Can You Feel It When You Ovulate?

by Cat Bowen

Mittelschmerz is a funny word — it sounds like a bagel schmear. But it turns out, it's ovulatory pain. But can you feel it when you ovulate? What does it feel like? Is it only in your ovaries, or is it systemic?

You might wonder about the physiological symptoms of ovulation because you're trying to conceive. You might wonder because you are definitely trying not to conceive. Maybe you've had a birth control failure and you're not that worried about getting in the family way, but, you know, now you're curious. Regardless of your reasons, you want to know.

According to The American Pregnancy Association, there are myriad signs of ovulation and they're not necessarily the ones you'd think to check first. The primary symptoms of ovulation, you definitely have to feel — meaning you need to get in touch with your innermost self, literally. Feeling your cervical mucus, noting if your cervix is soft and high, and checking your basal body temperature are just a few of the ways you can check in with your body on ovulation. You won't necessarily "feel" any of these things unless, you know, you "feel" yourself, but they're important signs to remember.

But your breasts? They can let you know real quick. It seems like everything that happens to a woman's body is expressed in the breasts. The breasts are sensitive during PMS, tender with pregnancy, and give warning signs that your baby is hungry — they do a lot. They must know something about ovulation, right? Of course they do. Breast tenderness is a secondary symptom of ovulation, according to Johns Hopkins.

But can you feel ovulation elsewhere? According to the American Pregnancy Association, you may feel light cramping in the lower abdomen on one side. You may also be a bit bloated, or even experience mild spotting. The best symptom? Horniness. Turns out, your sex drive increases during ovulation, which is good and bad. Good, because, well, that's obvious. Bad, because, your boobs are tender. Maybe they'll hurt so good?

Can you feel ovulation? It's definitely possible. However, if your goal is to not compose a baby symphony in your wonder womb — I'd still use protection.