Ovulation Symptoms – 10 Symptoms Of Ovulation

Ovulation Symptoms

If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’re probably looking out for ovulation symptoms, in order to work out what day you’ll ovulate.

Once you’ve identified it, you can then have intercourse, and hopefully it results in a pregnancy.

When you ovulate, you have a short window of time to conceive before the egg starts to die.

Therefore, to optimise your chances of conception, it’s important to understand your cycle.

So let’s look at the important basics of your cycle, as well as the ovulation symptoms you might expect.

Understanding Your Cycle

Understanding your menstrual cycle can be a great deal easier if you know what you’re looking for. You don’t need to be an expert! You may become knowledgable enough to be able to detect ovulation after just one cycle. With such simple, yet wonderful knowledge, you could shorten your journey to pregnancy.

From day 1 of your menstrual cycle (when your period begins) until ovulation, this is called the follicular phase.

From ovulation until the end of your period, is called the luteal phase, which usually lasts 12 to 16 days.

The day of ovulation will determine your cycle length, not the first day of your period.

Charting your cycle daily will help you to work out the lengths of your follicular and luteal phases which is handy information.

What Causes Ovulation In Your Body?

Your ovaries are amazing almond shaped organs. They develop egg-containing follicles in preparation for ovulation. Every cycle, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) promotes the development of around 5-12 follicles, with the most dominant follicle being released at ovulation.

The growing follicles produce oestrogen. As a result of high oestrogen levels in your blood, Luteinizing Hormone (LH) triggers ovulation in your body.

Ovulation occurs around 12-24 hours after the LH surge, when the mature follicle bursts through the ovarian wall. If sperm is waiting for the egg, or if you have intercourse at this point, you could very well get pregnant.

For 90% of women, cycle length can vary from 23-35 days, with ovulation occurring mid-cycle.

Other factors (e.g. stress) can result in ovulation being delayed, until as late as the third or fourth week. However, the way our care providers calculate pregnancy due dates is with ovulation being estimated at day 14 of a 28 day cycle. You can already see a major reason why due dates aren’t so accurate!

Not every woman has a 28 day cycle, nor ovulates on day 14. A normal, healthy menstrual cycle should be about 26-32 days in length. Find out more about what a healthy menstrual cycle should look like, and when you might need help to resolve any issues.

Do Women Ovulate Every Month?

Not all women ovulate every month. If an ovary does not produce a mature follicle, ovulation does not occur. This is called an anovulatory menstrual cycle. The endometrium (the lining of your uterus which builds up in preparation for pregnancy) develops as usual, but no egg is released.

A small percentage of women might release two or more eggs within a 24 hour period. It isn’t possible to release more eggs after this time, due to hormonal changes in the body. Once an egg is fertilised, hormones will prevent any future eggs being released, in order to protect and nurture the pregnancy.

10 Ovulation Symptoms

There are several ovulation symptoms you might notice. These include (in no particular order):

Ovulation Symptoms #1: Ovulation Pain or Mittelschmerz

The most uncomfortable ovulation symptom for some women is ovulation pain or mittelschmerz – a German word meaning mid (mittel) pain (schmerz). For these women, ovulation causes a sudden, constant pain in their lower abdomen.

It’s important to understand that painful ovulation is not normal. A mild sensation is normal, but pain is not. It could be a sign you have ovarian cysts, adhesions from previous abdominal surgery, or other heath issues. It should be investigated right away, especially if you’re trying to conceive, as pain can be a symptom of a medical problem that can result in infertility.

Find more information about ovulation pain.

Ovulation Symptoms #2: Drop In Basal Body Temperature

In order to notice a drop in your basal body temperature, you need to chart your cycle, taking your temperature every morning upon waking (close to the same time every day).

Charting plays a key role in understanding your cycle, and identifying what your body is doing and what it normally does. If you haven’t been charting your cycle previously, this information won’t be helpful for this cycle. But now is a great time to start. Read our article, Charting Your Cycle For Conception, and in future you will be able to spot a slight temperature drop before you ovulate.

You will need a basal thermometer. These are specifically designed for measuring  slighter than normal fluctuations in temperature. They are accurate to +/-0.05 degrees centigrade, measuring to two decimal places. There are several ‘fertility’ thermometers on the market these days, but as long as it’s a basal thermometer, you’re set.

