Recognising the signs of ovulation
Ovulation is the process of hormonal changes causing the ovaries to release an egg. This happens once every menstrual cycle and ovulation occurs twelve to sixteen days before menstruation. The precise day of ovulation depends on how long the menstrual cycle is. Recognising the signs of ovulation help you increase your chances of conception.
3 min read
Reviewed by Jenny Jansson
There are signs that you're ovulating but it's not always easy to spot and most women don't know when they're ovulating. You can learn about different signs and symptoms here.
A sign of ovulation is sensitive and tender breasts or nipples. This is because the body produces more oestrogen when the body prepares for ovulation.
When your body produces more oestrogen the mucous at the cervix becomes more elastic and clear like egg white. You might feel like you have more discharges than usual.
You can check the consistency of the discharge yourself. If it's transparent, creamy and more viscous than usual it's probably time for ovulation. The function of the discharge is to help the sperm reach the egg more easily.
Mittelschmerz and lower abdominal pain
Some women feel ovulation as a pain in the lower part of their stomach and back, and some feel pain on one side of their vulva. This feeling is called Mittelschmerz and can last for a few minutes to a few hours. The pain is due to the detachment of an egg from the ovary and may be accompanied by slight bleeding ovulation.
Lots of women may also feel a slight pain in the pelvis or abdomen during the days around ovulation. The pain subsides when the ovaries start to release an egg. This pain can also be felt in the lower abdomen and is often on only one side. This means that the egg is released from one of the two ovaries.
When the egg is released your body temperature falls to the lowest temperature throughout your menstrual cycle. There is an increase in temperature of 0.3-0.5 degrees the day after ovulation. Take your temperature regularly at the same time every day and write the result down to keep an eye on ovulation.
Changes in the cervix
There is another ovulation sign that you can learn to recognise with a bit of practice. The cervix is usually firm and closed, but when you're near ovulation it changes position and moves higher up. Feel careful just before ovulation the cervix is softer and more tender and feels sensitive like your lips. After ovulation, it becomes firmer again and feels like your nose.
Feeling sick is a well-known early pregnancy symptom. It's not a usual sign of ovulation, but also not unusual. Some women feel sick when they ovulate.
Your sense of smell can also become stronger
Your sense of smell can be more sensitive in the second half of your menstrual cycle. This can be a sign of ovulation. Your body is carrying out a biological reset so you are more attracted to the male's hormones.
Reviewed by Jenny Jansson
More from Preggers
Read popular and relevant articles.
Early signs of pregnancy
All pregnancies are different. Most women don't notice any signs of pregnancy before the fertilised egg has attached to the lining of the womb. You'll begin to wonder if you're pregnant when you miss your period. Early signs of pregnancy aren't easy to recognise, but some symptoms are definitely a sign that you could be pregnant. Read about the early signs of pregnancy here.
How do you become pregnant?
Check your calendar, know when you ovulate, make sure the atmosphere is right...How do you really get pregnant? Does it have to be so complicated or is having sex enough? We're talking about fertility and how to become pregnant.
The man’s diet and fertility
A healthy and varied diet is an important part of fertility. Men can positively affect their fertility with good eating habits. Eat sensibly to boost the quality of your sperm. Our tips!
Becoming a big sister or brother - let the big one be small
Becoming a big sister or brother is exciting but also overwhelming. A new sibling means a big change for the family, but most of all for the children. Don't forget to let the elder child be the little one sometimes to make the transition easier.
Tips for conceiving if you’re trying to have a baby
Lots of things have to happen at the same time for you to become pregnant. Fertility varies from person to person, with different chances of getting pregnant. The first tip for becoming pregnant is to understand your menstrual cycle and find out when you ovulate to improve your chances of conception. Read our guide including well-known methods to give you the best chance of having a baby.