If you are trying to conceive, then you already know efforts will be focused on a small window of time during ovulation. However, trying to determine when you are ovulating is not as easy as it would seem. Here are several indicators that you are ovulating.
Changes in cervical mucus can indicate when ovulation is about to occur. Cervical mucus will become very abundant, sticky, and clear as ovulation nears. It often looks like egg whites and is referred to as egg white mucus. When stretched between the thumb and forefinger, it will stretch several centimeters before breaking. This egg white mucus provides an optimal environment where sperm can live up to three days.
Increased estrogen levels during ovulation sometimes cause your sex drive to increase.
As ovulation approaches, the position and firmness of your cervix will change. The cervix will rise, soften, and the cervical opening will begin to widen in preparation for trying to get pregnant. This period is known as SHOW – soft, high, open and wet. After this optimal baby making period, the cervix will lower and begin to harden again. Right before your period, it will feel very hard and pointed. To learn the proper way to check your cervix and determine how it feels, you should talk with your health care provider.
Premenstrual symptoms are an indicator of approaching ovulation. Symptoms can include breast tenderness, abdominal discomfort and bloating, moodiness, and abdominal cramps or twinges. It is up to you to identify your body’s cues that will tell you when your cycle is gearing up to make a baby.
Some women experience mittelschmerz. Mittelschmerz is a German word meaning “middle pain.” Typically mittelschmerz is felt on one side in the lower abdomen and may last anywhere from a few minutes to several days. The pain descriptions range from a small twinge to severe discomfort (which is rare). Other symptoms may include some vaginal discharge, bleeding and nausea.
There are two possible explanations for this pain. One reason is that pressure and pain is caused when the ovum stretches the membrane when it is released. Another reason may be because fluid and blood are released when the ovum leaves the ovary.
Basal body temperature, your temperature when you first wake up in the morning, is a great indicator of pending ovulation. Basal body temperature usually ranges between 96.0 to about 98.0 degrees prior to ovulation. Hormonal changes caused by ovulation will raise BBT by 0.5 to 1.5 degrees two to three days after ovulation has occurred. This increase in temperature will remain until your next period. This change in temperature can be measured with a special BBT thermometer designed to read temperatures to 1/100th of a degree.
Another sign of ovulation is the LH surge. This cue can only be determined with the aid of a special ovulation testing kit. The Luteinizing hormone, or LH, is responsible for stimulating the ovaries into releasing a mature egg. LH is always present in the blood stream in small amounts. However, the pituitary gland increases the amount of LH dispersed to begin the ovulation process. When LH surges in this manner, it can be detected via urine testing strips or sticks for a short period of time.
These signs are all valuable clues in determining when conception is most likely to happen. As you make efforts in learning your body and its cycle, you will become more confident in determining when you are most likely to ovulate and you can coordinate your conception plans to take advantage of this extremely fertile time.