When a woman is trying to conceive, there is one thing she becomes completely obsessed with: ovulation. We need to know everything about ovulation, and we will go to any measure to nail down that magical time when your ovaries decide to release an egg. Timing is everything when trying to conceive, you can do the deed all you want but unless you time it perfectly with the release of an egg during ovulation it just will not happen.
The time old test for ovulation is to calculate 14 days before the start of your next menstrual cycle. This can be difficult if you don’t have regular cycles, or just are not good at math. So, we think we have it solved in this modern world with the use of tracking apps. These are not fool proof, they may not be accurate, and again if you don’t have regular periods they can get a little confusing.
Most women will then go to the local drug store where you can purchase ovulation testers. They look much like pregnancy tests, and work the same way. You pee on them, and they will tell you with a little smiley face if you are ovulating. These can be very expensive, and if you don’t have a vague idea of when to test, you may go through a lot of them.
Did you know that there are 15 things your very own body does that tells you you’re ovulating? That’s right, all you have to do is pay attention to your body and it will let you know, no gimmicks needed.
15 Basal Body Temperature Monitoring
Your basal body temperature, also known as BBT, is the temperature of your body when it is at rest. At the beginning of a woman’s cycle, her BBT usually remains fairly consistent and will fall somewhere between 97.2 and 97.6 degrees Fahrenheit. As a woman nears ovulation, she will notice a slight dip in this BBT temperature, followed almost immediately by a sharp increase after ovulation.
The best way for this to be accurate in determining ovulation is to track it for a few months, and get to know your body’s rhythm. You can buy a BBT specific thermometer at most drug store for minimal cost. The right time to test is first thing in the morning, before you even get out of bed, as you need the temperature of your body at rest. Keep a little note book beside your bed to jot down the readings. After you do this for a few months, it will give you a good idea of when each month you ovulate.
14 Menstrual Charting
Now, if you are a woman who has a really regular cycle, than charting your menstrual cycles will be the best way for you to track when you are ovulating. The best thing about this method is that it is probably the cheapest way to track your ovulation. All you need is a calendar, or even the calendar app on your cell phone. If you have a normal menstrual cycle, meaning that it is between 25 and 35 days, you are more likely to be ovulating regularly each month.
As I said earlier, ovulation usually occurs 14 days before menstruation. So, if your cycle always starts on the 19th of every month, just count 14 or even 17 days before (for good measure) and then you will most likely be in your high fertile window. You only ovulate one day out of the month, so having intercourse the week leading up to or around your ovulation date gives you the best chance of conceiving.
13 Ovulation Tests
Even if they can be a bit pricey, there are a lot of people that choose this route when trying to conceive so it is worthy of an entry on our list. Ovulation predictor kits measure the level of the luteinizing hormone in a woman’s body. This can be detected in your urine. A woman’s concentration of this hormone concentration should stay elevated for 14 to 27 hours to allow for full maturation of the egg. The tests will pick up on this peak and give you a clear sign when it is time to get in the bedroom.
They work very similar to a pregnancy test. You pee on a stick and wait for a line to appear. If the colour of the line matches what the packaging says it should you are good to go. There are also ones that are a bit more easier to decode. Some will show either a happy or sad face to tell you if you are good to go! Just like pregnancy tests, it is best to use them in the morning, but they should work at any time of the day!
12 Fertility Monitor
These are very different from ovulation monitors. An ovulation test will tell you the one day that you are ovulating, where a fertility monitor can identify the FIVE most fertile days. The monitor measures the LH plus the estrogen levels to identify your two peak fertile days. It will also tell you the one to five fertile days leading up to them. This is great, as ovulation can occur on any of a woman’s most fertile days. There is never one set day a month that an egg is released, it can happen one or two days before or after your set ovulation date.
Some versions of these tests will even store information from your previous six cycles to fully customize your fertility reading. One thing to be aware of is that because of the more advanced information, these kits can be much more pricier than the ovulation tests. Sometimes, it is just that worth the investment though.
