Trying to conceive a baby often means paying extremely close attention to your body. It's a big task, and it isn't always easy. But knowing what things ovulation feels like can make tracking your fertility easier. It's a simple way to get more in tune with your body.
For many women, the ways your body changes during peak fertility times can include some subtle but noticeable signs. After all, ovulation means an egg is leaving your ovary and moving into the fallopian tube, according to the National Institute of Child Health. It's no wonder this movement of your egg might cause a few noticeable sensations in your body.
And chances are, you also have some anecdotal evidence about these slight but noticeable sensations. For instance, a friend of mine swore she could feel the monthly egg drop occurring each time, and described it as an achey, painful feeling in her belly. (She has three kids now, so I trust her understanding of fertility signs.)
That said, this particular part of the fertility cycle is a different experience for each woman, and it's OK if you have a hard time spotting the signs. Just keep these sensations in mind the next time you're about midway through a cycle, and if you pay close attention, you might notice the next time your egg is on the move.
1You're In A Sauna
Is it warm in here? Ovulation increases a person's basal body temperature by a half degree or so, according to WebMD. (OK, so the elevated temperature change may not reach steamy sauna levels, but you get the idea.) Pay attention if you feel warmer a couple of weeks after your period.
2Your Engine Is Revved Up
If you're all revved up and ready to go all of a sudden, the egg may be to blame. Ovulation is linked to an increased libido in some women, according to Very Well Family. Hormonal changes and increased blood flow may contribute to this very real sensation.
3You're In A Sticky Situation
There aren't always delicate ways to explain the signs of ovulation. This is one of those instances. For some people, ovulation results in cervical discharge that is thicker and stickier than usual, Lauren Streicher, M.D., an associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine explained to Self. It's often described as resembling egg whites, if you need more of a visual cue. Actually, monitoring your cervical mucus is one method of fertility tracking, so it's a thing.
4You're Having A Mini-Period
Have you noticed a little light spotting about midway through your cycle? It's normal. Many women experience light spotting around the time of ovulation, as noted in The Bump. This happens because the follicle that surrounds the egg can break and result in a small amount of blood. Please note that if there's a lot of blood, or you feel a significant amount of abdominal pain, then it may be time to contact a physician for help.
5You Ate Something Weird
Does your stomach feel weird and achey for no apparent reason? Ovulation can cause abdominal pain in some women, as noted by Australia's Department of Health & Human Services. The pain may last a couple of days, and it might affect one side of the body more than the other. Again, if the pain is in any way extreme or excruciating, then seeing a doctor is a good idea.
6You're Stuck In A Terrible Bra
Do your breasts feel sore and tender even when you're wearing a comfy-day bra? Breast tenderness is another potential sign of ovulation, according to the American Pregnancy Association. If your boobs are more sensitive or tender than usual, it could mean your egg is on the move.
7You're Part Bloodhound
From the coffee brewing a block away to the lingering perfume in an elevator, you can suddenly smell it all. Why? It may be related to your ovulation cycle. A woman's sense of smell may improve when she's near ovulation, perhaps making it easier to pick up on pheromones, according to Scientific American. Take note if you suddenly have a superhuman sense of smell.
And again, don't fret if none of these sensations sound familiar to you. Everyone's body is different, so it's perfectly normal if you don't feel any or all of these signs. If you want a clearer picture of your ovulation times, then consider getting a fertility tracker to keep tabs on those eggs.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.