• Dr Peter Chew

Ovulation symptoms

To boost your fertility, you have to be familiar with the symptoms of ovulation. The timing of ovulation can vary from ​person to person as well as from ​one menstrual cycle to the next. It is therefore important to learn and recognize​ the ​symptoms of ovulation. You will then be able to fine tune the timing of sexual intercourse with your partner in order to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

The symptoms of ovulation are as follows:

1. Cervical Mucus

The cervix (neck of the womb) secretes mucus all the time. Before ovulation the mucus is thick, sticky and tacky. This type of mucus is hostile to the sperm​ which are then trapped and prevented from swimming up the womb to meet the egg. At the time of ovulation, the mucus changes its characteristics and becomes thin, stretchy and looks like raw egg-white. This quality of mucus eases the passage of sperm through and is the best indicator of maximum fertility. Research studies have found that couples who had intercourse on the day when this type of mucus was detected were more likely to conceive. ​In addition, the amount of cervical secretion is also increased during ovulation. Youmay observe more vaginal secretions and discharge and increased lubrication of the vulva (private part).

2. Breast Tenderness

Soon ​after ovulation, the ovary will produce a hormone called progesterone which may cause breast tenderness. Some women notice this sign around the time they ovulate. Others may not notice this until after ovulation. In any case, if you notice breast tenderness, it may mean that you are ovulating or have ovulated recently.

3. Increased Sex Drive

During ovulation, there is a sudden surge of hormones in the body. These hormones stimulate the brain centre and may make you feel frisky and increase your sexual drive. ​ In this fertile phase, your body is primed to be more attracted to the male.

4. Spotting

You may notice very light staining(spotting) in your underwear ​before, ​during ​and after ​ ovulation ​. This is due to the hormonal changes at this time of the menstrual cycle.

5. Ovulation pain

About one in five women​ may​ notice dull ache or pain in the lower part of the ​tummy during ovulation. The discomfort, called mittelschmerz, occurs around the middle of menstrual cycle and usually lasts for a few hours. If you notice this type of pain, it may indicate that you are ovulating or near ovulation.

6. Bloatedness

Around ovulation you may feel a little bloated in the tummy. The changes in hormones that takes place during ovulation is the likely cause.

7. Heightened sense of smell, taste and vision

For some women, there m​a​y be a​ heightened sense of smell, taste and vision during ovulation.

Not all the above-mentioned symptoms are present in every cycle and not all women will experience all the symptoms during ovulation. The most constant symptom is the presence of clear, stretchy and transparent mucus.

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Other related articles are

Female reproductive system

Myths and misconceptions about fertility

Tips for women trying to conceive

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