Signs of Ovulation – What are they?

signs of ovulationThere are many signs of ovulation and they differ from one woman to another. The period when you ovulate also varies from woman to woman. Some women ovulate regularly while others ovulate on different days of every cycle.

The first step in identifying the signs of ovulation is to narrow down the dates on which you are most likely to ovulate next. After narrowing down the dates, you can then start paying attention to the different signs of ovulation.

If you want to get pregnant, you should know when you are ovulating because this is when you are most likely to conceive. You can time intercourse to increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

Guide to Tracking The Signs of Ovulation

Cervical discharge

Your cervical fluid will start to resemble egg whites when you are nearing ovulation. It will start to look clear, slippery and stretchy. The greatest amount of cervical fluid discharge is at the time of ovulation. Changes in the appearance and texture of cervical fluid can be attributed to the rising levels of estrogen in your body. The cervical fluid generally acts as a protective barrier. But when ovulation comes, it allows sperm to swim through it and helps it pass the cervix and go up to the uterus. It ushers the sperm to the fallopian tube where fertilization takes place.

Basal body temperature

Typically, your body temperature will be consistent in the days prior to ovulation. When you are about to ovulate, your basal body temperature will drop and then rise again. The increase can be anywhere from 0.4 degrees to 1.0 degrees. The sudden rise in temperature following the drop signifies ovulation has just occurred. When your ovaries release an egg, progesterone production is stimulated. This increases your body temperature.

You are most fertile during the 2 to 3 day interval before the spike in your basal body temperature. By the time you see the increase, your egg may have already expired and fertilization will be too late. Remember, your egg only lives for 12 – 24 hours after ovulation. Track your basal body temperature daily and soon you will see a pattern to help you predict your next ovulation.

Cervical firmness

When you are about to ovulate, you will notice your cervix will be softer, higher, more open and wetter than normal. The change may not be that drastic. You will have to pay closer attention to your body for a few months to be able to see the difference.

Changes in cervical discharge, basal body temperature and cervical firmness are signs seen in most women. There are other less common signs of ovulation which can appear in some women. Below are some examples.

You may experience light spotting when ovulation takes place. Your breasts may start to become tender and may hurt. Your abdomen may seem bloated. You may experience an increase in sex drive. You may have a more sensitive sense of smell, sense of taste and clearer vision.

You may feel mild menstrual cramps on one side of your pelvis. Almost 1/5 of women experience pain from ovulatory activities. The cramps you might feel can range from mild twinges to serious pain. Some women may even faint due to pain from menstrual cramps. “Mittelschmerz” is a type of a cramp that can last from a few minutes to a few hours.

Learning to notice signs of ovulation can be difficult at first. But the longer you pay attention to your body, the more you will be able to spot the signs of ovulation. It will also help you identify any problems in your cycle if you start noticing abnormal patterns.

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About the Author: Iva Keene MRMed. ND. - Natural Fertility Specialist

Iva Keene is co-founder, creator and award-winning author of the NFP Program and director of She holds a Bachelor Degree in Health Science in Naturopathy and a Master Degree in Reproductive Medicine. She has been a qualified and internationally accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 15 years. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva’s articles, videos, guides, and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols, and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments, and integrative reproductive health.