11 Cervical Mucus Change
Now, we get into the more natural signs your body will tell you that you are ovulating. One of the most common and grossest signs of ovulation is changes to your cervical mucus. I’m sorry but all women who have a vagina will always have to deal with vaginal discharge, but embrace it as this can be a good way to determine when you will most likely be able to make a baby. As a woman nears ovulation, her body produces more estrogen. This increase in estrogen can cause cervical mucus to become stretchy and clear, almost like an egg white if you need something to compare it too.
This is a natural occurrence that aids in the ability of sperm to swim to the egg that is being released during ovulation. It will only work if you know what you are looking for. The amount of mucus and what it looks like may vary from woman to woman. It may sound gross, but to fully ensure it is the right consistency, you will want to remove some of the mucus and stretch it out with your fingers. If it is sticky and stretchy or wet and slippery, it is a very good sign. So wash your hands and go at it!
10 Heightened Sense Of Smell
For all of those that though a heightened sense of smell only happened in the beginning stages of pregnancy I have some news for you. It is also a sign that your body is ovulating. This one may not be the most accurate, as it does not happen to all women, it couldn’t hurt to pay attention to how your body reacts to smell. In a normal menstruation cycle, a heightened sense of smell in the last half of a normal cycle can be a true and tested sign of ovulation.
It is amazing how so many things just boil down to nature. The reason some women have a heightened sense of smell is so that a woman becomes more attracted to the male pheromone androstenone. It is a completely biological and primal reason, and is important in ensuring that the population continues. The same thing happens with animals, showing how we are not so different from our more wild counterparts.
9 Breast Soreness
Another one that is usually a sure fire way to tell a woman is pregnant, or is about to start her menstrual cycle is about to begin. Did you know it can also be a way for a woman to tell she is ovulating. Almost everything that happens in a woman’s body is due to a pesky thing called hormones. These are also the culprit here. It is the rush of hormones a woman’s body endures when ovulating that is responsible for sore and tender breasts.
Being very in tune with your body is the best way to determine when you are ovulating. If a woman does a little bit of hard work and recording, then she should be able to figure out her fertile week and ovulation date pretty quickly. Using your own body to guide you through conceiving can be the best way for a woman to fall pregnant. It may take some hard work, but it is worth it.
Did you know that some women can actually feel when they are ovulating? It may not be common, but it does happen. They usually describe the feeling as a mild ache or pain in their lower abdomen, usually on one side only. This feeling also has a name, mittelschmerz, and it can last anywhere between just a few minutes to a few hours.
There is usually no reason to worry about ovulation pain, as it is usually treated with some over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. If it does persist, it would be wise to be checked out to rule out any other gynecological issues. It is also important to record and monitor your ovulation symptoms every month when you experience this. That way, it will be easier for you to decipher if something is normal or something that needs to be checked.
7 Light Spotting
Even if it is not that common, it can be perfectly normal for a woman to experience brown discharge or spotting during ovulation. The reason this occurs is because of the follicle that surrounds and protects the developing egg. This follicle will mature, grow and then rupture, resulting in a small amount of bleeding. There, you have your biology lesson for the day.
Brown discharge is really just blood. As blood ages, it turns brown so the longer it takes for the blood to exit the body, the more likely it is to look brown-ish in colour. It is usually never a sign for concern, but if it persists, and get worse and if it is accompanied by any pain it is a good idea to get looked at by a doctor to make sure there is nothing else going on.
6 Libido Changes
This next one is pretty cool when you think about. Another sign of ovulation is if a woman suddenly can not get enough. A woman’s sex drive is amped up when she is ovulating, which we are pretty sure is just a way to ensure the survival of our population. Seems pretty cool that we seem to have a secret sense that tells us that we are fertile and ready to make babies. All we have to do is listen.
