Deciding it’s finally time to start trying for a baby can be equal parts exciting and terrifying. While there’s so much information out there, figuring out the signs and symptoms of ovulation can make the conception process far less stressful.
Women are born with millions of immature eggs in their ovaries, which are released over the course of their life. Ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary and moves down into the fallopian tube. For most healthy women, this process occurs once a month, 14 days before their period. The egg can survive in the fallopian tube anywhere between 12 to 24 hours. If the egg is not fertilised with sperm, it is released and becomes a woman’s period.
Indeed the mathematical equations that go on behind the scenes to figure out when the best time is to do the deed are far from sexy, having the information on hand can only empower you and your partner.
Timing is everything when it comes to falling pregnant and ovulation is the key factor to getting it right. You want to be having sex in the five days leading up to your ovulation and on the day of.
So, what are the 5 telltale signs and symptoms of ovulation?
Signs of ovulation 1: Tracking your cycle
Knowing how to track your cycle is the first step to figuring out exactly when you’re ovulating. Ovulation usually occurs 14 days before the start of your period. So for example, counting the first day of your period as day one, if you have a 28-day cycle, then you’ll ovulate on day 14. A full cycle is the first day of one period, until the day before the next period. However everyone’s cycle duration is different, so you can start tracking it with an ovulation app to better understand how many days your cycle is.
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Signs of ovulation 2: Discharge
Around the time of ovulation, you may notice a clear, sticky discharge in your underwear – similar to the texture of egg white, that will stretch between your fingers. This is a cervical mucous and a clear sign ovulation has occurred.
Signs of ovulation 3: Your basal body temperature (BTT) increases
Many people use the BTT method to help inform them when to have sex as your temperature can often spike slightly right before ovulation. You need to take your temperature at the same time every morning before getting out of bed with a digital oral thermometer and keep a log of your readings. Once you’ve recorded a few months’ worth of data, you’ll be able to spot any patterns of when your temperature rises. Your most fertile window is about two days before your basal body temperature rises but sperm can survive inside the reproductive tract for up to five days.
Signs of ovulation 4: Monitor your body for dull aches and pains
During ovulation, some women may experience bloating, tender breasts and abdominal pains.
Signs of ovulation 5: Headaches and nausea
Headaches and nausea can often be a side effect of changes in estrogen and progesterone levels.
The golden rule when it comes to conception sex? Make sure you’re having sex in the days leading up to ovulation. As you prepare for your conception journey, it’s always a good idea to speak with your GP who can guide you through the whole process. And if you’re worried that you might not be ovulating, which will make it harder to conceive, your doctor can refer you to have specific blood tests and ultrasounds to find out.