There are a number of definite symptoms of ovulation, although some of them can at times be rather subtle, and you may have to look hard for them. Not all women experience all of these symptoms, and one woman may experience a given symptom more strongly than the next woman does. Usually though, one or more of the symptoms will be pronounced, and the occurrence of ovulation can be recognized and steps can then be taken to predict the next occurrence if a woman wants to know that.
Recognizing one or more of the symptoms of ovulation can be very important if one is trying to become pregnant, and every bit as important if one is trying to avoid becoming pregnant. By knowing the symptoms, a woman can set up a calendar which can be used as an aid in predicting when the next ovulation is most apt to occur, and at the same time predicting when her period may start. Let’s start by taking a look into what all is involved in ovulation.
The Monthly Cycle, Not Always One Month Long – A woman’s cycle typically lasts around one month, or from 28 to 32 days. Some women have shorter cycles, others have longer, and the length of the cycle for an individual woman may often vary, though normally not by very much. The length of the cycle is calculated to be from the first day of the menstrual period to the first day of the following menstrual period. Ovulation normally occurs between the 11th and 21st day of the cycle. Since a cycle is close to, but not exactly one month long, ovulation will not start on the same date of every month, but rather a day or two earlier or a day or two later than the date of occurrence the previous month. Illness or stress can sometimes upset the ovulation process, and when this occurs the cycle of events may take on a revised schedule. It is commonly thought that illness or stress can upset the menstrual cycle or the period. What actually happens though it that it is the ovulation process that is interfered with, which in turn can cause changes in the menstrual cycle.
The Two Phases Of The Ovulation Cycle – The ovulation cycle can be described in terms of two distinct phases. The first phase is from the beginning of the menstrual period until ovulation occurs and is called the fallopian phase. During this period, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, acting in concert, release a hormone which triggers a few follicles in the ovary glands to begin developing into mature eggs. Though several will do so, usually only one egg dominates, and reaches full maturity, while the others will disintegrate. Although a woman can experience ovulation only one time during her cycle, and consequently become pregnant only once, there is always the possibility that two or more eggs will become mature, giving rise to twin births or triplets. In about 10 percent of all pregnancies, at least two eggs reach maturity, and are released into the fallopian tubes, but most of the time only one of the “twins” survives.
When the egg reaches maturity, the follicle sends out estrogen, another hormone, telling the hypothalamus and pituitary gland that things are “go”. Yet another hormone is then produced which will cause the egg to break through the ovary and begin making its way down the fallopian tube. Release of these various hormones can sometime produce detectable symptoms of ovulation, such as mood changes.
The second phase of the ovulation cycle begins when ovulation occurs, and the egg is ready to be fertilized. It’s at this point where most of the symptoms of ovulation become apparent. One of these symptoms will be a thickening of the mucus in the cervical area. This thick mucus, which can take on the consistency of egg white, has a definite purpose, which is that of providing a friendly environment for the male sperm. This mucus is present for several days prior to ovulation and sperm can live in the substance for 3 to 5 days, being ready to fertilize the egg even before it makes its appearance. The egg itself will only live 12 to 24 hours, after which it will disintegrate if it has not been fertilized. Pregnancy can therefore result from sexual intercourse which occurred up to 5 days before ovulation, but not long after. Detecting changes in cervical fluid or mucus, and the consequent discharge, is for most women the most recognizable of the symptoms of ovulation, and the best predictor. It is the changes in the body’s hormones which is the underlying cause of these changes in the cervical fluid. At times these secretions can take on a distinctly pinkish color. This does not however have any particular significance, and should not be a cause for alarm. Like so many other things in life, the color and consistency of these fluids can vary from person to person. The one constant appears to be that most if not all women experience the greatest amount of fluid on the day that ovulation occurs
Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation
First symptom is the increased vaginal secretion. If you will take time to check the cervical mucus, you can observe that during ovulation, the mucus is slimy, transparent and stretchable. On the contrary, when there is no ovulation, the cervical mucus is sticky and white. As well with increased vaginal secretions, a lot of women even report increased desire to have sex during ovulating days
Basal Temperature Is A Key Indicator – Another of the symptoms of ovulation is the rise in basal temperature. The basal body temperature is the temperature of the body immediately upon arising in the morning. Basal temperature will begin to rise at the time of ovulation. The rise in temperature is very slight however, and a special thermometer, accurate to 1/100th of a degree is needed. For a given day, the temperature reading may not seem to be of any significance. What you look for is an upward trend in temperature, especially in the day or two following ovulation. Where taking the basal temperature can help is, that over a period of time, it can determine fairly accurately when ovulation is apt to occur in the next cycle, and establish the times during future cycles when becoming pregnant is most likely to happen. If pregnancy does occur, the temperature recorded following ovulation will remain elevated throughout the pregnancy. Otherwise it will slowly drop back to “normal”.
