We know ovulation as a process in which the egg is released from our ovaries, which ends in menstruation or pregnancy. This is a time when a woman has a high chance of becoming pregnant and, whether we want to or not, it never hurts to know when it occurs and recognize if we are in that process.
But how do you know if you have already ovulated? There are several signs that will clear your doubts, because your body will show you a series of symptoms and, if you are attentive, it is quite easy to know the exact moment. In addition, you can use your menstrual cycle to find out if you are ovulating or suffering from anovulation. Take note of these tips!
What is the menstrual cycle?
- To know what your menstrual cycle is, you just have to be very attentive to your period days. From there, you can write down on a piece of paper or a table the symptoms you have, or what your vaginal discharge is like, since this is the best indicator to know exactly what phase of the cycle you are in.
- At first, the egg begins to grow and mature as the time of ovulation approaches. Our body will then produce estrogen and LH, two hormones that cause the follicle to rupture for fertilization and the release of the mature egg. One of the indicators of ovulation is usually the increase in the LH hormone, since after its rise it will occur 36 hours later.
- If you have a regular 28-day menstrual cycle, your ovulation process will generally occur around day 14. However, this is only an average since many women can ovulate on different days, from day 8 of the cycle to day 40 or 50. It all depends on the length of your menstrual cycle and when you are.
How long does ovulation last?
- The ovulation process does not last more than a day and a half. There is a day when the egg is released, and it has a fertile life of up to 24 hours. But since sperm have a longer life (up to 72 hours), there are chances of getting pregnant the days before and after.
- According to specialists, the day before and the day after ovulation are also ideal for pregnancy to occur. That is, the day of ovulation and two or three days before it is the most fertile for a woman.
Symptoms to know if you are ovulating
- Many women are still not fully in control of their menstrual cycle, but that is normal. It is rare for a woman to have a regular period every month, because for various reasons the cycle can be delayed or advanced.
- For this reason, and to know the exact moment of ovulation, our body undergoes some changes. It is a series of symptoms that are perfectly identifiable (although some women do not have them), but what are they?
- One of the best indicators to know if you are ovulating is the basal body temperature. To measure it you must get a basal thermometer that you can find in any pharmacy and take your temperature every day. Of course, you must do it every morning without getting out of bed, and you must have slept for at least 3 hours.
- Three days before ovulation occurs you will see your basal temperature rise, increasing from 0.4 to 1.0. It is recommended to keep track of this temperature to establish guidelines or patterns, and to get to know your body better. The best thing is that you observe your temperature for several cycles, and make a table to clarify your doubts.
- As we told you before, vaginal discharge is the best indicator to know in which phase of your menstrual cycle you are. The discharge can change in consistency and texture throughout the cycle, and its appearance will give you clues to know when you are, and if you are on the day of your ovulation.
- How is vaginal discharge during ovulation? Its texture is somewhat more slippery and is like ‘egg white’. The reason is that the cervical mucus is perfectly adapted for the arrival of the spermatozoa, and offers them a means to be able to carry the ovum moving much more easily.
There are many women who feel absolutely nothing during ovulation, and do not have any pain or abdominal pain. However, there are others that can find intense punctures in the area, colic or a mild pain similar to that which occurs when you are in full menstruation.
And if the abdominal area can hurt, the breasts also present some signs that you must take into account. Normally they increase in size, and they can hurt us, although the most common thing is that you notice more sensitivity in the area. Usually this breast pain tends to increase as the cycle progresses, being greater near the rule.
Mood swings and sexual appetite
- As a general rule, although it all depends on each woman (there are some who are affected more and others less), with the hormonal changes that occur during ovulation we feel much more sensitive. And if it happens to you, you notice it and you know it.
- Everything affects us more, we are more affectionate, some things irritate us a little more than normal, we can have less patience… And along with this, there is a great increase in sexual appetite. Nature sends signals that the woman is at her most fertile moment, and our libido increases considerably.
And what happens if there is no ovulation? How to know if you have not ovulated?
- As a general rule, you should keep in mind that if your period drops each month it means that you are ovulating. However, there are many people who do not have this ovulation because they do not have their period or there is no way to control ovulation because their periods are too irregular.
- The absence of ovulation is called anovulation, and is one of the most common causes of infertility. In some cases, women stop menstruating, but in others you can have your period without ovulating (when it is a mild anovulation). But why does this anovulation occur?
- Lack of stimulation of the ovary by the hypothalamus is often the reason that ovulation does not occur in a woman’s body. And this is produced by various factors, such as:
Stress is one of the most common causes for which a woman experiences a momentary loss of her period. It usually occurs in the early years, during adolescence, but it can occur at any time in life. Planning a trip, too much work, big worries… There are endless reasons why your period can be delayed, or even disappear.
- The lack of nutrients in the body is also a very common reason why a woman may feel that she has missed her period and, therefore, ovulation. Anorexia or following certain restrictive diets cause body fat to be well below the minimum levels for ovulatory cycles to be normal.
- However, in the case of bulimia or obesity, menstruation is usually preserved. While it is true that in obese women with polycystic ovaries, anovulation cycles can also occur. Although they are serious eating disorders, ovulation still occurs in some cases.
- Menopause usually comes to the life of women around the age of 50, a little before or after. In these cases, the organism stops producing ovules and menstruating, but it falls within the normal range. But, when this occurs before the age of 40, what is known as early menopause occurs.
- Early menopause can come for various reasons, such as the removal of the ovaries, some immunological diseases or some disorder in the body. But sometimes the cause of early menopause is completely unknown. In women with mothers with early menopause, we must communicate that they consult the gynecologist since there is family grouping.
The polycystic ovary is more common than we think, and there are many women who suffer from this syndrome. Not all of them have absent ovaries, or anovulation, but some may have serious problems getting pregnant. Fortunately, there are various treatments to live with this health problem so common today.
Too much physical exercise
- Did you know that doing extreme physical exercise can cause you to suffer from anovulation? It is not about not doing any exercise, because it is quite healthy for your well-being. We refer to excessive activity. But calm down! This is usually quite rare, and usually occurs in dancers or elite athletes.
- For them, to the great exercise they do, we must add enormous stress to do them professionally. It is probable that many of them present alterations in their cycles.
- In any case, the best way to find out if you are ovulating correctly is to see a doctor. And more specifically, to the gynecologist. They will be the ones who give you the necessary guidelines to know first-hand if there is a problem, or the exact day you ovulate. And it will be easier!