation even if your cycle varies.
4. Change in Cervical Mucus
Cervical mucus is discharged by glands within and surrounding the cervix. A woman undergoes hormonal changes during her reproductive cycle that affect the amount and texture of the cervical mucus. During ovulation, you may notice that vaginal secretion is clear, sketchy, and slick – alike to egg whites. These changes are then used to predict ovulation.
On the other hand, some women may not undergo a noticeable change in their cervical mucus nearing ovulation. Thus, resulting in a thicker and sticky mucus instead. Lower fertile quality cervical mucus can result from a variety of reasons: estrogen levels, dieting, stress, and prescription medications.
5. Change of Cervical Position and Texture
As ovulation approaches, the texture and position of your cervix may change as well. A sign that you are approaching the ovulation is when your cervix becomes softer and moist. On the days leading up to ovulation, the cervix tends to move higher up into the body. This change happens because the reproductive system is adapting for couples to use ideal sex positions for conception.
However, this method is a low-tech traditional method that fails to use precise measurements. Most of the time, the cervical position is measured with fingers. Also, the cervix position raises as well during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, which may be misleading.
Furthermore, the cervix position can be affected by exercise, diet, and stress.
The position of the cervix can lower and become easier to reach after ovulation occurs. You might notice that the opening of the cervix becomes closed and reachable as well. These changes are difficult to pinpoint and rely upon. Because they can happen right after ovulation, a few hours, or several days after.
✔️ Medically Reviewed by Dr Roohi Jeelani, MD, FACOG and Lauren Grimm, MA
Dr Roohi Jeelani is Director of Research and Education at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Dr Jeelani earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, where she was awarded a Women’s Reproductive Health NIH K12 Research Grant. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr Jeelani has authored numerous articles and abstracts in peer-reviewed journals, and presented her research at national and international scientific meetings. A Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr Jeelani is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists.
Lauren Grimm is Research Coordinator at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Lauren earned her bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago, where she also completed her masters in Medical Sciences. Lauren has worked alongside Dr. Jeelani for the last 3 years, authoring a number of abstracts and articles in peer-reviewed journals, and presented her research at national and international scientific conferences. Lauren will be continuing her education this fall at Rush University Medical College in Chicago, IL as an MD candidate.
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