7 Physical Signs of Ovulation
Medikoe Health Expert
Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru May 13, 2019
Ovulation is a process that occurs once in every menstrual cycle when hormone changes trigger an ovary to release an egg. During this time, if sperm meets with and fertilises an egg, the possibilities of pregnancy increases. Ovulation lasts between 12 and 24 hours.
When Do You Ovulate?
Ovulation usually occurs halfway through your menstrual cycle, or on 14th day of the average 28-day menstrual cycle counting since the first day of a period to the first day of the next. But as with everything related to pregnancy, there is a broad range of normal here as cycles can last anywhere from 23-35 days, and even your own menstrual cycle and time of ovulation may fluctuate slightly from month to month. The fertile window starts on day 10. That is why, if you have sex at least every other day between days 10 to 14, the chances of getting pregnant will maximise.
How long does ovulation last?
An egg can be fertilised for between 12 and 24 hours following ovulation. The particular length of time which it takes for the egg to be delivered by the ovary and picked up by the fallopian tube is changeable, but it mostly occurs 12-24 hours next to a surge of the hormone LH.
Is ovulation the only time you can become pregnant?
No, ovulation is definitely not the only time you can get pregnant. While the egg can only be fertilised in the 12-24 hours after it is discharged, a man's sperm can exist in the reproductive tract following ideal circumstances for about five days. So, if you do have sex in the days leading up to ovulation or on the day of ovulation itself, you have a good chance to become pregnant.
Phases of ovulation
The ovulation process is determined by a period of elevated hormones during your menstrual cycle. It can be split into 3 phases:
The follicular or periovulatory phase: A layer of cells nearby ovum starts to mucify, or convert more like mucus, and expand. The uterus lining starts to thicken.
The ovulatory phase: Enzymes are released and create a hole or stigma. The ovum and its system of cells use the stigma to migrate into the fallopian tube. This is the period of fertility and normally lasts from 24-48 hours.
The luteal or postovulatory phase: LH is discharged. A fertilised egg will be implanted into the womb, while an unfertilised egg gradually stops creating hormones and dissolves within 24 hours.
The lining of the uterus also starts to break down and plans to exit the body during menses or menstruation.
What Are The Symptoms of Ovulation?
There are various signs and symptoms of ovulation, including moodiness, breast tenderness, or headaches. But, if you do not notice any of them, don't feel disheartened. The symptoms of ovulation vary from woman to woman. Moreover, sometimes some women have not even experienced symptoms of ovulation.
Cervical Mucus Changes
When your body produces more estrogen, causing the cervical mucus to become clear and stretchy, like egg white, is a strong sign that you are ovulating or near ovulation. All cervical fluid can be different, and every woman can experience her own type of cervical fluid. To test this, insert a clean finger into your vagina, remove some of the mucous membranes and then stretch the secret between your finger and thumb. If it's stretchy and sticky or slippery and very wet, you are near to your fertility window.
Breast Soreness or Tenderness
Breast and nipple tenderness, sensitivity, or soreness can be another symptom that you are fertile. It happens because of the influx of the hormones that enter your body prior and post ovulation.
Changes in Basal Body Temperature
Basal Body Temperature also referred to as BBT is the temperature of your body at rest. The body's temperature at rest (BBT) increases a bit while you are ovulating. For some women, during ovulation, the BBT level reaches a low point followed by a sharp increase, just after ovulation. Using a thermometer specifically crafted to measure basal body temperature, you can measure your temperature each morning before getting out of bed. Record the outcomes and look for a pattern to appear. You will be most fertile throughout the two to three days before the temperature rises.
Light Spotting or Discharge
Brown spotting or discharge during ovulation is common. This is another sign of ovulation, and it occurs when the follicle that protects and surrounds the developing egg, or oocyte, grows, matures and then ruptures, resulting in a small amount of bleeding. As the blood becomes older, it becomes brown. Hence, vaginal discharge can go from red to dark brown.
Mild Pelvic or Lower Abdominal Pain
Most women experience mild pain or ache involved in ovulation, which is also called as Mittelschmerz. The pain can occur either side of the lower abdomen and can last anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours. You may also experience light vaginal discharge, bleeding or nausea along with the pain or ache.
Changes in the Cervix
During ovulation, your cervix may become softer, higher, and more open. Changes in the cervix can be another symptom of being fertile, but it takes time to realise the differences you are feeling. However, if you follow your cervix regularly, you may feel the difference.
During ovulation, some women notice an increase in their sex drive, which may be the mother nature's way of ensuring that the species are kept alive and healthy! It may also be the result of increased levels of estrogen.
What if you are not ovulating regularly?
When you track ovulation from one month to the following, you may observe that you are either not ovulating regularly or, in a few cases, not ovulating at all. This is a reason to consult a doctor. Although elements like diet or stress may affect the exact day of ovulation from month to month, there are also medical conditions, such as amenorrhea and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which may cause ovulation to be irregular or stop completely. These conditions may cause other symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances, including excess body or facial hair, acne, and even infertility.
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