Oh, beautiful ovulation… The peak time in a woman’s cycle to get pregnant. Every couple that’s trying for a baby waits for this precious time with anticipation!
But how do you know if you’re ovulating?
If you are trying to conceive, ovulation needs to be tracked and pinpointed each month to maximize your chances of conceiving a baby.
Once you see the signs of ovulation you will be in better tune with your body throughout your entire cycle.
Let’s look at some of the unique ways your body displays ovulation symptoms and when you can start baby-making!
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What Is Ovulation?
Assuming your menstrual cycle is regular (meaning you get a period every month and your cycle is within the range of 21 to 35 days), ovulation typically occurs halfway through your cycle.
If you have a regular 28 day cycle, ovulation will usually happen about day 14.
But do keep in mind that cycles tend to vary each month by a day or two! So don’t panic too much if there is some variation.
Ovulation is the time of the month where an egg (or sometimes two) is released from an ovary. That little eggie is potentially your future baby. But only if that egg gets fertilized by your partner’s sperm.
Hence, why you need to have sex within the time frame of ovulation.
While sperm can live up to 5 days inside the vagina, an egg can only live for 12 to 24 hours. That makes it extremely difficult for an egg to actually meet the sperm.
Not only is the window of time small for conception, but just because the egg and sperm meet doesn’t mean the egg will then attach to the uterine lining.
Each month, there is only a 15 to 25 percent chance of conceiving a baby!
Now you know why pinpointing ovulation by recognizing the signs of ovulation is so extremely important for couples who are trying to conceive!
Now let’s examine the question, “How do you know if you’re ovulating?” and discover signs and symptoms of ovulation.
How Do You Know If You’re Ovulating?
Your partner finds you more attractive
Believe it or not, your partner finds you more attractive when you’re ovulating.
While this isn’t one of the concrete signs of ovulation you should follow when trying to conceive, it is interesting.
According to a study published in Hormones and Behavior, men consistently rated ovulating women’s faces and voices as more attractive compared to women who were not ovulating.
This is a fun fact to know, because if you feel your partner is paying extra attention to you lately, it may be a symptom of ovulation.
Your sense of smell increases
Interestingly enough, the same journal of Hormones and Behavior published a study linking ovulation to an increase in smell for women.
In fact, the study found that women had an increase of smell because they are more sensitive to pheromones and musky odors produced by men.
I find my sense of smell does increase significantly during ovulation. Sometimes that the point where I get nauseated by overpowering smells.
You are hornier than usual
How do you know if you’re ovulating? You’re more hornier than usual!
If you find yourself feeling hornier, it could be one of the ovulation symptoms to watch out for. While it’s not one of the reliable signs of ovulation, it is a good indicator to helping you identify when you need to start testing for ovulation.
So why exactly do women see an increase in sex drive around ovulation?
It’s our body’s natural way of telling us when we need to have sex to help us conceive. Yes, our body’s actually want to conceive a baby!
So if you’re having an increase in sex drive, then take it as a sign you need to start baby-making to conceive.
Related Articles: 6 Methods For Tracking Ovulation
Your breasts hurt
Breast pain and tenderness are not only reserved for your period, but for ovulation too. Annoying isn’t it? For this annoying symptom of ovulation, you can thank hormones for it!
The hormone surges you’re receiving during ovulation causes breast tenderness, nipple pain, and all over soreness.
Your speaking with a higher-pitched voice
This is one of the ovulation symptoms you’re probably unaware of. Therefore, do not look for this as a tell-tale sign
that you will be ovulating soon. There are plenty of other signs of ovulation to look for that are proven methods.
However, it’s worth mentioning because it is a part of how your body changes during your fertile time.
According to a UCLA study, ovulating women spoke in higher and more feminine voices than other times in their cycle.
Although there is no known reason for this, it’s thought that higher-pitched voices are associated with increased attractiveness.
You are more open to adventurous sex
Similar to the last symptom, women who are ovulating are more likely to participate in sexual fantasies and more adventurous sex. This has a lot to due with an increase in libido during ovulation.
The Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior found ovulating women were “more open to the idea of adventurous sex.”
However, the study also found that while they were more open to the idea, it didn’t mean that women had more sex during this time.
If your libido is increased than why not take advantage of it! Timed sex due to trying to conceive a baby can get boring! I know, I’ve been there…
Sometimes the last thing you want to do is make love because it feels like more of a chore.
But, why not take one of your sexual fantasies and spice things up in the bedroom to make trying to conceive fun again?!
Your cervix position changes
Although this is considered one of the semi-reliable ovulation symptoms, you should still not use cervical position to indicate ovulation. Why?
Every woman’s body is different! Plus, this is a difficult sign to recognize unless you are very familiar with your cervical positions by checking for months on end because of TTC.
During ovulation, look for the following (SHOW):
SHOW is a great way to remember the cervical position during ovulation!
If you’re confused about how to check your cervix, simply leave behind your shyness and insert one or two fingers inside your vagina opening.
Next, feel if the cervix is “squishy.” If the cervix is high, you will need to reach high within the vagina to feel the cervix.
At the tip of the cervix, you will feel a small hole. If the cervix is open, you should be able to insert a small portion of the tip of your finger into it.
