Ovulation occurs at the end of your fertile window, which happens in between your monthly periods. During this time, approximately 15 to 20 eggs mature inside your ovaries. This is when your chances of conceiving and getting pregnant are significantly higher compared to your regular days. After some time, the ripest egg is then released into your fallopian tubes and continues straight down into your uterus.
Although you may encounter a little bit of difficulty when you attempt to predict your ovulation cycle, doing so can actually be very helpful, as it promotes natural family planning by allowing you to work with your body cycle. While there are some symptoms that signal the beginning of your ovulation, there are also some that indicate its end. Although there are several different methods to check on your cycle, it is not recommended that you do all of them at once. Be sure, however, to contact your doctor if you missed your menstruation or do not observe any symptoms that you are ovulating.
What Are the Signs of Ovulation?
1. Common Signs
- Change in cervical fluid
If your cervical fluid begins to take on the color and consistency of raw egg whites, becoming colorless, slippery, and more elastic, this is a sign that you have either begun or will soon begin ovulating. However, not all women have the exact same type of fluids, so just be alert to any changes in yours. These may already signify that you are about to ovulate. Usually, ovulation happens on the day when your amount of discharge is the greatest.
- Change in basal body temperature
The lowest temperature that your body attains in one 24-hour window is called your basal body temperature. Although it is otherwise steady on your regular days, it experiences a slight drop in the event of your impending ovulation. This is quickly followed by a drastic increase, signalling that your ovulation has just passed. Keeping accurate monthly records of your temperature may be of help to you when you try to forecast your cycle.
- Change in cervical position or firmness
A wet, soft, open, and high cervix is a sure sign of ovulation. However, it may be difficult for you to detect this at once, as it takes quite some time for you to know your body well enough to immediately sense any changes. After a while, though, you may be able to distinguish the normal features of your cervix from its unusual characteristics when you ovulate.
2. Secondary Signs
Aside from the three most prominent indicators of ovulation, you may also detect some secondary signs. However, these take place much less frequently than the common signs do. In fact, some women do not experience or exhibit these signs at all. Among these symptoms are:
- bloated feeling
- increased libido
- tenderness of your breast
- cramps on one side of your pelvis
- increased sensitivity of your eyes, tongue, and nose
- light bleeding or spotting that occurs before your menstrual period is due
How Do I Know When I’m Ovulating?
1. Count the Days
Counting back from your menstrual cycles is the easiest way to figure out your ovulation schedule. If you know when your next period will be, count back 16 days from it. Your ovulation may begin anytime from that day to four days after.
If you have a regular 28-day schedule, you are likely to begin ovulating on your 14th day. However, if you have an irregular menstrual cycle, this method is not going to be a reliable way for you to determine if you are ovulating.
2. Track Your Body’s Signals
Your basal body temperature, which is the lowest temperature your body attains in 24 hours, should increase by 0.4 to 1.0°F after you finish ovulating. You can measure this with a special thermometer every morning.
On the other hand, the cervical mucus you discharge will increase significantly as your ovulation date gets nearer. It will also change its texture and color, becoming clear, stretchy, and slippery like raw egg whites.
Taking note of your body’s changes is a more accurate way of determining your ovulation date. Although not easy to do, it will pay off once you detect its patterns.
3. Test Your Hormone Levels
The best way to pinpoint your ovulation date is by analyzing your hormonal changes with the use of an ovulation predictor kit. This works the same way a pregnancy test does, and will return a positive result when your luteinizing hormone levels have gone up. This usually happens a day before you ovulate, giving you time for natural family planning.
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How to Increase the Chances of Getting Pregnant
Couples who are normal and fertile have approximately a 20 to 25 percent possibility of conceiving for every cycle. Over 90 percent of these couples successfully get pregnant in two years or less. Additionally, statistics show that more than 80 percent of women who are younger than 40 years old and frequently have unprotected sexual intercourse have high chances of getting pregnant in one year.
More frequent intercourse will significantly increase your chances of getting pregnant. This will ensure that you have already done your part once your ovulation comes along. Having sexual intercourse when your cervical discharge undergoes changes in color, texture, and consistency also makes you more likely to conceive, as these changes signify the onset of your ovulation. You can also try experimenting with different sexual positions to make it more likely for you to get pregnant, or join support groups to gain more insight and tips on how to conceive.