There Can Be Pain, But Fortunately Not Much – Not all women experience pain as one of the symptoms of ovulation, but some do. This pain, sometimes felt as a lingering pain in the lower abdomen, sometimes as a sharp pain that comes and goes, and sometimes as a mild cramp, is called “mittelschmerz”, a German word meaning middle pain. The pain is caused during ovulation as the egg breaks free from the ovary and begins to travel down the fallopian tube. Mittelschmerz usually lasts for only a day, in fact seldom that long, and even more seldom for a longer period of time. Women who experience this pain may feel it every month at ovulation, some feel it only once every few months (typically every third month), and some never experience it at all, or barely take notice of it.
There are a few other symptoms of ovulation that are often experienced as well. Some women have a heightened desire for sex around this time. From a biological or reproductive standpoint, this probably makes perfect sense, and the increased desire is the result of increased levels of estrogen in the body. Some women will experience a bloating feeling in the abdomen, others tenderness of the breasts. It has been reported that some women even experience a heightening of taste, vision and smell, during ovulation. Others may become moody. With somewhat rapid changes in the body’s hormone levels, an occasional mood swing is probably not surprising.
Summary – As we have seen, there are a number of symptoms of ovulation which can help an individual establish what their particular pattern is. Being able to nail down just when ovulation is expected to occur can be a great help in either trying to become pregnant or trying to avoid becoming pregnant. Whether it is changes in cervical fluid consistency, vaginal discharge, small increases in basal temperature, abdominal pain, or an assortment of other, usually mild symptoms, a woman can know what to look for and not be alarmed with what she may experience. This knowledge, coupled with knowing that pregnancy can result from sexual intercourse that has taken place several days before ovulation, and the fact that the egg will only survive for about a day unless fertilized, can help even more, especially where planned parenthood is being practiced. While some women do experience a “bad day” at a certain time in their cycle, most fortunately don’t have to put up with many significant problems. When problems are apt to occur, armed with the above knowledge at least helps one in being prepared to deal with them.
What are Ovulation Calculators and why should I use one?
Simple answer! Ovulation Calculators help you to know what time of the month is your most fertile.
How in the world does it do this? The first thing you need to know is the first day of you last couple of periods. Once you Plug those dates in the Calculator does the rest.
Is this fool proof? No. Some women have irregular cycles and are not always on the same dates or fluctuate by several days.
Why would this help me? Well lets look at the picture for a minute. Lets say that according to your cycle you are most fertile on the 14th of March. You best chances are the 10th through the 15th. If you do not know this and try on the 1st
through the 9th or 16th through the 27th, your chances of become pregnant go down. But with Ovulation Calculators you keep track of your cycle and can narrow in on the days that you are most fertile and improving your chances for success.
So do I buy one or use an online Ovulation Calculator? Why not use both. Buying one is very inexpensive and you can carry that with you and does not need an internet connection. Using both or several will back each other up for confidence.
Are Ovulation Calculators easy to purchase? Yes! But most are found online. Most are just a few dollars. For example the one below is less than a couple coffees at Starbucks (which you should give up anyway when trying to conceive).
Can Ovulation Calculators be wrong? They cannot replace testing your body and are all about time and calculations. So yes they can be wrong.
Ovulation Calculators on the web. Their are many choices online. Some online Ovulation Calculators are free and some you pay for.