“When am I ovulating?” is the most question to ask if you want to get pregnant. These top three symptoms of ovulation provide clues to your fertile window – and tell you when it’s time to conceive a baby.
When my husband and I were trying to get pregnant, predicting ovulation was the trickiest thing! A woman’s body isn’t exactly like clockwork (mine isn’t, anyway), and what can seem like signs of ovulation are just natural parts of being a woman. The ironic thing is that knowing when you ovulate is confusing for many women, yet it’s the most important thing you need to know about sex frequency and getting pregnant.
I also found the medical and textbook answers to the “how do I know if I’m ovulating?” very confusing. In this article, I share both the medical answer and my own easy-to-understand interpretation, to help you see your own signs of ovulation. When I was trying to get pregnant, I bought an ovulation predictor kit because I couldn’t track my own fertile window on my own. So, here you’ll also find information about prediction kits that help women track when they’re ovulating.
Here’s a textbook definition of when a woman is ovulating:
Because the fertile window is set by the day of ovulation, it is important to know when a woman is ovulating (if she wants to get pregnant – or if she doesn’t want to conceive a baby!). There are several methods of determining ovulation. Cervical mucus and vaginal secretions start to increase 5 to 6 days prior to ovulation and peak 2 to3 days before ovulation. These changes can be monitored to identify the fertile window in many women.
Urinary ovulation predictor kits can also be used to detect the rise in luteinizing hormone (LH) that happens just before ovulation. LH is the primary trigger that results in the eggs being released from the ovary.
And, here’s a medical explanation of the phases of your menstrual cycle:
“Your menstrual cycle can basically be divided into three phases: the pre-ovulatory infertile phase, the fertile phase, and the post-ovulatory infertile phase,” write the doctors in Our Bodies, Ourselves. “You can determine which of the phases you are in by observing the three primary fertility signs: waking temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position.”
Watching for your natural symptoms of ovulation can help you get pregnant because they reveal the most fertile time of the month. Yes, you can get pregnant at other times during your cycle (we all know women who have!), but your chances of pregnancy are increased if you focus on certain times of the month.
Are You Ovulating? 3 Physical Signs of Ovulation
There are clues to your fertility in the symptoms of ovulation – they help you identify the best time of month to conceive a baby.
These ovulation symptoms are be an alternative to buying ovulation predictor kits (which can get expensive). Ovulation prediction kits are the easiest way to know when you’re ovulating – and you can now get ovulation apps for your iPhone!
But these are the most natural ways to know if you’re ovulating…
1. Cervical Position
This is the hardest-to-spot sign of ovulation; you might need to practice finding the cervical positions that indicate optimal fertility. You cervix prepares for pregnancy every month by becoming soft and “mushy”, rising a little higher, and opening up. Increasing estrogen levels cause the cervix to change angle as well, and to emit fertile cervical fluid.
To determine if your cervical position is indicating ovulation, you need to become familiar with your body. Before you know it, you’ll be able to physically feel when your body is fertile and ready for pregnancy.
For easier, less messy, and perhaps more effective ways to predict ovulation, read Ovulation Predictor Kits — The Best Way to Tell When You’re Ovulating.
2. Cervical Fluid
Before you ovulate, your body produces cervical fluid. This fluid encourages the sperm to reach the egg – it creates an alkaline environment. Cervical fluid nourishes the sperm and acts as a filtering mechanism.
As you approach ovulation and your estrogen rises, your cervical fluid will become more evident. It’s first a sticky, and then a creamy, discharge. The final phase of cervical fluid is a clear, slippery, stretchy substance (similar to raw egg white). This is a sign of fertility — and recognizing these signs quickly can help you conceive.
Don’t forget that food affects female fertility – read how nutrition and eating affects your ability to get pregnant.
3. Waking body temperature
When you’re not ovulating, your waking body temperature is about 97.0 to 97.5 Fahrenheit. When you are ovulating, your body temperature should rise to about 97.6 to 98.6 degrees.
“The important concept to understand is the pattern of lows and highs that your temperatures exhibit,” write the doctors in Our Bodies, Our Selves. “The sustained rise in waking temperature almost always indicates that ovulation has occurred. It does not reveal impending ovulation, as do the other two fertility signs (cervical fluid and cervical position).”
How do you determine your waking body temperature? With a Basal Digital Thermometer that offers:
- Accu-beep feature ensures fast, accurate readings
- Check basal temperature to understand your fertility cycle
- Auto memory shows last temperature taken
- Mercury free
- Oral or rectal use
These ovulation symptoms will help you recognize signs of fertility, but they do take practice. I welcome your thoughts on how to know if you’re ovulating. I can’t offer medical or health advice, but you may find it helpful to share what you’re experiencing.
If you’re ready to get pregnant, read Preparing for Baby – What You Need to Know.