11 Symptoms and Signs of Ovulation

Knowing your own personal signs of ovulation is key. Ovulation is one important event that every woman trying to get pregnant should know about.

Because without it, pregnancy is not possible. Infact over 50% of infertility issues in women has to do with ovulatory problems.

So detecting when you ovulate is very key to knowing the right time to have sex to get pregnant. Remember a woman only has 6 fertile days of opportunity to get pregnant which is also known as her fertile window.

This fertile window starts from 5 days before ovulation to 12-36 hours after a positive ovulation test has been received.

As you get closer to ovulation, your chances of getting pregnant increases.​ If you have sex too early in your fertile window chances of conceiving are slim.

Aside from using ovulation detection kits, a woman trying to conceive should be able to zero in on ovulation through some common symptoms.

It is so important to be able to pinpoint ovulation by yourself because you may miss the LH surge that is detected by Ovulation test. But if you have other means of detecting ovulation naturally you would still be fine.​

understanding ovulation

Ovulation is part of a woman's menstrual cycle. Ovulation is the release of one or more eggs from the follicles in the ovaries around the middle of your cycle. Your ovulation day is very dependent on the lengthen of your cycle. And may also varies from month to month.

Follicular Phase

The first part of your ​cycle is known as the follicular phase. The follicular phase is the phase from the beginning of your period (Day 1) to the day before the egg is released(Day 13). If you ovulate on day 14 for example .

At the start of your cycle, the pituitary gland, produces 2 hormones FSH(Follicle Stimulating Hormone and LH(Luteinizing Stimulating Hormone).

The FSH is the dominant hormone during the first half of your cycle. It stimulates the ovaries to develop and mature about 10-20 follicles each containing its egg.

At ovulation the most matured egg (dominant) egg is then released from the follicle.​

Luteal Phase

The second Phase of your Cycle is called the luteal phase. The dominant hormone in this phase is the LH (Luteinizing hormone).

A LH Surge happens between 12-36 hours before ovulation. It is this surge that is detected by most urine-based ovulation kits.

When there is a surge it simply means you are going to ovulate very soon (within the next 12-36 hours).​

After ovulation, the LH stimulates the corpus luteum (degenerated follicle within the ovary) to produce an increasing amount of progesterone hormone which is required to maintain pregnancy and to thicken the walls of the uterus if pregnancy happens.

If no pregnancy occurs the level of progesterone drops and the walls of the uterus is shed as blood in the next 14-15 days as your menstrual period.


These are the common ways to know, when you're ovulating. You should also use Ovulation kits in conjunction with this symptoms to detect ovulation.

1. Changes in cervical mucus or ovulation discharge

Cervical Mucus is a fluid secreted by the cervix and it is stimulated by the estrogen hormone

A woman's vaginal discharge changes throughout her menstrual cycle. Immediately after a woman's period her cervical mucus is thick and gummy. This type of cervical mucus in to sperm friendly and indicates that she is not in her fertile window.

At about 7 days past your period, the cervical mucus starts to get wet and slippery. This indicates ovulation is approaching and ​she is in her fertile window. 

For most women at ovulation, the cervical mucus ​looks like egg white. This is why it is called egg white cervical mucus.

This is the most fertile and sperm friendly vaginal discharge.  Both the PH and the texture would help and support the transportation of the sperm to the egg.​ The EWCM nourishes and protects the sperm from the acidic vaginal environment.

​If you are trying to conceive while on clomid, beware that clomid or antihistamines do dry up your cervical mucus. This makes it difficult to detect ovulation using your cervical mucus only.

Some women also complain of no sign or symptoms of ovulation after HCG trigger shot (ovidrel).

2. Ovulation Pain or Mittleschermz

Another common way of knowing when ovulation is taking place is through having ovulation cramps.

Ovulation pain is also known as mittleschermz or mid cycle pain.  About 20% of women experience this pain at some points in cycle.

Ovulation cramping feels like lower abdominal or pelvic pain. The pain you encounter during ovulation is caused by:

Swelling of the follicles: Just before ​the follicles in the ovaries starts to swell in preparation for the release of the most matured egg. This expansion of the follicles can be uncomfortable. This is a key to knowing ovulation is near.

