Because ovulation is an important part of getting pregnant, it is important to know when you are ovulating, whether you are wanting to get pregnant or not. This is why it is important to learn what the symptoms of ovulation are.
What Are Normal Symptoms During Ovulation?
When it comes to ovulation, there is no normal. The symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and it is very likely that many women will not experience any symptoms of ovulation at all.
Furthermore, some women will ovulate on the same days each month, while other women can ovulate on varying days. This makes finding a ‘normal’ even harder for women who want to understand their person ovulation period and the symptoms.
Even more surprising is that not all women ovulate every month. The lining of the uterus may develop as normal; however, there is no egg released.
Why Does Ovulation Occur?
To really understand the symptoms of ovulation, it is important to understand why ovulation occurs in the first place. Ovulation is the process of an egg being released from an ovary and travelling through a Fallopian tube to the uterus.
In preparation for ovulation, follicles on the ovaries develop, and those follicles contain eggs. The follicle stimulating hormones encourages the growth of 5-12 follicles, and the most dominant follicle is released during ovulation. For the start of the journey, the follicle moves through the wall of the ovary, and if sperm is present there is a good chance of pregnancy.
The estrogen produced from the growing follicles encourages the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) to produce, and when that hormone comes to a high point, ovulation takes place within a 24-hour period.
4 Common Symptoms Of Ovulation
1. A Sensation In The Abdomen
A sudden sensation in the lower abdomen can occur during ovulation; however, it is not normal for it to be painful. A mild sensation may be present, but pain is a sign that something else may be going on.
Therefore, if you have stabbing, acute, or debilitating pain, please visit your doctor. The pain is an indicator that you may have a health issue that needs to be looked at.
Furthermore, if you are trying to get pregnant, pain could be caused from an issue that could prevent pregnancy, which is why it is important to get it looked at.
2. Drop In Basal Temperature
The basal body temperature is the lowest body temperature in a 24-hour period. The perfect time to record the basal temperature is first thing in the morning before any activity is done. It is done with a basal thermometer that is capable of determining very small temperature changes unlike other thermometers.
During ovulation, the basal temperature can rise anywhere from 0.4 to 1.0 degrees (it is normally between 97.2-97.7 degrees). This rise in temperature will last until the next menstrual cycle begins (and it will stay elevated if pregnancy occurs).
This is a reliable way to tell when ovulation is occurring, but it requires that a woman takes her temperature every morning at around the same time to determine what her normal basal temperature is. This is not something that will be detected without the use of a basal thermometer and a chart to record varying temperatures throughout the month.
3. Cervical Discharge
One of the most recognized symptoms of ovulation is a change in cervical discharge. The discharge changes from a watery substance to a stretchy and slippery substance. Many people describe it as being a bit like raw egg white.
The problem is, that certain fertility issues, medications, illness, travel, diet changes, or stress may cause a woman not to have any discharge during ovulation, so it may not be the most reliable way to determine if ovulation is occurring.
4. Cervix Position And Feel
As ovulation is approaching, the cervix moves into a higher position and becomes softer. It is possible to track changes in your cervix simply through touch. However, to determine ovulation most women combine this symptom with checking their basal temperature for a more accurate sign of ovulation.
In order to feel the cervix, insertion of the middle finger into the vagina is necessary. The finger should be inserted up to, or more than, the middle knuckle. The cervix is at the neck of the uterus (womb), and can be felt from this position. By familiarizing yourself with the feeling of the cervix, it will become easier to notice changes in its position and feel.
Just before ovulation, the cervix feels soft to the touch (similar to the lips), and after ovulation, the cervix will feel harder (like the tip of the nose).
Other possible symptoms of ovulation include increased libido and energy, heightened senses, retaining water, breast tenderness, and spotting. These are not reliable symptoms of ovulation; however, once you know what your body typically feels like during ovulation, they can become a pretty constant indicator of ovulation.
What Is An Ovulation Kit?
If you experience irregular ovulation symptoms, or none at all, then an ovulation kit may be something that can help you predict ovulation. The most popular kit tests urine for a spike in the Luteinising Hormone (when this hormone comes to a high point, ovulation occurs within 24-48 hours).
It is important to note that there is always a bit of the LH present in the urine, but the spike of the hormone before ovulation can be up to five times as much. This is what makes the ovulation kit such a great predictor of ovulation.
The urine test is around 99% accurate for detecting a surge of LH; however, since LH can surge without the release of an egg, they cannot totally determine whether a woman is definitely going to go through ovulation. And sometimes false LH surges can occur before the actual ovulation surge takes place.
Moreover, there are some drugs that interfere with the test results, especially drugs that contain LH.
There is also an ovulation kit that uses your saliva to determine estrogen levels. The salt content of your saliva increases as your estrogen increases, and the kit comes with a microscope that can detect what pattern the salt dries into. When the salt dries into a fern-like pattern, ovulation is likely to occur within a few days.
Similar to the urine test, some drugs, such as ones that contain clomid, can affect the test results.
Lastly, you may or may not have regular symptoms of ovulation that allow you to pinpoint exactly when ovulation will be occurring; however, you can always track your period and use that to give you an indication of when ovulation will occur. If you are trying to get pregnant, then using a calendar can help you determine when ovulation is likely to occur (based on common time periods) and allow you to plan out when you need to have sex to potentially become pregnant.