Once the baby fever hits you in full force and you begin planning for your little bundle of joy, you just can’t wait to conceive and share the good news with your better half. However, if some months pass, without you seeing those magical two lines on your home pregnancy test, despair might set in.
As per the National Center for Health Statistics, 12% women have trouble conceiving and staying pregnant. Yet, as per a Yale study, a mind-boggling 90% of women do not know when they ovulate. To get pregnant, it is important that the female egg meets the male sperm. In every menstrual cycle, as a general rule, only one egg is released by the body that is called ovulation. If you get to know when you are ovulating, you can definitely improve your chances of conception and get the news you have been waiting for soonest.
What is ovulation?
When an egg is released from the ovary and goes down to the fallopian tube, this process is called ovulation. Ovulation happens once a month, a few weeks after the menstruation.
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When do women ovulate?
Ovulation begins mostly from the 12th day of the menstrual cycle, though it cannot be generalized for every woman. If your menstrual cycle is of 28 days, the ovulation may happen from 10th to 19th of that cycle. If your menstrual cycle is of 35 days, the ovulation can happen on the 21st day, and if your menstrual cycle is of 21 days, the ovulation may happen on 7th day.
According to Donnica L. Moore, the president of Sapphire Women's Health Group in New Jersey,“In healthy women, ovulation occurs 14 days before the onset of your period,”
Symptoms to know if you are ovulating
Before we delve any deeper, let’s understand what ovulation is.
- On the first day of your period, certain hormones called estrogen and progesterone become low in the body. This sends a signal to the pituitary gland to produce another hormone called the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
- FSH then stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles, which are fluid-filled sacs containing eggs.
- These follicles again release estrogen hormone which helps in preparing the uterus for a potential pregnancy.
- When estrogen levels become very high, the body releases the Luteinizing Hormone (LH). This hormone causes the ovary to release an egg and this is called ovulation.
If the sperm doesn’t fertilize the egg, the hormone levels change and your period begins, ejecting the egg out of the body. Ovulation lasts for 24 hours and it is during this period that the egg needs to be fertilized by the sperm.
Nowadays, many apps are available that help you track your ovulation. However, by observing the symptoms mentioned below, you will be able to know your fertile days very easily.
#1. Calculate your ovulation
Marking your calendar is the best way to know that you are ovulating. There is also an ovulation calculator available online where you need to punch in your menstrual cycle date, and the calculator will tell your fertile days.
#2. Cramps/pain in abdomen and pelvis
In 20% of women, the body sends signals to convey that you are ovulating. You may have pain or cramping your lower abdomen and pelvis.
Also Read: 7 Foods That Increase Fertility In Women
#3. Change in body temperature
Your basal body temperature or BBT can be tracked by an instrument called basal body thermometer. You have to record your basal body temperature right in the morning, but you have to ensure that you have had at least five hours of sleep to get the right reading.. As you near your ovulation, the BTT reaches its lowest, and then increases all of a sudden when the ovulation happens. You must look for a steady increase in BTT and not a little fluctuation to confirm the ovulation. It is also advisable to track your basal body temperature over a few months, to give you a better idea.
#4. Change in cervical mucus
When the body becomes ovulation ready, it produces more estrogen which makes the cervical mucus to become sticky and stretchy. It happens so that the sperm is allowed to meet the egg. A woman can determine the ovulation by inserting her finger into the vagina to get some mucus. Stretch the mucus between the thumb of your hand and finger. If you find it sticky and slippery, then you can be sure that you are ovulating.
#5. Sensitive nose
When some women ovulate, their sense of smell gets sharper.
#6. Sore breasts
You may experience numb and sore breasts. The nipples may become more sensitive and tender. This happens due to the rush of hormones during ovulation.
#7. Spotting or vaginal discharge
Some women observe spotting a few days after their menstruation, which can be a sign of ovulation. There can also be a brown or thick red discharge. The bleeding happens when the egg follicle matures and ruptures. Though normal, but if the spotting continues, you should consult your physician.
#8. Change in sex drive
You may feel a higher libido at the time of ovulation. The sex drive of some women may increase as they ovulate.It is a natural way of letting you know that now is the best time. So, go for it!
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#9. Change in cervix
When some women ovulate, their cervix becomes wider, higher and softer. It is no doubt difficult to observe your cervix, but by touching your cervix you may feel that it is softer than the other days.
#10. Nausea and Headache
Symptoms of headache and nausea are also observed in some ovulating women.
Due to water retention, some women experience bloated stomach in ovulation.
So use these symptoms to identify when you are ovulating and you will be ready to welcome a new member to your household in no time.
Also Read: 7 tips for getting pregnant with PCOS
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