One of the biggest mistaken beliefs about the process of conceiving a child surrounds ovulation. But understanding when you’re ovulating has a major impact on whether or not your attempts to achieve – or avoid – conceiving a child will be successful.
Ovulation has some very recognizable signs once you’re taught how to recognize them. Dr. Alan Patterson explains more about how to detect the signs of symptoms when you’re ovulating.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the process of when your ovaries release an egg. The egg travels down the Fallopian tubes, where it can be fertilized by sperm.
Your body has a whole cascade of hormones that work in concert to ensure that you’re capable of releasing an egg. Prior to ovulation, your body produces a flood of luteinizing hormone (LH), also called the LH surge. This causes the follicle on your ovary to release an egg.
If you have had sex within a few days on either side of the window when you’re releasing the egg, it will be fertilized and implanted in the lining of your uterus, where it will eventually grow into a baby.
The signs of ovulation
The symptoms of ovulation are pretty recognizable once you know what to look for. They include the following signs:
You may have some abdominal pain around the time of ovulation, which usually occurs about 2 weeks into your menstrual cycle (assuming you have normal cycles.) This pain is called mittelschmerz. This discomfort can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. It may feel like a pop or a twinge of mild pain, caused by your ovary releasing the egg. Ovulation occurs 2 weeks before your period. If your cycles are 28 days long, ovulation will occur on 14. If your cycles are 35 days long, ovulation will occur on day 21. So your fertile period is around 3 days before and 3 days after ovulation since the sperm can live up to 3 days and the egg can live up to 2 days after ovulation.
Increased sex drive
You may notice that you feel an extra increase in your sex drive or libido around the time that you ovulate. This happens for an obvious reason: it makes you want to have sex more at the time when you’re most likely to conceive a child.
Everything about your body is designed to make you more attractive to a potential mate around the time of ovulation. The bone structure of your face softens slightly, your walk becomes looser or more fluid, and you may even sway your hips more often. Of course, if you’re depressed or under a lot of stress, you may not feel aware of when you’re ovulating, because you have more important concerns.
Basal body temperature increase
If you take your basal body temperature (BBT) every day and keep records of your daily results, you’ll notice that your temperature starts to shift up slightly when you ovulate. Your body temperature can vary based on other factors, such as the following:
- Exercise habits
- Your diet
- Irregular sleep habits
You need to be very disciplined about tracking your basal body temperature and take your temperature close to the same time every day, as your temperature can vary somewhat significantly based on the time of day that you take it. It’s best to take your temperature first thing upon waking up before you even get out of bed.
You may notice that your breasts feel more sensitive and tender around the time of ovulation. Although this is only noticeable after ovulation has occurred, it can usually be a reliable sign.
Change in cervical mucus
You may notice that your cervical mucus will change consistency around the time that you ovulate. Your cervical mucus may become stretchy and slippery, like the consistency of egg whites. If you notice this change, you can almost certainly assume that you’re ovulating.
Other changes occur when you’re ovulating, too, some of which can be detected by ovulation predictor kits. The best way to check ovulation is by using Ovulation Test Strips that will turn positive with a urine sample if you are ovulating. Dr Patterson can recommend the best ovulation test strips to use. If you would like to learn more about how to recognize the signs of ovulation, or if you have tested yourself and YOU ARE NOT OVULATING and want to become pregnant, then, Contact Dr. Alan Patterson in Coral Springs, FL or request an appointment online.