How To Know If I Am Ovulating – When are you most fertile? Here’s how to tune into your body to know when you’re most likely to get pregnant.
A recent Yale study found that 90 percent of women do not know when they can get pregnant. Does that number include you? Before trying to increase fertility naturally, it is important that you know how to read the signs of ovulation so that you know when your body is ready to conceive.
How To Know If I Am Ovulating
So before we get into the signs of ovulation, it helps to know what ovulation actually is. So what does ovulation mean? Every month, your body goes through a rhythmic cycle that’s pretty magical.
What Does Positive Ovulation Test Results Look Like?
On the first day of your period, your estrogen and progesterone levels are low, which stimulate 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 a potential pregnancy (can you believe your body does this every month?!) Estrogen levels peak around ovulation, which triggers your pituitary gland to release LH, or luteinizing hormone. LH tells your body to normally release an egg (or two which can result in twins) from your ovaries and you have now 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 start again.
If the timing and conditions are right, and there are viable sperm there to meet the egg, you’ll get that BFP sign (aka you’re pregnant!). This phenomenon of ovulation only happens once a month, meaning fertility has a limited period (although technically you can get pregnant during your period, it’s unlikely).
How To Know When You’re Fertile
Ovulation lasts about 24 hours, but sperm have a period of about 6 days in which fertilization can occur. The ovulation calculator will help you track exactly when this fertile window occurs; but there are symptoms of ovulation that can show you.
How do you know if you are ovulating? Let’s take a look at the following ovulation signs to help you target your optimal fertile window.
A normal waking body temperature ranges between 97.2 and 99.0. When ovulation occurs it drops slightly, immediately after ovulation it increases continuously by 0.4 – 1 degree. You need a special thermometer (where to buy) that is sensitive enough to track such fluctuations, and take your temperature before doing anything – even sitting up in bed. The body’s basal temperature varies slightly from day to day, but during ovulation you will see a steady increase due to changes in the hormone progesterone.
While you may not get a “sharp mind” like a superhero, ovulating women sometimes experience heightened senses. Our bodies become more attracted to the male pheromone androstenone and our noses wake up. Some women also notice increased senses of taste and vision as some of the signs of ovulation.
Ways To Track Your Ovulation
#3. Ovulation pain symptoms: can you feel when you are ovulating? When the egg descends towards the expected fertilization, it can cause a dull and tender feeling in the pelvic floor or lower abdomen. It’s technically called Mittelschmerz, a German word meaning middle pain and lasts from a few minutes to a few hours. This discomfort occurs on one or the other part of the body. (Side note: I had lower back pain that felt like sciatica and nearly choked me! It only lasted a few hours and it was over.) Signs of Ovulation Cramps Some women don’t feel anything, while others describe it as mild cramping or slight stomach ache. . If ovulation is painful, something is wrong and the problem should be addressed by a professional, as this may indicate a hormonal imbalance such as estrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency or PCOS. (Here, find natural ways to balance your hormones.) #4. Spotting or Bleeding Although rare, one of the signs of ovulation is bleeding. Yes, some women experience light bleeding that occurs when a mature egg passes through a ruptured follicle. Also, when the body’s estrogen drops a little, the lining of the uterus thins a little, which can also cause bleeding. Although it won’t be bright red, you may notice a slight pink or brown tint to your cervical discharge. However, a slight spotting around the time of ovulation does not necessarily mean that it is caused by the above factors. Ovarian cysts can also cause a little or a lot of bleeding. You may also experience light spotting if the fertilized egg implants 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 helps you know what’s going on with your body. #5. Ovulation Mucus Signs Cervical mucus changes consistently from day to day, depending on where we are in our cycle. Immediately after menstruation, the discharge will be dry or non-existent. As the vaginal canal prepares for sperm to enter, the cervical mucus becomes thinner and smoother. (Mucus after ovulation is creamy.) During ovulation, this secretion resembles raw egg whites and stretches more than an inch between the fingertips. This stage can last about 5 days for young women, but decreases to 1-2 days as we age. Ovulation mucus signs are one of the most accurate signs of ovulation. #6. Nausea and headaches Although not all women experience these symptoms, sometimes you may experience headaches or nausea during ovulation. This is caused by sudden and rapid changes in your sex hormones. For women who have a good hormonal balance, these unpleasant symptoms are unlikely to occur. #7. Libido changes When your body tells your brain it’s time to have a baby, some women experience an increase in sex drive. High levels of estrogen and testosterone tell your body that you are fertile and you may almost have a primal instinct to give birth! (Sometimes this continues throughout pregnancy) Some women also have more energy to keep up with their increased sex drive. So follow along and have fun! (BTW, this is often a couple’s favorite for all ovulation signs.) #8. Changes in the cervix Like changes in cervical mucus, this is another sign of ovulation that all women will experience. Normally, the cervix will be at the bottom of the vaginal canal, feeling more closed and hard like the tip of the nose. During ovulation, however, the cervix matures and becomes taller, softer and more open. Instead, it will feel like your earlobe or lip. To check, position yourself as if you were going to insert a tampon and then stretch a pair of CLEAN fingers inside. It helps to check a few times during the month when you know ovulation isn’t a possibility, so it’s easier to tell the difference. #9. Bloating Bloating The increase in estrogen during ovulation can cause fluid retention in the body. As a result, some women experience bloating and swelling of the fingers or feet as one of the signs of ovulation. If the reaction is severe or painful, be sure to contact a healthcare 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 not sensitive to weather changes, breasts are actually sensitive to hormonal changes in the body. Breast cells and alveoli multiply in the breast tissue to prepare for a potential pregnancy during ovulation. These changes cause some women to experience pain or tenderness in the breast tissue during ovulation. If conception is successful, tenderness may persist as the breasts develop in preparation for nursing. Do your breasts hurt before or after ovulation? Even if you are not pregnant, sore breasts can also occur in the week or two leading up to your period as a symptom of PMS. Or it could be an early sign of pregnancy. Therefore, although breast tenderness or pain may occur during ovulation, it is not a sure indicator that you are ovulating, as it may be caused by other hormonal changes. Can you ovulate early in the cycle? When does a woman ovulate? Since every woman is different, cycle times vary not only from woman to woman, but from month to month. Ovulation usually occurs around the 14th day of the menstrual cycle, and ovulation a little before the 14 day mark can be completely normal. However, there may be concern if it occurs on the 11th day or earlier. Premature ovulation can be caused by a number of things: Cervical fluid may not be viscous enough to move sperm upward for fertilization. The follicle is not mature enough to be fertilized. The endometrial lining may not be able to retain the fertilized egg Smoking, drinking and stress are suspected to be the main causes of premature ovulation. Fortunately, this is a fixable problem. Symptoms after ovulation If fertilization is successful, the earliest you will start feeling the symptoms of pregnancy is about a week after ovulation. Thanks to increased hormone levels, your endometrium continues to thicken for you
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