Finally, the cervix will feel extra wet with added moisture on it. The added cervix moisture will feel like it’s “clinging” to the cervix itself.
I know all of this can seem a little gross, but grossness is sometimes what it takes when trying to conceive a baby!
Your cervical mucus changes
Along with the cervix position, cervical mucus also changes. For this, you will need to get familiar with your body! Thankfully, you can check your cervical position at the same time as your cervical mucus.
To check if you have fertile mucus, simply look for SHOW for the cervical position and swirl your fingers around once before removing your fingers from your vagina. (Sorry for the TMI!) Now, examine the cervical mucus on your fingers.
The cervical mucus you want for ovulation is…
-Very wet and slippery
-Stretchy (test the stretchiness by pulling two fingers apart. If the mucus stretches from one finger to the other and does not break this is what you want!)
-Resembles raw egg whites
Now let’s be clear, these same cervical mucus ovulation signs can be seen slightly before actually ovulating. While it’s good to start baby-making before your egg release, during and after…
The difference between before ovulation and actual ovulation all comes down to the extent of the mucus.
Let me explain… During actual ovulation, your cervical mucus will be stretchier and feel more like a raw egg white.
Before ovulation, you may only be able to stretch your cervical mucus between two fingers a half-inch.
During ovulation, the stretchiness of the mucus increases to up to 2 inches without breaking.
This type of cervical mucus is perfect for helping sperm travel through the cervix to (hopefully) meet that little eggie during ovulation.
Ever since a two-year battle with infertility and plenty of fertility drugs for inseminations to get pregnant with my first son, I have worse cramping during ovulation than I do during my period!
For me, this is my one true indicator that I am ovulating.
When trying to conceive for a second child, I used cramping to tell me when to start using ovulation prediction tests.
Cramping during ovulation is also known as mittelschmerz or “middle pain,” meaning pain in the middle of your cycle.
Ovulation cramps are just like period cramps. But for most women (minus myself), ovulation cramps are small twinges and minor cramping that doesn’t cause much pain.
When asking yourself the question: “How do you know if you’re ovulating?” You probably did not think about bloating as a symptom of ovulation!
Just like when your period arrives, bloating happens during ovulation. Fluids buildup due to a rise in progesterone.
Bloating occurs more specifically in the abdominal area during ovulation.
If you’re having trouble buttoning your pants toward the middle of your cycle, ovulation hormones are causing your bloating.
Some women do notice a bit of spotting around the time of ovulation. It’s nothing to panic about, but it’s worth mentioning to your OBGYN or midwife just to be on the safe side!
So how do you know if you’re ovulating because of mid-cycle spotting? Mid-cycle spotting is different than spotting before your period.
Spotting during your fertile period is scant and pink or brown in color. Mid-cycle spotting is likely due to the hormone progesterone not being high enough to thicken the uterine wall for implantation.
For women who are trying to conceive, it is important to mention ovulation spotting to your doctor if you have been TTC for over 1 year.
Since ovulation spotting is related to progesterone, this gives your doctor an idea of what’s happening inside your body to delay conceiving a baby.
It’s important to remember that not every women get’s spotting as one of her ovulation symptoms.
So if you’ve never had spotting during ovulation then you are one of the lucky ones! One less thing to worry about!
Related Articles: An Overview Of Fertility Treatment Costs
Your basal body temperature is higher
Basal body temperature is your resting temperature. Whenever you move, your body temperature goes up slightly.
Not by full degrees, but by a half degree or less. That’s why taking your BBT requires a special thermometer to track.
How do you know if you’re ovulating with your basal body temperature? Your temperature will be higher.
But let’s clarify a few things about tracking BBT for fertility…
- BBT will only tell you if you ovulated or not after you ovulated. It shouldn’t be used as a way of finding out when you’re currently ovulating.
- BBT needs to be tracked for months before trying to conceive.
You’ve received a positive ovulation test
How do you know if you’re ovulating? You can have complete confidence when you ovulate with ovulation testing!
This is the holy grail of signs of ovulation!
Once you start noticing other ovulation symptoms, you’ll probably be receiving a positive ovulation test will tell you for sure if and/or when you will ovulate.
OPKs work by identifying a key hormone (Luteinizing Hormone or LH). When you receive a positive test, it identifies the LH surge.
This surge occurs anywhere between 12 to 36 hours before an egg is released.
Since the egg will only live 12 to 24 hours, detecting this LH surge is important!
If you wait for 12 to 36 hours to have sex, your partner’s sperm may miss your egg because it does take time for the sperm to travel through the cervix, uterus, and through the fallopian tubes.
To help you conceive naturally, cover all your bases! When you receive a positive ovulation test, have sex that day and for the next 2 to 3 days.
This will maximize your chances of conception!
So, how do you know if you’re ovulating?
While not all of the signs of ovulation are actually important for identifying your fertile time to conceive, all of the signs together create a profile of when you’re ovulating.
But no one sign should be taken as truth that you are ovulating.
Instead, look for the following combination of ovulation symptoms:
-Increased sex drive
-Cramping, spotting, or both
-Positive ovulation test
By seeing all these signs line up, trying to conceive will become a little less stressful and will maximize your chances of conceiving!
Sending plenty of baby dust your way!!!