While ovulation typically lasts 12 to 48 hours, the fertile period for most women is seven to 10 days. This is due to how long the egg can remain fertile in combination with how long sperm can wait to fertilize. If you hope to enjoy a healthy pregnancy, familiarize yourself with the signs of ovulation to dramatically increase your chances.
What Are the Signs of Ovulation?
1. Breast Soreness
Hormones flood the body immediately before and after ovulation, often resulting in breast and nipple tenderness or soreness. Since sore breasts are also signs of impending menstrual periods as well as pregnancy, it is a good idea to watch for other ovulation symptoms in conjunction with tender breasts.
2. Cervical Fluid Changes
Cervical discharge changes throughout the month depending on where you are in your cycle. Before and during ovulation, it takes on an egg white appearance and a stretchy constitution to guide sperm to the egg. The day of ovulation can also result in slippery, wet discharge.
3. Ovulation Pain
Some women feel their eggs traveling through the fallopian tubes, resulting in mild but sharp pain in their lower abdomens. This pain often lasts from several minutes to a few hours. If the pain becomes persistent and severe, visit your local women’s health center because it could signal endometriosis or an ovarian cyst. The latter issue causes severe, temporary pain if it bursts, but does not result in lasting health issues.
4. Basal Body Temperature Changes
As your body prepares for ovulation, your basal body temperature lowers slightly before quickly increasing due to hormonal changes. The amount of progesterone increases during ovulation, causing the temperature to rise by about 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature remains elevated for 10 to 16 days after ovulation if the egg is not fertilized.
5. Increased Sense Of Smell
A sense of smell may heighten for some women in the days leading up to ovulation. This is because the fertile female body is designed to sniff out androstenone, a type of male pheromone. Other senses may increase as well such as a sense of sight and taste.
If pregnancy is in your future and you would like to do a home delivery, contact Home Birth with Love. Based in Suffern, NY, and serving Rockland, Bergen, Orange, and Westchester counties, this birthing service has provided safe and compassionate care for nearly 18 years. Owner Leah Marinelli is a certified nurse midwife who offers family planning and pregnancy care, among other wellness services. Call (845) 641-5058 to schedule your free consultation or visit the website to learn more about Leah and her staff.