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Dec 23, 2020

Ovulation Symptoms: How to test & Why they are important

Ovulation - a term most women, who are trying to conceive, would be all too familiar with. In this article, we will break it down for every one of you who’s trying to know more about the journey to pregnancy and trying to conceive. After all, understanding and knowing your ovulation cycle is one of the first steps of successful pregnancy planning.

What is ovulation?

Ovulation is the term used for release of an egg from the ovary to the fallopian tube. It typically occurs 13-15 days before the start date of the period. Much like periods, the cycle of ovulation can vary at times and at some instances, there may be no ovulation at all. This is also the time when a woman is typically most fertile.

The release of an egg in each cycle depends on many factors like stress, your environment, eating habits, conditions like PCOS, hormones etc. In the previous stages before they fully mature, the eggs are called as follicles and in a healthy body, at any given time, there may be many follicles in various stages of development.

What are ovulation symptoms?

There are several symptoms which can be noted and observed to note ovulation cycles. Some of these include:

  • Rise and fall of body basal temperature - this can be tracked with a special basal body thermometer. Broadly it’s the first reading after at least 3-5 hours of sleep at night, before you leave the bed
  • Cervical mucus becomes thinner and clearer with a more slippery consistency
  • The softening and opening of the cervix
  • Mild cramps and twinges of pain in the lower abdomen
  • Increased sex drive
  • Light spotting
  • Slight swelling of vagina or vulva

Irregular ovulation symptoms

The absence or irregularity of ovulation is termed as anovulatory cycle. It can occur in women for many reasons and can also go undetected. Girls who have just attained puberty or women closer to menopause may often experience this, made evident by irregular or no periods. Sometimes, a woman can also have normal periods and not ovulate. So apart from irregular or no periods, there may be some scans/tests that your doctor might do to check if you’re ovulating. These include:

  • Checking your progesterone levels
  • Checking the lining of your uterus
  • Checking your blood for the presence of certain antibodies

Ovulation symptom tests

Apart from the symptoms given above, there are also various ovulation symptom tests that can help you determine your ovulation window. Some of these are:

  • Ovulation calculator: Ovulation calculator apps can be used to a certain extent to track your period date and thus your ovulation date.
  • Ovulation predictor kit: These kits identify the ovulation date 12-24 hours before ovulation. You just need to pee on a stick and it evaluates the levels of luteinizing hormones or LH, the last of the hormones to hit its peak before ovulation.
  • Saliva test: This measures the estrogen levels in your saliva as your ovulation date approaches. This test is reusable and often more affordable.
  • Salt detection tests: There are tests that determine the salts in a woman’s sweat like chloride, sodium and potassium. The levels of these change throughout the month and can give a four day warning before you ovulate.

Key Takeaway

If you’re trying to conceive, keeping a check on your ovulation cycle can prove to be helpful. Reducing stress, improving lifestyle habits, getting proper exercise etc. can help increase your chances of conceiving. These factors are just as important throughout pregnancy and should always be paid attention. In fact, there are multiple guides on what to eat during pregnancy, but the awareness about eating right even before is comparatively low.

However, if you have been unsuccessful in getting pregnant, the best way forward would be to approach your gynaecologist, who can conduct all necessary tests and chart a plan, customized for you.

If you are trying to conceive and have missed your periods, you might want to keep a home pregnancy test kit handy, which is also very easy to use. In case you’re wondering, how to use a pregnancy kit, there are also videos which can help you with the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is headache a sign of ovulation?
    While many women do complain of migraines during ovulation, it’s not a sign that helps determine for sure if you are ovulating.
  2. How long does ovulation symptoms last?
    Ovulation occurs anywhere between 12-24 hours. However, the symptoms (as explained above) can occur any time before ovulation and can last up to several days.
  3. How many days do you ovulate?
    Ovulation occurs once a month and generally lasts for 24 hours. 
  4. Can you get pregnant 2 days after ovulation?
    Getting pregnant after ovulation is possible, but is limited to the 12-24 hours after your egg has been released. Cervical mucus helps sperm live up to 5 days in a woman’s body, and it takes around 6 hours for active sperm to reach the fallopian tubes. If the sperm is there when or shortly after an egg is released, you can quickly become pregnant in the day after ovulation.
  5. Is ovulation a good sign of fertility?
    Yes, ovulation indicates a fertile window for getting pregnant.
Tags: Ovulation Symptoms, Prega News, Pre-Pregnancy, Pregnancy,

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