Women can gain better control of their reproductive systems by understanding the different signs that mark the stages of their menstrual cycles. If you are sexually active and you are either looking forward to a pregnancy or trying to avoid it, knowing your time of ovulation will raise your chances of achieving the target.
The signs of ovulation are divided into two categories, that is, primary and secondary signs. Primary signs are more common and prominent, while secondary signs are only experienced by some women and at times are not easy to detect.
Even then, there are a few women who never experience any of these signs and so can only predict that they are ovulating by use of menstrual cycle calendars and ovulation test kits.
Primary signs for ovulation
The three primary symptoms of ovulation are: raised levels of mucus in the cervix, a softer cervix, and increased body temperature. The first one can be detected by feeling the bottom part of the cervix using a finger inserted into the vagina. The finger should be thoroughly cleaned before doing this in order to avoid introducing infections to the region.
During ovulation,cervical mucus functions both as a screening medium and a passageway for sperms entering the uterine chamber. As a screening medium, it blocks out weak and oddly shapedsperm cells, thereby allowing only the strong cells to push through and access the uterus.
The best cervical mucus for fertilization has a viscosity and color that are almost similar to that of egg white. While watery cervical mucus is also okay, it is considered less fertile in comparison to the egg white- like fluid.
Individuals with very thick and sticky cervical fluid however stand very low chances getting fertilized through normal sex. This type of mucus is not only too acidic; it also prevents spermatozoa from swimming in it.Fortunately, the condition can be corrected using medications.
The secondary indicators of ovulation include the following:
Heightened sense of smell
When ovulating, your olfactory sensitivity might go a notch higher. You may notice that your own perfume or that of is suddenly more pleasant or too invasive. It is also easy to get nauseated by unpleasant smells.
A few days before and after ovulation, many women experience increased appetite for sex. Raised interest in sex is probably the body’s way of signaling that it is ready for reproduction.
Scientifically known as Mittelschmerz, pain around the waist during the middle of menstrual cycle is a common occurrence. Intensity and durationvary from one person to another. In most individuals, the pain subsides after a day or two.
Interestingly, Mittelschmerz can provide hints about the ovary that has contributed an egg. Usually, ovaries alternate in this task, with one releasing in one cycle, and the other doing it in the next.
Pain in the right side of the abdomen indicates that the right ovary might have made the contribution. If the ache is localized on your left, it means that it’s the turn of left side ovary to give out an ovum.
Other ways to predict ovulation
Using your menstrual calendar, you can tell your time of ovulation. It usually occurs at the 14th day for people with the regular 28-day cycle. It is however difficult to use this method on those with irregular menstrual cycles. Such people can make use of ovulation predictor kits (OPK), which use urine,cervical mucus, or saliva to predict the stage of ovulation.
Though not 100 percent accurate, these instruments provide more reliable results than the clues discussed above. Even if you have regular cycles and show one or more symptoms discussed earlier, using OPKs will help you to improve accuracy of predictions.
How Ovulation Predictor Kits work
Urine based OPKs detect hormonal concentration in urine. The sticks have special pigments that undergo color change depending on the amount of luteinizing hormone LH present in urine.
LH amounts shoot up in the period immediately before and after ovulation. This spike may last for two or to four days before leveling off. During this time, a lot the hormone is also excreted through urine.
Kits that use saliva or mucus to predict ovulation usually rely on the salt concentration of the fluids. During ovulation, estrogen hormone increases in blood; in turn the high estrogen increases the salt secretion in mucosa and salivary glands. When the highly saline mucus or saliva is smeared on the kit, left to dry, and afterwards viewed under a microscope, the person will notice patterns similar to those of the leaves of a fern tree.
The more defined the pattern, the higher the chances that ovulation has occurred. If you want a baby, the time during ovulation is the best for sex. This knowledge is especially important to couples who engage in intercourse less often.