Ovulation Symptoms: Timing, Tracking & What To Expect

Ovulation Symptoms: Timing, Tracking & What To Expect

2 Aug 2022 | 6 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 511 Articles

Ovulation refers to the release of an egg from an ovary in women. During ovulation, the ovarian follicle (part of the ovary) discharges an egg on reaching maturity that is also known as an ovum, oocyte, or female gamete. The egg then travels down the fallopian tube and might encounter a sperm and become fertilised.

The Hypothalamus, a part of the brain, controls ovulation and the release of hormones during the menstrual cycle. The hypothalamus also sends signals instructing the anterior lobe and pituitary gland to secrete luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Tracking ovulation is an important part of fertility awareness. Read on to know more about ovulation, ovulation calculator, ovulation calendar, what happens to your body during ovulation, and how to know that you are ovulating.

When Do You Ovulate?

In an average 28-day menstrual cycle, ovulation generally occurs about 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period. However, each woman’s cycle length might differ and the time between ovulation and the start of the next menstrual period might also vary.

If you don’t have a 28-day menstrual cycle like many women, you can also determine the length of your cycle and the time when you’re most likely to ovulate by maintaining a menstrual calendar. You should know the ovulation symptoms if you are trying to conceive.

How to Predict Ovulation?

If you’re trying to conceive or want to get an idea of your body’s signs of ovulation, these indicators, including at-home and OTC tests, can help you predict ovulation:

  1. Basal body temperature monitoring (BBT): Your basal body temperature refers to the temperature of your body at rest. At the beginning of your cycle, your BBT is most likely to remain fairly consistent and averages between 97.2 and 97.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

As you approach ovulation, there’s a slight dip in BBT followed by a sharp increase. You can track your BBT over a series of months with a digital thermometer that’s designed for the basal body to know if you are ovulating.

  1. Menstrual charting: You can record the days your period begins and ends for several months and track ovulation.

If you have normal menstrual cycles between 25 and 35 days, you will likely be ovulating regularly, with ovulation occurring about 14 days before menstruation. You can make a note of whenever you experience the signs of ovulation like cramps, an increase in cervical mucus, breast tenderness, fluid retention, mood swings and appetite changes.

  1. Ovulation kit: Ovulation predictor kits can also help you predict ovulation by measuring your levels of luteinizing hormone (LH).

Ovulation usually hits about 10 to 12 hours after LH is detected in your urine on days 14 to 15 of the menstrual cycle (if your cycle is 28 days long). The concentration of LH stays elevated for 14 to 27 hours to enable for full maturation of the egg. All you need to do is urinate on the stick and wait for a line to appear. If the colour of the line matches the shade shown on the instructions, ovulation is about to happen within 24 to 48 hours.

If it’s too close to call, you can retest within the next 12 hours. Plus, for best results, you can test around the same time each day, and cut back your liquid intake for four hours beforehand so that your urine will be more concentrated and your LH is easier to detect.

  1. Fertility monitor: If an ovulation predictor kit can determine when ovulation is expected to occur (giving you 24 hours for possible conception), a fertility monitor can also identify your five most fertile days.

It measures LH and oestrogen levels to determine the two peak fertile days, and the one to five fertile days leading up to them. There are some versions of the monitor that store information from your previous six cycles to personalise your fertility reading.

symptoms of ovulation
Although ovulation pain can range from mild to severe, it is advisable to consult a doctor in case of severe discomfort.) | Image Source: pexels

Ovulation Symptoms

Some of the ovulation symptoms are:

  • Cervical fluid (vaginal discharge) resembling raw egg white: As you near ovulation, your body produces more levels of oestrogen that causes cervical mucus to become stretchy and clear, like egg white and helps sperm swim to the egg that’s released during ovulation.
  • Decrease in basal body temperature accompanied by a sharp increase after ovulation: Your basal body temperature will increase during ovulation and stay elevated at that time. This is one of the common symptoms of ovulation day. After tracking your basal body temperature for a series of months, you’ll be able to notice the patterns and identify notable changes.
  • Change in position of the cervix to being soft, high, and open: Your cervix might become higher, softer and more open and these are normal signs and symptoms of ovulation. You can stand in whatever position you use to insert a tampon and use your finger to feel inside.

In many women with a regular cycle, the cervix becomes softer right before ovulation, like touching your lips. On the other hand, after ovulation, it feels harder, more like touching the tip of your nose.

  • Light spotting along with light cramping or pain on one side of the pelvis: Brown discharge or spotting during ovulation is one of the normal ovulation symptoms. It occurs when the follicle that surrounds and protects the developing oocyte, or egg, matures, grows and then ruptures, leading to a small amount of bleeding.
signs of ovulation
The urge to have sex increases as you near ovulation. | Image Source: pixabay
  • Increased sex drive: The urge to have sex increases as you near ovulation. Therefore, elevated sex drive is one of the egg release symptoms.
  • Tender breasts: Tender breasts or sore nipples due to the rush of hormones entering your body right before and after ovulation are the most common symptoms of the ovulation period. Some women might experience this tenderness just before ovulation, while others might feel it right after ovulation occurs.
  • Heightened sense of smell, taste, or vision: Some women also experience a more sensitive sense of smell in the latter half of a normal menstruation cycle as a sign of ovulation. Some also report a heightened sense of taste as ovulation time symptoms.

When To Reach Out To A Doctor?

Although ovulation pain is common and you might feel achy, or sharp like a cramp, it is advisable to consult a doctor if you experience severe pain during ovulation as it can be a sign of underlying conditions like – 

  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Scar tissue in the abdomen
  • Endometriosis

Understanding when you ovulate is a requisite to getting pregnant. Patience and persistence are perhaps the watchwords when you’re trying to conceive. Now that you know the signs of ovulation, you can be better prepared, regardless of whether or not you’re trying to get pregnant.

Also Read: Tips to fertile period

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