Ovulation cramps can happen at both the right ovary and the left ovary. 

3. Basal Body temperature

You can use your basal body temperature to determine to know when ovulation is near. Your Basal body temperature is your temperature first thing in the morning. It is basically the lowest temperature that is reached when you are at rest.

At the first phase of your cycle your BBT is low. Just before ovulation you will get a drop in BBT then a sharp increase at ovulation.

Your basal body temperature rises after ovulation. Ovulation has already taken place by the time your BBT rises.  

It is advisable that you get familiar with charting your BBT for at least 4 months so you know when you have the dip and what your temperature after ovulation rises to.

4. Increased Libido

I'm sure you must have noticed your sexual desires increases around a particular time in your cycle. This is usually around ovulation.  This is because of the cervical fluid produced during this fertile window is wet and slippery or stretchy. This  type of fluid causes a sensational feeling in the vagina.

An egg white cervical fluid is produced due  to the LH surge and increased estrogen hormone that happens at this time.

But have in mind that an increased sexual desire could happen at anytime. So you shouldn't depend on this alone as a way of predicting ovulation.

5. Changes in Cervical Position

It's not only your cervical mucus that changes at ovulation, but also your cervical positioning as well.

As you get closer to ovulation, your cervix will be higher, become softer than usual and also more open.

These are all ways of nature to tell you that you are fertile and the body is already preparing for pregnancy.​

6. Increased Energy 

Some women feel a boost of energy around ovulation.  You may also feel moody due to changes in the levels of different hormones taking place in the body.

This feeling may be similar to the Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).​

7. Breast tenderness

Some symptoms of ovulation are similar to PMS. Some women may notice that their breast is tender just days before ovulation or few days after ovulation. This is also due to the changes in the different hormones during ovulation.

Breast Tenderness isn't an accurate way of determining ovulation if used alone.

8. Ovulation spotting

Some women see very light pinkish spots of blood during the ovulation process. This is similar to the spots experienced during implantation. Implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy.

Ovulation spotting is very uncommon and may be missed due to the very light bleeding that accompanies it.​

The main cause of the spotting is due to the rupture of the follicle to release the matured egg.​

9. Nausea and Headache

Some women experience headaches and feel nauseated around ovulation. This is due to the changes in hormones taking place in the body.

10. Heightened Sense of smell and Nausea

Heightened sense of smell, taste, vision or feeling nauseated are all PMS Symptoms.

According to a study published in ​Hormones and Behaviour , the study showed women near ovulation are more sensitive to smell.

11. Abdominal Bloating

Bloating in the abdomen is common throughout a woman's cycle. But it may be more obvious around the time of ovulation.  This is caused by the increase in the oestrogen hormone.  You may also notice retention of water around this time.

What are the signs that ovulation is over (post ovulation symptoms)

It is important to know not just the symptoms leading to ovulation, but also the symptoms to know that ovulation is over or has happened.

Increase in Body Basal Temperature: is a very good indicator that you have already ovulated. BBT only increases when the progesterone hormone becomes dominant.  It is after the egg has been released that the corpus luteum stimulates the progesterone hormone.

Reduced Cervical Mucus: Once ovulation has taken place. There is a reduced level of CM. This is due to the decreasing levels in the oestrogen hormone and the increasing level of the progesterone hormone.

Ovulation Spotting: Although this in not common, the breaking of the egg from the ovarian follicle signifies ovulation has taken place.  This rupture causes a little bleeding which may be a good indication that ovulation has already occured.

Early signs of pregnancy

After Ovulation has taken place and you had unprotected sex to get pregnant. You may start feeling all anxious to know if you are pregnant or not.

Here are some early signs of pregnancy that you are likely to get before a missed period.

  • Spotting
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Breast Tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Backache
  • Nausea
  • Frequent Urination

Related Articles:

Learn about choosing the Best Ovulation Predictor Test Kit

Read about Interpreting an ovulation test result

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