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Ovulation symptoms: How can you tell if you're ovulating?

21 Jan, 2023

The female egg can only be fertilised for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. If you want to have a child, you should therefore know as precisely as possible when you ovulate. Certain symptoms can help you recognise when you are ovulating. We will explain what they are in the following.

The most important ovulation symptoms at a glance

  • There are a number of symptoms that women can recognise when they are ovulating.
  • Typical ovulation symptoms include, for example, mittelschmerz, ovulation bleeding and an increased basal body temperature.
  • As a rule, it is not enough to rely on a single sign to determine the fertile days.
  • If necessary, women can also take an ovulation test, which measures the level of luteinising hormone in the urine.
  • Some women suffer symptoms during ovulation that are reminiscent of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Avoiding stress, relaxation exercises and various other measures can help to relieve the symptoms.

When do women have their fertile days?Menstrual Underwear Complete Set

Women usually ovulate around the middle of their menstrual cycle. However, there can be irregularities in the menstrual cycle for a variety of reasons, which can cause ovulation to be delayed.       

Irrespective of this, the egg is only fertile for 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. If fertilisation does not occur during this time, it dies and menstruation begins after about 14 days. Since the male sperm cells can survive in the woman's body for a while, the fertile days begin up to five days before ovulation.

Nevertheless, we only have a limited window of time each month to get pregnant. If you want to have a baby, it is therefore extremely helpful to know the typical ovulation symptoms and to interpret them correctly.

What are the symptoms of ovulation?

Ovulation can manifest itself with a whole range of symptoms. Not all of them occur in every woman. Apart from that, not every ovulation symptom alone is suitable for recognising ovulation.

However, keeping an eye on several signs will give you a very good sense of when you are ovulating and can significantly increase your chances of having a baby.

Ovulation can be indicated by the following symptoms:

  • Changes in cervical mucus
  • Occurrence of mittelschmerz
  • Light spotting
  • Changes in basal body temperature
  • Changes in the cervix

Recognising ovulation from cervical mucus

Cervical mucus is a secretion produced by special glands in the cervix. On non-fertile days, it ensures that sperm cannot enter the uterus. Around ovulation, on the other hand, the exact opposite is the case.

Shortly before ovulation, the consistency of the cervical mucus changes. It now becomes increasingly thinner and clearer and is able to draw threads. With a little practice, these changes are a good way to tell when you are ovulating.

period pants ukRecognising ovulation by the mid-pain

A good one in three women experience pain when they are ovulating. This so-called mid-cycle pain naturally occurs around the middle of the cycle. For some women, it is limited to a slight pulling sensation. Other women, however, experience unpleasant pain and cramps that last longer.

If you are one of those women who regularly experience mid-cycle pain, it can definitely help you to notice your ovulation and find out when your fertile days are. This is true at least if you also pay attention to other symptoms.

Recognise ovulation by spotting

Light spotting is another possible symptom of ovulation. In this case, the bleeding is called ovulation bleeding. They are caused by changes in the hormone balance.

Period briefsLike mid-menstrual pain, ovulation bleeding does not have to occur in every woman. However, if you are affected by them, they are another useful sign to help you recognise when you are ovulating.

Identifying ovulation by basal body temperature

Basal body temperature is the temperature of your body right after you get up. It rises slightly immediately after ovulation. So the basal body temperature can at least help you to see whether you have ovulated.

This is also helpful for tracking your cycle in general, for example. However, this is only useful if you take your basal body temperature every day. Otherwise, you won't be able to notice the changes in temperature after you ovulate.

Recognising ovulation at the cervix

Changes in the cervix are another ovulation symptom that, with practice, can help you determine your fertile days. After your period, the cervix is initially firm and closed. It also protrudes relatively deep into the vagina.

During fertile days, the cervix opens. It also becomes softer and sits further up in the vagina. The changes can be felt with your fingers and can give you an additional indication of your ovulation.

Detecting ovulation with an ovulation test

If you want to calculate your ovulation or your fertile days, you can take an ovulation test. This measures the concentration of luteinising hormone (LH) in your urine.

Luteinising hormone promotes ovulation and the formation of the so-called corpus luteum. The LH level increases significantly about 24 to 36 hours before ovulation. An ovulation test, which you can easily do at home, helps you to notice this ovulation symptom.

Increased libido during fertile days

For many women, the fertile days are marked by an increased libido. Chances are good that this is also true for you and that you feel a lot of desire around ovulation. Especially if you want to have a child, this is of course very practical.

Unpleasant side effects of ovulation

For some women, ovulation not only causes middle pain, but also various other unpleasant symptoms. Some of the symptoms are reminiscent of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

The complaints that ovulation can trigger include, for example:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Back pain
  • Breasts that are sensitive to touch
  • Cravings
  • Mood swings

It is relatively easy to tell whether these symptoms are PMS symptoms or signs of ovulation by the time they occur. PMS does not occur in the middle of the menstrual cycle, but in the days before your period.period pants uk

How can you counteract the symptoms?

If you are affected by these symptoms during your ovulation, it can be a considerable burden on your daily life and can significantly reduce your quality of life.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to counteract the symptoms. Basically, measures similar to those for PMS symptoms or period pain have proven effective in this context.Menstrual Underwear

If you experience severe mid-cycle pain and other discomforts during ovulation, the following things can help:

  • Make sure you get enough sleep.
  • Try to avoid unnecessary stress in your daily life.
  • Take small time-outs to relax.
  • Try relaxation exercises and meditation.
  • Exercise and spend time outdoors regularly.
  • Eat a balanced diet of fresh foods.
  • Don't drink alcohol and only a little coffee.
  • Make sure you drink at least two litres of water or tea every day.

Magnesium helps with cramps

If you suffer from cramps around ovulation, it may be a good idea to take a magnesium supplement. If this is the case, talk to your gynaecologist and ask her which preparation and dosage she recommends.

Painkillers as a last resort

If ovulation causes you very severe and prolonged pain, painkillers may be the only solution. Be aware, however, that taking painkillers carries risks and can cause side effects. Therefore, only take painkillers if you really have to, and consult your gynaecologist beforehand.


As you can see, there is a lot you can do to find out when your fertile days are. Keep an eye on typical ovulation symptoms such as mittelschmerz and basal body temperature, or take an ovulation test.

In this way, with a little patience, you too will certainly succeed in getting pregnant. If, despite all your efforts, your desire to have a child does not come true, it is best to contact your gynaecologist so that she can check you out.