One of the most important conversations I have with women is about ovulation. Since this is rarely taught in schools, and many patients refer to Dr. Google, there are several misconceptions. Here are 5 signs that can help predict ovulation:
1) Mittelschmerz – This term is German for ‘middle pain’ and refers to the cramping sensation that some women feel around ovulation. If you are paying close attention to the body, you may feel this twinge of discomfort and welcome it if you are wanting to conceive!
2) BBT – Basal Body Temperature or charting your temperature. Over the years I have seen women become frustrated by this process, so it is one method I often don’t recommend. Although, in some instances, I have found many women to use this as an effective way to mark ovulation. Basically this method requires that you check your temperature as soon as you awake, before even getting out of bed. BBT changes throughout the cycle. As soon as ovulation occurs, we see a dramatic rise in temperature. After months of charting, a pattern may emerge from cycles that can help to pinpoint ovulation.
3) Cervical mucous – A change that is seen with the appearance, increase in quantity and change in consistency can all give us information about timing of ovulation. Ideally, the ‘fertile’ mucous that is able to hold on to sperm should be of egg-white consistency and often of stretchy or elastic quality. Charting the appearance and absence of this cervical mucous can also assist with tracking ovulation.
4) Ovulation Predictor Kits – When the signs for ovulation are not as apparent, ovulation test kits (sold online and in pharmacies) can be useful. The kits are able to predict the hormonal surge that is seen with ovulation by urinating on a predictor stick.
5) Libido – Ever wonder why your partner may look more attractive at certain times of the month? These emotions may also be a prediction of ovulation. So, if you are planning to conceive, pay close attention to how you feel about yourself and mate. When you are in the mood, it may be your body’s way of telling you it’s time for conception!
Even with all of this information, it can still be difficult for some women to determine the timing of ovulation. I often recommend seeking a healthcare provider that can help understand the body cues (or absence of them) to help piece together the unique signs for each woman. Paying close attention to these cyclical signs can help women become more in tune with their bodies and respect the ever changing hormonal status that plays a role with our moods, energy levels and much more of course.