You have come to that place in your life where you are now ready to conceive and because of all the great educational content you have had the privilege to read on the Grace Health App, you know far too well how important getting the time right is to boost your chances to conceive. Perhaps you have even taken some time to learn about your sexual and reproductive health. Most especially your fertile window. But for some reason, you seem to miss or you are just not sure if you when your body is ovulating. Your Grace health app might have already predicted when you will ovulate but it’s still not clear enough for you. Don’t worry about it, we will help you know the main signs to look out for, but first…
What signs to look out for:
When do we ovulate?
Ovulation happens when an egg leaves your ovaries and travels to the fallopian tubes, where it can be fertilized by sperm. For a more comprehensive dive into the ovulation topic, check here! Ovulation usually occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle and happens after the follicular phase, about 2 weeks before your period starts. In case you are wondering, the follicular phase is when egg-containing pods ripen and one of the eggs matures. This process can vary a lot from person to person and month to month.
Generally, you should ovulate about 2 weeks before the start of your period.
Some people may ovulate more than once a month and others not at all even if they do get their period. As a result, this can make it hard to track, but paying attention to physical changes may help you identify when you’re ovulating.
What signs and symptoms of ovulation should I look for?
Changes in discharge
For many women, this is a reliable and simple sign to identify. When you are about to ovulate your vaginal discharge gets clear and slippery-like egg whites. When you touch it, you will find that it stretches between your fingers and when you wipe it after using the bathroom it’s likely to tear the tissue. Once it becomes sticky again it means that your ovulation is over. However, not everyone sees a change in discharge and can look out for other symptoms.
Ovulation pain (mittelschmerz)
Some people experience slight pelvic discomfort or mild cramps before or during ovulation. Often referred to as mittelschmerz. It is caused by the rupturing of the follicle and the release of tiny amounts of blood or fluid. It can be felt in either ovary and may vary in location and intensity from month to month. Ideally, the discomfort may last for only a short while, but some people feel mild discomfort for longer periods. Remember not all ovary pain is a sign of ovulation.
Changes in basal body temperature (BBT)
Basal body temperature (BBT) refers to your temperature when you first wake up in the morning, before getting up and moving around. Your BBT rises during the 24-hour window after ovulation occurs. This is caused by the secretion of progesterone. You are most fertile on the day of the spike and the days leading up to it. The downside is you wouldn't know you’ve peaked until you see the drop but it might be too late. Tracking your BBT will help you identify your ovulation pattern plan for your next cycle.
Here’s one sign that may be welcomed by many! Right before or during ovulation you may experience an increased sex drive. This is the body’s own way of getting you prepared to have sex to conceive. If you have an increased sex drive coupled with other ovulation symptoms is a sign that your ovulation is near.
Some people experience breast tenderness or sore nipples around the time of ovulation. This is brought about by changes in hormone levels. While some people experience the tenderness others may find they experience it after. Sore breast tenderness has also been linked to early signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
Is there a way of confirming ovulation?
Now that you know what the signs are it is also helpful to learn how to confirm ovulation. Here are a few tips:
Look out for body changes - You know the signs now, so when you see them you can monitor and be able to identify when ovulating.
Consistently use the Grace Health app - When you track your last period, the Grace Health app will predict your next ovulation. Remember this is only a prediction and that’s why you need to look out for changes as well.
Use BBT monitors - These help track your body temperature each day before you leave your bed so you know when you are ovulating
Ovulation tests - help you know if you’re fertile on the day you take the test. Like a pregnancy test, it involves urinating on a stick for a positive (fertile) or negative (not fertile) result.
Ovulation predictor kits - Help measure and track your levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) over several months to determine when you’re most fertile. This test typically requires daily urine testing outside of menstruation.
The bottom line
Ovulation is part of your fertile window, more like the highlight! During this time, some people may experience ovulation pain, changes in discharge, breast tenderness, changes in BBT and increased libido. It helps to be observant and track these changes then confirm with one of the various methods to get the time right and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
We wish you all the best as you embark on your TTC journey.
Stay informed, stay in control Do you now feel more confident about what ovulation signs to look for?