Women who are trying to become pregnant should be aware of the symptoms of ovulation that signal the three days during the month when they are most likely to conceive. Some of the symptoms of ovulation are subtle and many are not experienced by every woman so it is important to know exactly what signs can predict the onset of ovulation.
Cramps and Pain
Unlike menstrual cramps which can be very painful, the mid-month pain of ovulation is mild to moderate and may last from just a moment to a couple of days. Some women experience a sudden sharp pain on one side of the abdomen, which ends quickly while others may have a dull achy feeling in the lower abdomen that lasts from a few hours to two days. Only about 50% of women experience ovulation pain as one of the signs of ovulation so this symptom, by itself, is not a reliable indicator of fertility.
Breast Tenderness or Heightened Senses
The hormonal changes that occur during ovulation cause some women to experience tenderness in their breasts. The hormone progesterone peaks in the bloodstream during ovulation and is believed to be responsible for a number of symptoms of ovulation. Some women have reported heightened senses of taste or smell as one of their ovulation signs or a change in the way food tastes or smells. As a rule, these symptoms of ovulation last for about two days prior to ovulation and the day of ovulation.
Cervical Mucus, Discharge and Spotting
Many women have increased vaginal discharge just before ovulation as the cervical mucus changes to facilitate fertilization of the egg. The discharge may be creamy white or clear, and it signals the onset of the ovulation cycle. When the ovaries release an egg, the ovarian follicle ruptures releasing a small amount of blood. This may cause very slight mid-month spotting that is visible on a woman’s underwear or on a tissue when she wipes herself. Not all women experience visible spotting because the amount of blood is so small.
Changes In Basal Body Temperature
Considered by most medical professionals to be the most reliable indicator of ovulation, changes in basal body temperature are one of the universal symptoms of ovulation. All women have a slight drop in basal body temperature about two days before ovulation, which is followed by a sharp rise in temperature as ovulation occurs. By using a calendar to chart these symptoms of ovulation, women can reliably determine their fertile days so they can take appropriate steps to conceive.
Using Symptoms To Predict Ovulation
Although ultrasound testing can determine if ovulation has occurred, it is not a practical method for charting a woman’s monthly cycle. The best way to determine when ovulation will occur is to keep a monthly calendar that charts all the symptoms of ovulation for at least three months. Some smart phones have an application that allows women to record their daily basal body temperature and other symptoms they experience during their menstrual cycle, which makes keeping track of ovulation signs easy and convenient.
The symptoms of ovulation vary between women and not every woman has noticeable signs of ovulation. The basal body temperature calendar is the best way to determine when the most fertile times of the cycle occur and women can use their laptop or smart phone to record their symptoms and determine the best times to achieve pregnancy.