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6 important signs of ovulation you may be overlooking

Laura le Roux
When trying to fall pregnant, it’s important to keep track of your cycle, as you typically have a time-frame of 12 to 24 hours during which conception may occur after ovulation. 

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Signs and symptoms to look out for

The signs and symptoms of ovulation aren’t always obvious and you have to be really in tune with your body to know exactly when you are ovulating.

The general rule is that you will ovulate 2 weeks after your period but this is not always the case.

Here are some clues your body may be giving you:

Increased cervical mucus. An increase in the moisture levels of your vagina is a common sign of ovulation. The mucus will be sticky and white or cream-coloured, which will change to a more transparent mucus closer to ovulation. This is a symptom most women experience and is also the most common.
Your basal body temperature may increase. This one is not always easy to notice without actually measuring it. If you are trying to fall pregnant, you may need to actively take your temperature and track it over a few weeks. The rise in temperature is very slight and not often noticeably. When your temperature does start to increase, it means you are ovulating.
Ovulation pain is another less common symptom of ovulation. Women who experience this feel a very distinct cramp-like pain in either their left or right side, which can last anything from a few minutes to a few hours. This pain can be experienced before, during and after ovulation and can change sides from one month to the next.
Ovulation spotting. Around the time of ovulation some women experience light brown spotting. This spotting should only last a few days and is not menstrual bleeding. There are mixed ideas as to why this happens - some believe it is due to hormonal changes while others say that it is as a result of the egg splitting through the follicle.
An increase in you sex drive. This symptom is particularly useful if you are actively trying to fall pregnant. This comes as a result of the increase in discharge during ovulation. Some women may also find that their vulva and vagina are more sensitive during this time.
Breast tenderness and bloating. Ovulation signals the beginning of PMS, so some women do experience bloating and sore breasts when they are ovulating. Because these symptoms are the same as your normal PMS, a good idea would be to track them so you can see exactly where in your cycle they occur.

So, if you have been trying to fall pregnant for a while, paying close attention to the subtle changes in your body may boost your chances of conceiving. Being able to track the progress of your cycle will help you identify when ovulation occurs, and so doing allow you to make use of that crucial window of opportunity.
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