Find out how to tell when you're ovulating by looking out for these top 10 signs.
While there's no sure-fire way to pinpoint when you ovulate perfectly, it can of course help to know the signs to look out for as these can give you a clue when you're at your most fertile. Here are our top 10 signs to watch out for.
1. Increased body temperature
During the couple of days after you ovulate your body temperature will rise ever so slightly. This is because when you ovulate you release the hormone progesterone which can raise your body temperature. It's possible to chart this change in temperature with a basal body temperature (BBT) thermometer
throughout the month, giving you an idea of when you are likely to ovulate.
2. Abdominal ache
Some women actually experience the feeling of ovulation, i.e. the moment an egg is released down the fallopian tube. If you pay close attention to your body you may feel a slight ache on one side of your lower abdomen once a month - some feel a small twinge that lasts a few minutes while others experience a dull ache that can last all day. This is sometimes known as 'mittelschmerz' which is German for 'middle pain' because this pain occurs mid-way through your cycle.
3. Changed cervical mucus
Noticing changes in your cervical mucus
is another good way to detect when you might be ovulating. In the days leading up to ovulation you should notice it becoming more clear, thin and stretchy almost like the consistency of raw egg whites. This thinner consistency provides the perfect environment for sperm to swim in. When you aren't ovulating, your cervical mucus will be thicker and you won't notice so much of it.
4. Changed cervical position
As well as a change in your cervical mucus you may notice that the position of your cervix changes
. When you aren't ovulating your cervix will be lower down, closed, and hard to the touch; but during ovulation it will be higher up, more open, and soft to the touch. It can be useful to chart this throughout the month so that you know when your cervix has shifted position.
5. Increased sex drive
Many women notice a surge in their libido around the days of ovulation - you may feel more 'in the mood' or more inclined to be flirtatious. This is the body's natural way of giving you a nudge towards conceiving!
6. Increased energy
As well as feeling an increase in your sex drive you may also experience a boost in your energy levels and general feelings of wellbeing during ovulation. You may feel a spring in your step and be in good spirits, making you more likely to be in the mood for baby-making.
7. Increased confidence
It's also likely that you'll feel more confident and more attractive around the time you ovulate. Not only will you feel more attractive, you'll look it too - you'll be more inclined to give a little extra attention to your appearance in the morning and are likely to have a naturally healthy glow. All these things are designed to attract a mate as well as to make you more in the mood for a 'baby-making session'!
8. Tender breasts
You may notice that for a couple of days around ovulation your breasts and nipples feel more tender or may feel slightly sore. This is because similar hormones are being released during ovulation as in the first stages of pregnancy. You should notice the tender feeling subside after a couple of days.
9. Feeling bloated
Around the time of ovulation you may notice that your abdomen feels slightly more bloated than usual and your waistband a little tighter - another preview of what it will feel like to be pregnant! Feeling bloated is caused by water retention when your body releases an egg down the fallopian tube.
10. Slight spotting
Some women, though certainly not all, experience a slight spotting along with increased cervical mucus during ovulation. This is likely to be very slight and barely noticeable. It indicates that an egg has been released and has passed down the fallopian tube.
It may help to keep a diary, noting down what you experience and when, which will help you build up a picture of your body's phases and get you more in tune with its monthly goings-on.
Finally, though these are all useful signs to look out for there's no 'by-the-book' method that will tell you without doubt you've ovulated. It's best to simply have sex regularly all month round and particularly when you start to spot these signs.