When a woman ovulates, hormonal changes take places that cause a number of physical symptoms. By paying attention to your body, you can tell when you are most fertile and close to ovulating. Skip the complicated or expensive methods for predicting ovulation and use your body’s own natural cues to identify when you are most fertile. Read on to see the top ten signs of high fertility.
Headache or Migraine
As many as 20 percent of women suffer from menstrual migraines. If you are a woman that frequently gets headaches or migraines around menstruation, there’s a good chance you will also notice headaches around ovulation. Scientists believe that hormonal triggers cause headaches in these women.
Egg-White Cervical Mucous
A woman’s body prepares for ovulation by producing cervical fluid that is ideal for transporting sperm. Prior to ovulation cervical fluid is sticky, tacky or thick. This type of fluid is hostile to sperm because sperm essentially get stuck in the thick fluid and can’t make it to the egg. EWCM (egg-white cervical mucus) is thin, stretchy and looks like egg-white. It helps sperm to glide through the vagina and up to the awaiting egg. Researchers have found that this type of mucus is the best indicator of high fertility. According to research at the University of North Carolina, couples who had intercourse on a day when the woman has EWCM are more likely to conceive.
Not only does cervical fluid become thinner and stretchier as ovulation approaches, it also becomes more abundant. A woman may not be able to tell if her cervical mucus has changed to the right type of mucus, but she should be able to observe how her body feels. When she is fertile she will feel wetter and her vagina will feel more lubricated during sex. This is different from the arousal fluid a woman makes. Around ovulation, she will feel wetter throughout the day and not just during intercourse.
Right after you ovulate, your progesterone levels go up. If you keep a fertility chart, you can see that progesterone causes your temperature to rise slightly just after ovulation. This increase in progesterone may be what causes your breasts to feel tender during ovulation. Some women notice breast tenderness, similar to premenstrual breast tenderness, right around the time they ovulate. Other women may not notice this until after they ovulate. In either case, if you notice breast tenderness there is a good chance you are ovulating or have ovulated recently.
Cervix is High, Soft and Open
The position of your cervix can also tell you if you are fertile. Right after you have your period, your cervix will feel low, hard, and closed. As ovulation approaches, your cervix will move higher up and feel soft and mushy. It will also feel more open. To check your cervix, make sure your hands are clean and then squat or place one leg on the toilet or bath tub. Reach inside your vagina – you may have to reach very far up – and feel for a lump that has a little opening. Take your time and feel around. It’s easier to find your cervix right after you have your period. You may want to locate it then, so it is easier for you to find when it gets close to ovulation.
Increased Sex Drive
If you’re feeling frisky, it could be because you are ovulating. Women often notice an increased sex drive around ovulation. Researchers studied women and their sex drive in relationship to ovulation. They tracked women’s LH levels (a key hormone that surges just before ovulation) and when the women had intercourse. What they found was that women were more likely to have sex around the time of ovulation (when they had their LH surge).
Have you noticed light spotting during the middle of your cycle? Sometimes women assume this spotting is just leftover blood from menstruation, but if it occurs around the time you might be ovulating, there’s a good chance that it is ovulation spotting. Spotting sometimes occurs when the egg bursts through the follicle during ovulation. It can also happen just before or after ovulation as a result of hormonal changes. If you see this type of spotting it is considered to be a sign of high fertility.
Cramping or Pain on One Side
Approximately 20 percent of women notice pain during ovulation. This pain, called mittelschmerz, occurs around the middle of a woman’s cycle. It is likely caused by the egg breaking through the follicle during ovulation. Cramping can also occur as the fallopian tube contracts to move the egg down the fallopian tube into the uterus. Usually when a woman experiences mittelschmerz, she will feel pain or cramping on just one side. This can happen before, during, or right after ovulation. You probably can’t pinpoint ovulation based on ovulation pain alone, but if you notice this type of pain, it may indicate that you are close to ovulating and highly fertile.
Have you noticed your clothes feeling a little tighter or that you have a little extra bloat in your abdominal area? It could be due to ovulation. Around ovulation you may experience a little bloating, much like the bloating you get right before your period. The shift in hormones that takes place during ovulation is the likely cause of this bloating.
A lot of women have problems with nausea just before their periods start. This nausea is sometimes mistaken for morning sickness. This is because the same hormones that cause morning sickness during pregnancy cause nausea and other PMS symptoms. Hormonal changes during ovulation can also cause you to feel slightly nauseous.