Ovulation is a normal part of your menstrual cycle and knowing when it happens is a crucial step in getting pregnant. However, every woman is different. While it usually happens at the mid-point of a woman’s cycle, it’s also possible that you can ovulate anywhere between day 11 through day 21.
There’s no sure way to predict when you’ll release an egg from one of your ovaries, but there a few ways you can estimate when it’s most likely to happen. Increase your chances of getting pregnant by knowing these signs of ovulation:
1. Your basal temperature may increase slightly
According to the Mayo Clinic, your body’s temperature at rest (basal body temperature) increases slightly during ovulation. To measure this, you can use a thermometer that’s specifically designed to measure basal body temperature every morning before you get out of bed. Besides that, you should record the results and look for a pattern to emerge. You’ll be most fertile during the two to three days before your temperature rises.
2. Changes in cervical mucus
Cervical mucus, also know as cervical fluid (CF) is a perfectly natural and normal substance that is produced by glands in your cervix which is released into the vagina. Mayo Clinic explains that a woman might notice an increase in clear, wet, and stretchy vaginal secretions. On the other hand, cervical mucus decreases and becomes thicker, cloudy and less noticeable after ovulation.
3. Breast tenderness
Some women experience tenderness in their breasts just before (or after) ovulation due to hormonal changes. This means your body is getting ready for ovulation and the potential of pregnancy.
4. Slight spotting
In addition, some women may also experience slight spotting (light vaginal bleeding) due to a drop of estrogen at the time of ovulation. The drop in estrogen causes the uterus lining to decrease a little, which causes slight spotting (also known as ovulation bleeding).
5. Changes in cervix
According to Ovulation Calculator, your cervix (which connects your vagina to your uterus and acts as a barrier) softens and opens when you’re fertile. This makes way for sperm to enter your uterus when you’re fertile.
6. Abdominal bloating
Moreover, another sign is slight bloating at the abdominal area. This symptom can be caused by increased water retention due to a rise in the hormone estrogen.
4. Higher sexual drive
Several studies show that women experience an increase in sexual desire when they are most fertile. Apparently, women tend to get a little increase in testosterone during ovulation. Dr. Lauren Streicher, M.D. (an associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine), explains to SELF, “It’s not a huge change but there definitely is a hormonal surge.”
8. Nausea and headaches
Due to being sensitive to hormone changes, studies suggest that some women feel nauseous or have headaches before ovulation.