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Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation
Signs of Ovulation
Ovulation is the process where the egg (ovum) is released from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes in humans (females), and it occurs during the follicular phase. There is a wide spread variation of the signs of ovulation from one woman to another, and there is a possibility for some women not to experience any signs whatsoever during ovulation, but it’s there, saliently its happening, it’s speaking to you in its own language, if only you’d listen, you’ll “hear”.

More importantly, the ovulation period, that is, the time ovulation occurs varies from one woman to another. Some women ovulate like clock wise; that is ovulating on the same day of their cycle every month, while other women may ovulate on varying days on their monthly cycle. For a menstrual cycle of 28 days, ovulation is expected to take place around day 13, 14, 15 of the cycle. So within this period, be alert and pay good attention to yourself and listen to the subtle or salient changes it undergo to get a fix on your ovulation date.

Paying careful attention to yourself and the subtle signs you may have is the first step to tracking and pin pointing your ovulation date. Getting pregnant is connected to ovulation, therefore it is important to make sure that you are familiar with ovulation and its workings.

The common signs and symptoms of ovulation are:

Increase in Basal Body Temperature (BBT): basal body temperature is the temperature obtained when in a state of complete rest, it is the lowest body temperature obtainable. During ovulation, there is a slight increase of about 0.5oF to 1.0oF in the BBT which is caused by the increased levels of luteinizing hormones (LH), which elicit the high levels of oestrogen and progesterone. This increased level of BBT will remain high until the end of the cycle. Therefore Keeping track of the BBT is one of the best ways to determine if and when ovulation occurs.

Abdominal Bloating: this bloating of the abdomen is another sign of ovulation. During ovulation, some women experienced slight bloating of the abdomen which may be caused by increased retention of water which is as a result of the increase in the serum oestrogen levels.

Mittelschmerg: this is a German term meaning “middle pain”, this is a symptom or pain uniquely experienced by some women indicating that ovulation has occurred. It is a mild sudden pain, arch or cramp of the lower abdomen, which sometimes is accompanied by little vaginal bleeding, discharge or nausea. This pain is brief and last for about a couple of minutes to few hours.

Heightened Senses: heightened sense of smell, taste and vision is another unique sign of ovulation for some women. This may be caused by the increased levels of hormones in the body. At this point, certain smell could be irritating for some women. Generally, in fertile stage or at ovulation, the woman’s body is more primed to be attracted to the male pheromone (androstenone).

Light Spotting: during ovulation, majority of women often experience some spotting or reddish brown discharge. This symptom occurs when the matured follicle ruptures resulting in this discharge called ovulation bleeding. However, there are others who believe that just after ovulation, the oestrogen levels falls which cause the endometrial (uterine) lining to decrease a little. This mid cycle hormonal change causes the discharge. This is unclear since the endometrium at that point should be preparing for the zygote should fertilization occur.

Tender Breast: during, before or after ovulation, some women experience tenderness in their breast. There is sensitivity of the breast and nipples, tenderness or soreness. This could be as a result of hormonal surge in the body.

Nausea and Headaches: during ovulation, some women feel slight headache, nausea and dizziness. This could be as a result of hormonal changes or flux caused by ovulation.

Changes in the cervical fluid: cervical fluid or mucus is a natural body fluid produced by glands lining the walls of the cervix and are secreted into the vagina, hence the name cervical fluid of mucus. The cervix is the neck of the uterus leading to the vagina. Hormonal changes taking place in a woman as a result of her menstrual cycle affects the amount and consistency of the cervical fluids. The cervical fluid acts as both a barrier and a transport medium for the sperm. It consists of about 93% water, and the remaining 7% is made up of electrolytes, glucose and proteins.
·       Immediately after menstruation, there might not be any form of discharge at all, hence the vagina may be dry. Shortly after these dry days, as a result of rising hormone levels, the cervix produces little cervical mucus that is sticky and cloudy. This sticky cervical mucus is less fertile.
·       As the fertile/ ovulation window approaches, the increased hormone levels cause the water content in the cervical mucus to become creamy. Creamy is still considered non fertile, this is because it greatly restrict sperm movement.
·       When it is close to ovulation, the cervical mucus gradually becomes watery. This type of cervical fluid/ mucus allows sperm to move freely without restriction through the cervix with minimum or no difficulty at all. This type of watery cervical mucus is clear in colour and gives a feeling of ‘leaking urine’ in the under pants.
·       At the peak of fertility or ovulation, the cervical mucus should have the consistency of a raw egg white. By this, you know you are fertile and ovulation is at the door. At this point, if you hold the mucus through two fingers, it can stretch an inch or two without breaking. This type of mucu provides the best medium for sperm to swim to the cervix with ease.

Increased libido: several studies have shown that, during the days following ovulation, i.e. when they are most fertile, some women experience significant increase in libido. This heightened desire can be attributed to the fact that reproductive hormones are at their peak in the blood at this point. This might be nature’s way of driving procreation to its peak. However, this is only realizable provided there are no external factors such as illness, anxiety, depression or shock that could lower the libido.

Changes in the Cervix: The cervix which is the neck of the uterus leading to the vagina plays a major role in the female reproductive system. It acts as a barrier which opens to allow sperm to enter the uterus during ovulation. During ovulation, the cervix may become higher, softer, and more open. This sign is the most difficult and uncomfortable to check. It can be observed by feeling your cervix. Stand close to the toilet with one leg on the closed up seat, use your finger to feel it.
·       Before Ovulation: most women with regular cycle, before ovulation, the cervix will feel hard, like touching the tip of your nose, closed and dry since the cervical fluid has dried up.
·       On Ovulation: for most women during ovulation the cervix feels softer like touching the lip, higher, open and wet due to the presence of cervical fluid. This is known as SHOW (soft high open wet). The SHOW state is most fertile.

Ovulation Prediction Kit (OPK): this is an over the counter (OTC) ovulation prediction kit that helps determine ovulation in women. This kit functions by measuring the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine or saliva to give a positive result if LH is present and negative if absent. Since ovulation typically occur between 10 to 12 hours after LH surge.

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