How Do I Know if I’m Ovulating?
Each month during the menstrual cycle an egg is released from the ovaries. This is called ovulation. The egg can live for 24 hours after ovulation.
Ovulation usually takes place around 12 to 16 days before your period begins. This means that if you are someone who has a regular cycle you could be able to work out when you are ovulating.
Pregnancy occurs when sperm meets the egg. When you have had sex sperm can continue to live inside the fallopian tubes for up to 5 days.
A healthy couple who does not use birth control would usually have about a 25% to 30% chance of getting pregnant during each monthly cycle. This of course will vary depending on your circumstances. If you do not want to get pregnant though, you should make sure to use protection.
The reason his percentage is lower than you might expect is that you can only conceive when the egg is viable around when you are ovulating. So, if you do want to get pregnant knowing when you ovulate is a great place to start.
Remember though that your cycle may not always be consistently the same and it is not always easy to figure out when you are ovulating.
So, how do you know if you are ovulating?
If you have a totally regular cycle then ovulation would likely occur between day 11 and day 21 of your cycle. If you have shorter cycles you are likely to ovulate closer to day 11 and if they are longer you are more likely to ovulate closer to day 21.
Remember an egg is able to be fertilized 12 to 24 hours after ovulation.
Signs of ovulation
When ovulating, some women experience no signs whilst others experience a lot. These are some of the main signs of ovulation:
- Changes in body temperature.
- Changes in cervical positioning.
- A libido boost.
- Vulva changes.
- Ovulation pain.
- Changes in cervical mucus.
- Light spotting.
- Breast tenderness.
Throughout your cycle, your hormone levels change. In the first half of your menstrual cycle, your ovaries release oestrogen and once the level of oestrogen is high enough then your ovaries will release an egg.
Next, your body will produce progesterone which is another hormone that will increase your body temperature.
The hormones also affect your cervical mucus. As your body prepares for you to begin ovulating it will create more cervical mucus and it becomes more slippery which is to help sperm get to the egg. It is described as being like raw egg whites and when the mucus has this consistency you should be in your window of fertility.
There are a few different ways that you could use to track your ovulation if you wish. These could help you to plan a pregnancy if that is your goal.
- Use an ovulation calculator.
- Keep a calendar or diary with the dates of your cycle.
- Get an app that tracks your period.
- Monitoring your temperature and changes in your vaginal mucus.
- Use an ovulation prediction kit.
- Use an ovulation test - ovulation tests work by detecting the level of luteinizing hormone in urine and can work with up to 99% accuracy.
What is Basal Body Temperature (BBT)?
Another great way to find out if you are ovulating is to chart your BBT. You should do this by getting a special BBT thermometer and taking your temperature at the same time every single day and plotting it onto a chart.
The best time to do this is in the morning before you get up or do anything else and you should try and make sure this is at the same time every day where possible.
A temperature increase of about 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit can be an indication of ovulation and it should be the highest temperature that you have taken in the previous six days.
Once you have been taking your BBT and charting it for a few months you should hopefully be able to see a pattern emerge and this can help you to track your ovulation.
20% of women can actually feel twinges or cramps when they are ovulating. Usually, this is on one side, the side you are ovulating from. This is known as mittelschmerz, which is German for ‘middle pain’. It is thought that this happens at the maturation of the egg or maybe when the egg is released from the ovary.
This will usually take place around 14 days before your period if you are someone who experiences ovulation pain.
Ovulation pain will not feel exactly the same to everyone who experiences it.
Firstly it can be on either side. This, of course, depends on which of your ovaries is releasing an egg. For some, it comes on suddenly and is particularly painful whereas for others it is merely a dull ache. This could last for a couple of days or only a few minutes.
Some people even have a little spotting during ovulation pain.
Treatments for ovulation pain
For some people, their painful ovulation can be eased with a mild painkiller (like paracetamol) or a nice hot bath. Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen could also help but these are not recommended if you are trying to conceive as they can interfere with your ovulation.
If the pain becomes severe or you have concerns then you should make an appointment to see your GP. Before you visit try and keep track of your pain and wrote it in a diary so that you will be able to let the doctor know exactly what you are experiencing.
Should you worry about ovulation pain?
Ovulation pain is not usually cause for concern, however, it can sometimes be a symptom of a medical condition. Some of the underlying causes of ovulation pain can unfortunately be accompanied by fertility problems.
Endometriosis - Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) - STIs can result in inflammation and even scarring around the fallopian tubes which can unfortunately cause ovulation pain.
Scar tissue - surgeries that have resulted in scar tissue anywhere around the area, such as having your appendix out or a c-section, can cause ovulation pain. This is because it could be restricting the ovaries and the area around them.
Why does ovulation pain happen?
Unfortunately, there are only theories of why some of us experience ovulation pain. The main theory is that when the egg breaks through the wall of the ovary a small amount of fluid is released and this irritates the nerves.
At Official Rapid Tests we offer an Instant Ovulation Test so that you can determine when you are ovulating.
It's just £14.99 and is an easy and quick way to track your ovulation.
The Instant Ovulation self-test is used for the detection of the peak level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine to aid in the detection of ovulation. The test can aid in the detection of ovulation with up to 99% accuracy.
Our tests use Medical Laboratory Management Software.
If you need to know how to register click here.
To find a test centre location near you click here.