There are subtle symptoms that signal that ovulation is occurring, which are caused by the increase of the hormone progesterone in the blood. Progesterone levels usually peak the day after ovulation and may cause noticeable post ovulation symptoms in some women. Although recognizing indicators that ovulation has already occurred may not be as useful as knowing ovulation is currently in progress, even post ovulation symptoms can help you time your menstruation cycle to avoid or increase the chances of pregnancy.
Mittelschmerz is a German word meaning middle pain and it is used to refer to the mild cramping or abdominal pain that some women experience during and immediately following ovulation. It occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle and usually is more prominent on either the left or right side of the abdomen.
Not all women have mittelschmerz, but for those who do, it is a fairly reliable indicator that ovulation has occurred. Some other signs of ovulation may be more pronounced and easier to track.
While associated with menopause, night sweats and hot flashes are caused by increases in a woman’s progesterone levels and may happen during or immediately after ovulation. In many cases, women ignore these symptoms or blame them on another cause. Women who experience night sweats and/or hot flashes during the middle of the menstrual cycle should understand that these post ovulation symptoms signal that ovulation is complete and the fertile period of the menstrual cycle has ended.
A small amount of blood is released when the ovum bursts from the ovarian follicle and this may be apparent as mid-cycle spotting. Not all women spot during the mid-cycle because the amount of blood is so small it may not even be visible. Spotting is one of the post ovulation symptoms since it only occurs after the ovum has been released from the ovary. Women who are tracking their ovulation signs should look for a tiny amount of blood on their underwear or when they wipe to confirm that ovulation has occurred.
Body Temperature Rises
Medical professionals agree that the most reliable way to chart ovulation is with a basal body temperature calendar. A special thermometer is needed to take the basal body temperature daily and keep a record of temperature changes each month. Just prior to ovulation the temperature will drop slightly and after ovulation there is a sharp increase in the temperature which then returns to normal. A sharp rise in basal body temperature is one of the post ovulation symptoms experienced by virtually all women.
An ultrasound test can determine if ovulation is occurring, but this test is usually reserved for women who are experiencing fertility problems. If a doctor orders an ovulation ultrasound he or she will usually require that the patient keep an ovulation calendar for at least three months before scheduling the test so that it can be timed to coincide with the most likely date for ovulation. It is not practical to have an ultrasound test every month just to determine if ovulation has occurred.
Post ovulation symptoms signal the end of the fertile period of the menstrual cycle, but they can be used to track a woman’s cycle over a period of time to predict future fertile days. Women who wish to become pregnant or who wish to avoid pregnancy can use this information to meet their personal goals.