There are women who like to achieve certain things in life first and then move on to family planning. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s time to recognize the signs of ovulation. This is because ovulation plays a primary role in reproduction. Tracking it can help with family planning or identify fertility issues if you have them. Here’s what you need to know to look for ovulation symptoms.
Health Shots has been connected with Dr. Azadeh Patel, Fertility Consultant and Clinical Manager, ART Fertility Clinics, Ahmedabad, to help you spot the symptoms of ovulation.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation, which is an important phase of the menstrual cycle, occurs about once every 28 to 30 days. Dr. Patel says hormonal changes trigger the release of the egg, which usually happens around the middle of the menstrual cycle. It involves the release of a mature egg from the ovaries, which is then available for fertilization by sperm. If sperm are present in the reproductive tract during this period, fertilization may occur. This means that good news could be waiting for you. If not fertilized, the egg dissolves and menstruation follows within two weeks.
If you are trying to have a baby, there are several signs that you can watch for that ovulation is taking place. Here are the common signs:
1. Changes in cervical mucus
As ovulation approaches, the cervical mucus becomes lighter, finer and more slippery, explains the expert. It resembles the texture of raw egg whites. This type of mucus helps in the movement of sperm. This increases the chances of successful fertilization. You can spot it in your vaginal discharge.
2. Change in basal body temperature (BBT)
Monitoring BBT with a special thermometer may reveal a slight increase in temperature (about 0.5 to 1 degree Fahrenheit) after ovulation, Dr. Patel notes. This happens due to the release of progesterone, a hormone involved in supporting a possible pregnancy.
3. Ovulation pain
Some women experience mild abdominal pain on one side of the lower abdomen during ovulation. This pain, called mittelschmerz, could help determine the exact time of ovulation.
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4. Increased libido
Hormonal fluctuations during ovulation can lead to an increase in sexual desire, which is the body’s natural way of encouraging conception.
5. Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)
Over-the-counter OPKs can detect the increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in urine, which usually occurs 24 to 36 hours before ovulation. If the result is positive, it means that ovulation should take place soon.
You can also predict ovulation using various methods and tracking changes in your body. Keeping a record of menstrual cycles for a few months helps identify patterns.
Ovulation usually occurs about 14 days before the start of the next period. So, if a woman has a regular 28-day cycle, ovulation will likely occur around day 14. However, this method might not be accurate for women with irregular cycles. There are also ovulation apps and trackers that help women predict their ovulation based on menstrual cycle data and other symptoms.
Relying on just one sign may not be the best way to tell when you’re going to conceive. You can use a combination of these methods, such as tracking changes in cervical mucus and using OPKs to improve the accuracy of ovulation detection. There are also doctors who can always offer you additional advice and support while you are trying to conceive.