Whether you’re trying to avoid pregnancy or trying to get pregnant, familiarity with
ovulation symptoms – signs of ovulation, if you prefer – is an important requirement.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is simply the release of an ovum or egg from the female ovary.
Many writers state that ovulation occurs about halfway through the normal menstrual
cycle. And what’s true for regular and ‘normal’ 28 day cycles. However, the weight
of opinion is that ovulation in most women is most likely to occur 14 days before the
commencement of the next cycle.
In other words, for a 28 day cycle, ovulation would be expected to occur around day
14; for a 25 day cycle, around day 11; and for a 32 day cycle, around day 18.
After breaking free of the follicle at ovulation – the end of the ‘follicular phase’ of the
female fertility cycle – the egg is swept into the fallopian tube where, all things going
well and healthy sperm being present, fertilisation can occur.
If this doesn’t happen, the egg disintegrates after a period of some 15-30 hours or so.
If you’re trying to conceive, knowledge of this cycle is clearly important. With such a
relatively short egg-life after ovulation, it’s smart thinking to be looking for the signs
of ovulation that indicate when sperm should be in those fallopian tube – or well on
their way there – around the time of ovulation.
So what are the main Ovulation Symptoms?
The main signs of ovulation are:
the female basal body temperature slightly increases. However, unless your
partner has Olympic sprinter sperm (and even is he does) detecting this change
might be too late in your cycle to get sperm where it’s needed for conception
Temperature can be a great tool for pinpointing ovulation – especially if your
cycle is as regular as clockwork. However, it’s best used by plotting
temperature over a few months, hopefully identifying a clear timing for
ovulation, and then scheduling sex the following months based on the pattern
for most women. Commonly a vaginal discharge often approaching egg white
appearance and consistency will be experienced around ovulation. This
causes the walls of the vagina to become slippery and so facilitates the
sperm’s journey up to the fallopian tubes in search of the egg. (That sperm
journey is fascinating in itself and so will be the topic of a further post).
or nipple sensitivity or even soreness for some women around ovulation time.
Increased sex drive. Let’s face it, nature is smart. Humans are more likely to
want sex at the time most likely to produce more humans (to eventually want
and typically is experienced just prior to ovulation. In addition some women
report feeling a little ‘twinge’ on one side of their lower abdomen as the egg is
released. Whether or not this oft-reported phenomenon scientifically indicates
the precise moment of ovulation, I do not know.
There are other possible signs of ovulation, in particular hormone levels. However,
these are probably an area you’d want to investigate further with your physician if and
when the need arises. In addition, if you experience symptoms such as strong
headache, dizziness or nausea around the time of ovulation, you are advised to discuss
this with your physician. Our objective is to be a complementary resource – never an
Until we blog again “fiat lux– et graviditas” –
Let there be light – and pregnancy!