When am I ovulating

belly ache

There are certain bodily changes which occur when you ovulate, or when you are about to ovulate. You could be very aware of these changes, or you might not notice any changes at all. It all depends on how in touch you are with your body. Specific signs that you are approaching ovulation can start around 2 to 3 weeks before your next period. If you are wanting to get pregnant, then knowing more or less when ovulation will take place is very important.

What is ovulation?

In a monthly cycle of approximately 28 days, around 20 eggs ripen in your ovaries. When you ovulate, normally only one egg, the most mature, is released from one of your ovaries and enters one of the fallopian tubes. As a rule, only one egg is released during a cycle, but in some cases, it is possible that two or more are released in one cycle. This is known as multiple ovulation, and is more the exception than the rule.

What are the signs and symptoms of ovulation?

Obviously not all women are the same, and it is up to each individual to learn to identify her body’s fertile signs. Listed here are some of main signs of ovulation:

  • Increased body temperature. Your body temperature will increase slightly for a few days and make you feel unusually warm, even on the coldest day. At night you may want to throw off the blankets or the duvet, and maybe upset your partner who might be feeling cold, especially if it is winter!
  • An ache in your belly. Some women feel a mild ache in their tummy, while others feel a stronger pain which may spread to the lower back. This is a sure sign of ovulation especially if it is felt around the same time each month. The tenderness could be a good guide to when you are most fertile.
  • Rising oestrogen levels. High levels of oestrogen give rise to symptoms like tender breasts, bloating and maybe even depression. The higher level of oestrogen will also enable the uterus to thicken with additional nutrient-rich blood. In the event that you do conceive, the fertilised egg will have the best beginning, and all the nourishment needed, on its journey to a successful full-term result
  • Changes to your cervical mucous. This is a discharge which normally appears with a higher level of oestrogen. The mucous makes it easier for the sperm to reach the fallopian tubes, and can survive in it for several days. Watch for a change in the mucous, and if it also increases, can indicate that you are indeed close to ovulation.
  • Feeling sexy. You may notice a higher than normal sex drive at this time, which is absolutely normal. If you are trying to conceive, it will be an excellent time for you and your partner to make the most of it and increase your chances of falling pregnant.

Why is ovulation so important for conception?

If you want to conceive, one of your eggs, and your partner’s sperm have to make a date and meet in your fallopian tube for success. No ovulation means no egg, and no date with sperm in the fallopian tube, and of course no conception!

It is very important that the time you ovulate is as accurate as possible. Your egg is viable for only 24 hours after ovulation, so for any chance of conceiving, sperm and egg must meet within this period of time. Fortunately sperm can survive for up to 7 days, and can linger quite happily in your fallopian tubes, just waiting to shack up when the egg pops out.

What this really means is that you do not have to have sex the very second that you ovulate. You basically have a fertile window period of around 5 or 6 days, including the actual day of ovulation, thanks to the lifespan of sperm. So even if you have intercourse 3, or even 4 days before you ovulate, you would still stand a chance of conceiving in that cycle.

What if I have an irregular cycle?

In most cases, the average cycle is between 25 and 28 days. However, a great number of women have an irregular cycle which varies from month to month. Conceiving might be a little tricky if you ovulate a week early or a week later at odd times.

The best way to counter this is to really get in touch with your body, and take nothing for granted. However irregular your cycle might be, make yourself very aware of any bodily changes which occur, and if the changes relate to signs of fertility, then prepare yourself for ovulation.

An irregular cycle does not mean that you will never conceive naturally. It simply means that the challenge to fall pregnant may be greater than normal, but paying attention to a different set of circumstances will help you to conceive, and give you the pregnancy you long for.

What is the best way for me to get pregnant?

Irrespective of your cycle, you will ovulate. There is no point in having a mature egg in a fallopian tube without any sperm to fertilise it. If you take note of signs and symptoms in your body, you will know when ovulation is close by. To have highly mobile sperm in the right place at the right time, try to have sex every two days before you ovulate, to increase the possibility of conceiving.

But for the very best chance of falling pregnant, have regular sex throughout your cycle. It may not matter when you ovulate, as there should always be fresh, healthy sperm available to take up the conception challenge.

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