The downside is, a sex drive can be influenced by just about anything. A couple glasses of wine, a certain look from your partner, or even just a song on the radio. So, it is definitely not a sure fire way of finding out you are ovulating. The way I see it though, there is one way to make a baby, so do it whenever the mood strikes you, you may just get lucky!
5 Cervix Checks
OK, I am betting a lot of people reading this are not a doctor, or more specifically a gynecologist or an OB, but checking for changes in your cervix can help you determine if you are ovulating. Believe it or now, anyone can learn how to check their cervix. What you would be looking for in terms of changes is if your cervix becomes higher, softer and more open. Just like anything it can take time to learnt he differences you are feeling for and it is probably one of the more difficult ovulation tricks out there.
A good tip is when checking your cervix, you would do this in the same position you would put in a tampon, look for two distinct feelings. A softer, ovulating cervix will feel soft like your lips. A cervix that feels more like your nose, hard, means ovulation has already happened. By comparing the two, you may be able to tell when your cervix is ripe and when an egg is being released. If you have any questions, your OB is the best person to go too, they can even teach you how to check your own cervix.
Bloating is a very unwelcomed side effect of eating too much and being pregnant. It is usually that awkward time in a woman’s pregnancy where she feels like she just looks fat and not pregnant. Bloating can also be a sign that a woman is ovulating. This is another sign of ovulation that has everything to do with hormones.
It is caused by the hormone estrogen, which can cause an increase in the amount of water retention by an ovulating woman. All of these hormone changes are happening very fast in your body, so they can lead to some other pretty un-comfortable symptoms. Headaches and nausea are two more signs that hormones are going crazy trying to release that egg for fertilization. Everything takes a bit of practice, and learning about your specific ovulation signs is no different. Practice makes perfect!
3 Smooth Skin
We all love smooth, silky and baby soft skin, and we do just about anything to achieve it. We buy pretty expensive face masks and beauty creams when all we really need to do is wait until we are ovulating. Many women report that they experience flare-ups of acne when their period is on the way, this is again all due to hormones and the changes they make in your body. These acne flare-ups usually occure about 7-10 days before the start of a woman’s period.
A lot of women report that about 18-14 days before their cycle starts they experience some pretty amazing skin. It is not a coincidence that this is right around the time she is ovulating. The middle of a woman’s cycle often sees a bit of a calm in skin tone and breakouts. Because the hormones are balancing themselves out. So, if you notice a trend in a certain few days where you are blissfully acne free, then chances are you are fertile.
2 Get Happy!
I don’t think there is a woman out there who would describe a period as a fun time. I don’t think there is a single person who is in a good mood when their Aunt Flo comes for a visit and never seems to leave. Due to hormones, you can pretty much predict how a woman will feel at every step of her cycle. If she starts to get a little crabby and irritable, chances are she is about to start her menstrual cycle. Bonus tip: never tell a woman she has PMS, we know we do, but we have a right.
There is a time in a woman’s cycle when she will find herself happy and with a lot of energy, and you guessed it! It is when she ovulating. Some women describe this feeling as enduring less stress, or even just being completely at peace and carefree. The truth is, as ovulation nears nature makes it possible for her to be in a state of mind to want to have intercourse in order to reproduce!
1 Ask The Doctor
Some women who have been trying for some time to get pregnant will even take to their doctor to ask what is going on. There are some fertility issues that can cause complications with ovulation and getting pregnant. A woman who has PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) often do not ovulate but a couple times a year. If you are really concerned, a talk with your doctor will do nothing but help you.
They can help run some tests to ensure that you are ovulating, if you are not ovulating regularly for some reason it may seem heartbreaking at first. Try and stay calm and work with your medical team, with the advancements we are seeing in the medical world, there are many medications and procedures that can trigger ovulation, or help you and your partner conceive. Trying to conceive a child can be an frustrating thing, but by using some of these tips you may just be able to nail down that ovulation date, and we can all have fun in the process.
Sources: ovulationcalculator.com, babygaga.com, thebump.com