Guest post by Dr. Zeenobiyah McGowan
Updated December 2020
You can only get pregnant when you are ovulating, so if you are trying to conceive, you must learn the signs of ovulation. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that can help you identify your most fertile period of the month, which begins about three days before the day of ovulation.
Here are five signs that you are ovulating:
Cervical mucus is the consistency of egg whites
f you are paying attention to the consistency of your cervical mucus, you will notice a change on the day of ovulation. Many women liken the consistency of ovulatory cervical mucus to that of egg whites. Even if you do not notice a change in consistency, you will likely notice a change in quantity. The amount of cervical mucus increases during the time of ovulation.
Your basal body temperature spikes
If you are tracking your basal body temperature, you will notice a slight spike right after ovulation. A spike in basal body temperature means that ovulation has occurred. Keep a record of when spikes occur in order to predict when ovulation is likely to occur in the future. For the most accurate basal body temperature readings you should take your temperature immediately upon waking, and at the same time every morning.
Your breasts are feeling tender
If it is not time for your menstrual period and your breasts are feeling tender, you may be ovulating. Ovulation typically occurs about two weeks from the date of your last menstrual period, so this is when you should start paying attention. Some women also experience a light cramping during ovulation. This is called Mittelshmerz, and can be confused as a sign of menstruation especially if it is accompanied with breast tenderness. However, if it is not time for your period and it is not followed by menstrual bleeding, it is likely to be a sign of ovulation.
You are feeling a little more frisky than unusual
As part of the natural order, women are more likely to desire sex during ovulation than at any other time in a cycle. They may also be more likely to make an effort to make themselves appear more attractive to the opposite sex, doing things such as dressing up in more attractive clothes, styling their hair and wearing more makeup. Some experts believe that women who are ovulating also emit a scent that attracts men.
Your vulva is looking or feeling a little swollen
This is one sign of ovulation that is easily overlooked. The vulva is the external part of your genitalia and the vagina, which begins with the opening to your internal genitalia and ends at your cervix. A slightly more swollen vulva signals ovulation, however, you may not notice this unless you are checking. A swollen vulva should not cause you any pain. Rather, what you may notice is that the area is likely to become more sensitive, which may even help to heighten sexual pleasure during this time.
**Important Note from Amy: If you have PCOS, your cycle likely does not fall into the neat and tidy 28 day routine. Check out these two posts about cycle patterns that may better describe your rhythm:
Looking for an ovulation and fertility monitor that actually works with PCOS? Read these reviews:
Dr. Zeenobiyah McGowan is the Chief Editor at OvulationCalendar.com, a website that bests predict your fertile window by using big data and machine learning. Dr. McGowan also founded and runs a charity helping underprivileged children in Africa.