For women trying to conceive, knowing the symptoms of ovulation can be quite helpful. Since ovulation tends to occur only one day per month, it is important to have a good idea of when it will happen, so that intercourse can be properly timed. Fortunately, there are various natural ways to detect ovulation since most women experience one or more symptoms just before and during their cycle. The most common symptoms of ovulation include changes in cervical mucus, increased body temperature, and some lower abdominal discomfort.
Many women notice that they regularly have discharge, often called cervical mucus, that appears in their underwear throughout their cycle. Unfortunately, most do not realize that it changes frequently in texture, amount, and color depending on how close they are to ovulation. It is typically clear and has the consistency of egg whites in the days just prior to and during ovulation. About a week before ovulation, it is typically white, creamy, and lotion-like, and it is sticky just before and during menstruation. Recognizing fertile cervical mucus is a free way to determine the approximate time of ovulation.
Women who are tracking their basal body temperature often notice that it rises just after ovulation occurs. Increased temperature is one of the main symptoms of ovulation, but since it only rises afterward, it is important to keep track of the temperature everyday for a few months before identifying a pattern. This requires keeping a thermometer by the bed, and taking the temperature before rising everyday at the same time. Recording the result on a chart for a few months can help make this one of the most reliable symptoms of ovulation for women trying to conceive.
Some women experience discomfort in their lower abdomen just before, during, or after ovulation, and it is usually felt on just one side of the body. This is called mittelschmerz, and it can last anywhere from a few hours to a couple days. It is unknown what exactly causes mittelschmerz, though many believe it is pain that arises from the egg rupturing from the ovarian wall. Others believe it may be caused by follicles swelling just before the event occurs, contractions in the fallopian tube, or fluid being released from the follicle. Though it is not known for sure what causes mittelschmerz, it is known as one of the main symptoms of ovulation, which means that couples who are trying to conceive should try to have intercourse when this discomfort is experienced.