Ovulation Symptoms – developing an awareness of the signs of ovulation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhether 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:

  • Female Basal Body Temperature Change. Immediately following ovulation
    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
    to occur.

    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
    so identified.

  • Vaginal discharge. Probably the easiest to identify of the signs of ovulation
    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).
  • Breast tenderness. Increased progesterone levels can cause increased breast
    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
    sex!).
  • Abdominal pain. Abdominal discomfort is a quite common ovulation sign
    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
    alternative resource.

    Until we blog again “fiat lux– et graviditas” –
    Let there be light – and pregnancy!

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