Ovulation signs may be very subtle symptoms of changes in the balance of the body’s hormones. Not every woman experiences the same ovulation symptoms, and in many the signs are overlooked or attributed to other causes. Charting the signs of ovulation each month can help women to pinpoint the days on which they are most likely to conceive.
About half of all women of childbearing age experience some abdominal discomfort and cramps during ovulation. Some women have a sharp pain on one side of the abdomen that lasts for just a moment while others may experience mild-cramping or a dull ache that lasts from a few hours to a few days.
In most women, this mid month pain is mild and may be blamed on gas or other digestive problems, but if the pain is severe, or accompanied by other symptoms, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible since this may be an indication of a serious medical condition or even an early symptom of pregnancy.
If cramps or pain lasts for more than 24 hours, you may want to take a pregnancy test.
Most women experience an increase in vaginal discharge just before ovulation as the cervical mucus thins and the body prepares for fertilization of an egg. The discharge may be creamy white or clear and is slippery to the touch.
If vaginal discharge is yellow or has an unpleasant odor, it can be a symptom of other conditions and should be tested by a doctor. Discharge that is an indicator of ovulation will occur at about the same time every month during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
The night sweats and hot flashes associated with menopause are caused by fluctuations in female hormones, particularly progesterone. The amount of progesterone in the blood peaks just before ovulation and it causes hot flashes and night sweats in some women.
Women who experience night sweats and/or hot flashes at about the same time every month in their menstrual cycle can use these ovulation signs to help pinpoint the three days when their fertility will be optimum.
Changes in hormone level cause about half of all women to have breast tenderness, soreness, or heightened sensitivity during ovulation. These ovulation symptoms usually begin about two days before ovulation occurs and end shortly after the ovary releases an egg.
Since breast tenderness is also a symptom of early pregnancy, it is important to chart these ovulation signs each month and if the soreness or sensitivity persists longer than usual, a woman may want to take a pregnancy test.
Basal Body Temperature
Because all women of childbearing age have noticeable changes in the basal body temperature just prior to and during ovulation, basal body temperature is considered among the most reliable signs of ovulation.
About two days before ovulation, the basal body temperature will drop slightly and will then rise sharply when ovulation occurs. After ovulation the temperature will return to pre-ovulation levels signaling that the three day period of fertility has ended.
Ovulation signs vary between women and no single sign, other than basal body temperature, is an accurate predictor of ovulation. Women who want to become pregnant should keep a monthly calendar that tracks the signs of ovulation each month so they can determine the times when they are most fertile.