Some women ovulate on the same day of their menstrual cycle every month. Other women may ovulate on different days each month. It helps to pay attention to the signs that will indicate you are ovulating. The average menstrual cycle is usually between 28 and 32 days; therefore women with a 28-day menstrual cycle usually ovulate between days 13 to 15 — about two weeks after the start of the menstrual period.
Common ovulation signs in most women include:
- Change in cervical mucus (fluid). One of the roles cervical mucus plays is to help the sperm travel up through the uterus and into the fallopian tubes. When your cervical fluid has a creamier consistency, resembling egg whites, it is a sign that you are near ovulation or are ovulating.
- Change in basal body temperature (BBT). Typically, your temperature remains consistent prior to ovulation. As you get closer to ovulation, you may notice a slight decline, and then there will be a sharp increase right after ovulation. The increase is an indication that ovulation has just occurred. By tracking your BBT accurately over a few months, you may be able to predict when ovulation occurs.
- Change in cervical position or firmness. You can study your body to figure out what your cervix normally feels like and how it changes during ovulation. During ovulation, your cervix is soft, high, open and wet.
There are secondary signs of ovulation, which may not be as consistent. They include: light spotting, slight cramping/pain on one side of the pelvis, increased sex drive, tender breasts, bloating in the abdomen and a heightened sense of taste, smell or vision.
Ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) are tests that detect the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. LH typically rises prior to ovulation. Using an OPK during a range of possible ovulation times during the month allows a woman to pinpoint the LH surge so she knows before ovulation occurs and can have sexual intercourse prior to ovulation, which is considered the best time.