There are many signs of ovulation that you can use to determine when you are at your most fertile, but if you are not paying careful attention, you may mistake one of them as a sign of something else, such as implantation, pregnancy or a menstrual period. The key is to know your cycle inside and out, and to know the signs and symptoms of ovulation. If you know a symptom can be confused with something else, but you are sure you are ovulating, you have nothing to worry about.
Here are unmistakable ways to tell you are ovulating;
- Egg White Cervical Mucus – Possibly the only time you will notice cervical mucus is in the days leading up to, and including ovulation. At this time, it increases to the point that most women can easily see it on the tissue after wiping. If you evaluate the texture, you will probably notice that it resembles raw egg white when you are most fertile. This is the only time in your cycle that it is like this. In the beginning, when you are not fertile, it will be dry. It starts increasing as you get closer to ovulation and the consistency will change from sticky to creamy and finally to the egg white consistency that is associated with fertility.
- Charting Basal Body Temperature – After ovulation your basal body temperature will increase and remain elevated until the end of your cycle. Basal body temperature is your body’s lowest temperature, attained during sleep. The best way to notice this temperature change is to take your temperature first thing in the morning every day of your cycle. To get the best reading, take it as soon as you wake, try not to move much before taking your temperature. Keeping a thermometer and a way to log your readings next to your bed will help.
- Tracking Cervical Changes – You may have previously thought of your cervix like any other body part, somewhat static. But it actually moves and changes within your body throughout its cycle. When you are at your most fertile, your cervix will be soft, high, open and wet (SHOW). When you are not fertile, you will notice the opposite. It will feel hard, lower, closed and dry.
- Positive OPK Result – You can take an over-the-counter Ovulation Predictor Kit (OPK) to help tell when your body is preparing to ovulate. The test detects levels of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your urine. A positive result means you are at your most fertile.
- Saliva Ferning – If you happen to have a microscope laying around, set some of your saliva on a petri dish and take a look. If you are ovulating, you will see a ferning, or snowflake, pattern. It is best to check when you are not ovulating too, so you can clearly see the difference.And then there are some symptoms of ovulation that can be confused with other things. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are unsure whether you are ovulating, try using one of the five methods above to evaluate.
- Light Spotting – Some women experience light spotting during ovulation. It is similar to a period in that it is the lining of the uterus coming out. The difference is that it will only be a small amount. Also, it will be more towards the middle than the end of your cycle.
- Abdominal Cramping – If you experience abdominal cramping when you ovulate, you may be tempted to think it is a period or implantation bleeding, especially if it comes with light spotting. This is when it is good to know where you are in your cycle. If it is too early for a period, it is likely ovulation.
- Headaches and/or Nausea – These symptoms present themselves during ovulation when the woman is sensitive to hormonal changes.
- Heightened Sexual Desire – Feeling a little frisky could be the result of having one too many glasses of wine, ovulation or just natural instincts.
- Sharper Senses – Most women are unaware of this sign of ovulation, but your senses may be a bit sharper while you are ovulating. You may notice that you can see and/or hear a bit better than usual.
- Bloating – This is a hallmark symptom of menstruation, but it can also happen during ovulation. At least now you have something to blame that mid-cycle weight gain on.
- Breast Tenderness – When you think of breast tenderness, you may think of menstruation or pregnancy, but this can also happen during ovulation. The hormones at play can cause your breasts to be tender and sore.
As you see, there is a lot that can go on! To learn more about ovulation you can click here.
Author Bio: Phil Druce founded Ovulation Calculator in 2014 with the goal of providing easy to understand, science backed knowledge and tools to couples trying to conceive. He was inspired to do this after his own fertility battle.