7 Signs of Ovulation – Forbes Health

The following physical signs indicate you’re ovulating, experts and research suggest.

Changes in cervical mucus

Some women experience an increase in cervical mucus, a watery secretion that causes moisture, during ovulation. Increased cervical mucus is a sign of estrogen rising before ovulation, Dr. Chen says.

Indeed, reports of an increase in cervical fluid and ovulation have been confirmed by ultrasound. Cervical mucus varies throughout the cycle, but at its peak it is often noticed as dampness or wetness in your underwear, with discharge that appears thick, creamy or even like a raw egg white.

Rise in basal body temperature

Basal body temperature is defined as your “lowest resting body temperature.” Your basal body temperature rises during ovulation, but only by half a degree or less. If that higher temperature remains constant for three days or more, it may indicate ovulation. You can track daily changes to determine ovulation with a special basal body thermometer that measures your temperature in small increments.

Pelvic cramps (central pain)

Some women may experience pelvic cramps, especially on the side of the ovary where ovulation occurs. “When the egg bursts out of the fluid-filled follicle, that’s ovulation,” says Dr Sekhon. “It can be felt as an intense cramp on one side of the lower abdomen or pelvis called mittelschmerz [German for middle pain].”

One small study of about 50 women found that reported mittelschmerz occurred on the same side as verified follicular rupture, which is when the ovary released the egg, in 86% of participants, meaning that this pain could be an indication that ovulation is or has recently occurred.

Breast tenderness

Breast tenderness has been noted as a possible sign of ovulation. This is due to the rise in progesterone that occurs after ovulation, says Dr Sekhon.

Vulval Swelling

Another reported side effect – again due to progesterone – is vulval swelling, which occurs on the outside of the genitals. It may be useful as a secondary measure of ovulation, along with tracking cervical mucus and basal body temperature, research suggests.

Back pain

The increase in progesterone after ovulation can have a relaxing effect on the body, according to Dr Sekhon. As a result, some people may experience ligament laxity – back pain due to displacement in the spine – and therefore back pain is an accompanying symptom of ovulation.

Perception of facial features

Research has found a peculiar body change – the perception of facial attractiveness after ovulation. One study used photos of 48 women’s faces, some taken during the follicular phase (before ovulation) and others in the luteal phase (after ovulation), and asked 130 men and 131 women to choose which photos they found more attractive. More than 50% of respondents noted that those taken soon after ovulation were more attractive, and although they could not determine exactly what “visible cues” occurred along with ovulation, researchers confirmed their existence.

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