Most women know that they are most fertile during the days around ovulation but a lot of women remain lost in regards to when ovulation even occurs. One study carried out showed that while 92% of women accurately described ovulation, a third of them thought that it occurred during a period.
At some point in our lives, many of us have learned that a woman’s menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, and that ovulation takes place 2 weeks before your period starts – so on about day 14. And what is referred to as the ‘fertility window’ is the period in which most pregnancies occur: within the 6 days before ovulation and the 1 day after. Whilst I encourage regular and frequent sex regardless, it is in this period that your chances of conception are increased dramatically.
But every women is different. While the basic principles remain the same, everything from cycle length to how you react physically and emotionally can vary from women to women and so there is no fixed, conclusive way of knowing whether you are ovulating or not. But there are certain indicators that you can look out for in order to form a better idea of your ovulation patterns and therefore your ‘fertility window’:
I always say that the best indicator of ovulation are cervical secretions. Your secretions are your fertility. The build-up to the wetter, clearer secretions indicates that ovulation is approaching. To optimise your chances, it is best to have sex from the time your secretions start.
Whilst an increase in libido is related to other emotional, social and physical factors, for many women trying to get pregnant, this is an indicator of hormonal changes around the time of ovulation.
Mid-cycle Abdominal Pain
Because the ovarian follicle enlarges prior to ovulation and ruptures at ovulation, it’s not surprising that some women become aware of a sharp twinge of dull ache in their lower abdomen.
This is one of the more unwelcome indicators of ovulation for many women. Tenderness leading up to ovulation tends to be tingling in nature, whilst tenderness that comes on toward the end of the cycle tends to be characterised by a heavy and full feeling.
Whilst your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) increases after ovulation, I do not recommend women to record their waking temperature as this makes them stressed out more than anything else. Many other factors affect your temperature, so it’s really not the best indicator. However, it is still something that gives some women reassurance that they are ovulating.
If you’re worried about ovulation or struggling to conceive, give us a call on 0808 196 4060. We also have a number of books in our shop (and below) that can explain break down ovulation and your fertility window even further, and give you specific charts to complete and practical advice to follow.