If you're trying to get pregnant, learning to recognize the signs of ovulation can be a key factor in your success. Ovulation is the process by which your body releases one or more eggs from your ovary. If the egg is fertilized and successfully implants, you're pregnant. But if you miss the fertilization window, you're not.
By learning to identify the physical symptoms of ovulation — before you actually ovulate — you can time sexual intercourse right and boost your odds of getting pregnant. Score!
So, here we go. Here are the most common observable symptoms that can indicate ovulation:
Also referred to as mittelschmerz, some women can experience ovulation cramps or twinges when an egg is released. Symptoms can include dull or sharp and sudden pain that's generally mild. It usually lasts a few minutes to a few hours, but may last as long as a day or two.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), immediately following ovulation most women experience a slight but detectable rise in their normal body temperature. By monitoring your basal body temperature first thing in the morning before you rise on a daily basis, and tracking the results on a basal body temperature chart, it's possible to determine that ovulation has occurred. However, conditions such as fever, restless sleep, and exertion can affect the accuracy of the temperature readings.
RELATED: Charting Your Basal Body Temperature
According to ACOG, another way to detect impending ovulation is to monitor your vaginal secretions or cervical mucus by checking regularly for mucus at the opening of the vagina. In general, your vagina produces the least amount of secretions immediately following the conclusion of your menstrual cycle. The amount and consistency of vaginal secretions follow this pattern for most women:
Soon after your menstrual cycle, you might notice a sticky or "tacky" vaginal secretion. Immediately prior to ovulation, most women usually detect increased vaginal secretions that are wet and slippery (similar to the consistency of raw egg white). Generally, your body produces the greatest amount of this type of vaginal discharge is on the day of ovulation. Immediately following the day of ovulation, your vaginal discharge gradually becomes thicker in consistency, and less is secreted.
Be mindful of the following factors that could affect the amount and consistency of your vaginal secretions:
According to Planned Parenthood, the following factors might also influence your vaginal secretions:
Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Planned Parenthood