After ovulation, you will notice your temperature normally rises, and stays that way until your next period. If you become pregnant, your temperature stays higher. This is how some women know when to expect their period, noting a drop in temperature around the time their period is due.

Ovulation Symptoms #3: Cervical Mucus

Observing your cervical mucus several times a day is also important, as this is one of the more reliable ovulation symptoms. Your mucus changes in response to being at fertile or infertile stages of your cycle. It’s also a good indicator of when your fertility has returned after having a baby.

Cervical mucus changes with fluctuations in hormones (e.g. oestrogen). Following a period, mucus will typically be dry before becoming sticky, then creamy, then watery, before its most fertile state – clear, slippery and stretchy. Highly fertile mucus looks like raw egg white. This best aids the sperm on its passage to the egg, and provides an alkaline protection from the vagina’s acidic environment.

As you get older, you will have fewer days of egg-white cervical mucus (EWCM). For example, a woman in her 20s might have up to five days of EWCM, whereas women in their late 30s might have one or two days at most.

For more information, look at our Cervical Mucus Observations article.

Ovulation Symptoms #4: Cervical Position

Your cervix gives away some fantastic clues as to when you are fertile. Checking your cervix position is a helpful tool to work out when ovulation is near. You’ll probably need a few cycles to get the hang of it and understand all the variations and changes in your cervix.

Checking the position of your cervix is best done at the same time each day, as it doesn’t remain in one spot all day. Always wash your hands before you check your cervix.

Just like your cervical mucus, the cervix is clever and changes to optimise the chances of conception. When you’re not fertile, you’ll notice your cervix feels low, hard (like the tip of your nose) and dry. To identify a fertile cervix, remember SHOW: Soft (more like your ear lobe), High, Open and Wet.

Ovulation Symptoms #5 – 10: Other Possible Signs

Here’s a list of other possible ovulation symptoms, however they are not as reliable as the above symptoms:

  • Breast tenderness and sensitivity
  • Increased libido
  • Increased energy level
  • Heightened sense of vision, smell and taste
  • Water retention
  • Spotting – mid-cycle spotting is believed to be a result of the sudden drop of oestrogen prior to ovulation. Due to there being no progesterone right away, the lining can leak a small amount of blood until then.

Using Ovulation Prediction Tests

There are some ovulation prediction tests on the market. They can help detect changes in your body that signal ovulation is near. Two of the most common are:

Ovulation Prediction Kits (OPKs)

Ovulation prediction kits can be purchased online, from your pharmacy or supermarket.

An ovulation prediction kit works like a pregnancy test, except it measures your levels of LH, which indicate that you will be ovulating in the next 12-24 hours. Time to go make a baby!

Ovulation Microscopes (Saliva Test)

Ovulation microscopes can also be purchased online and from pharmacies. These handheld mini-microscopes enable you to observe the pattern of a dry saliva sample. When you’re fertile, the saliva appears to be ‘ferning’, a different pattern from when you are infertile.

Ovulation Calculator — Predict Your Most Fertile Days

If you want to work out your most fertile days based on your cycle dates, give our ovulation calculator a try. Simply enter in the last date of your menstrual period, as well as your usual cycle length. It’ll predict your upcoming fertile days, so with other ovulation symptoms to look for, you’ll have some great tools to speed up that path to conception.


Sperm can survive inside a woman for about 3-5 days, so having sex before ovulation has even occurred might result in a pregnancy. If you’re trying to get pregnant, there is no need to have lots of sex and time things to the very minute you ovulate. This just makes sex functional instead of enjoyable, which will quickly wear out its welcome.

If you chart your cycle and get to know when you normally ovulate, you can enjoy a passionate night with your partner and know that you are giving yourselves a very good chance of pregnancy.

Recommended Reading For All Things Fertility

Below are some books I recommend for those wanting to know more about, or take control of their own fertility. Many of these books also rate very highly with BellyBelly forum members.

#1: Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

For any woman who’s unhappy with her current method of birth control, demoralised by her quest to have a baby, or experiencing confusing symptoms in her cycle, this book provides answers to all her questions. And it offers amazing insights into a woman’s body. Weschler thoroughly explains the empowering Fertility Awareness Method, which in only a couple of minutes each day allows a woman to:

  • Enjoy highly effective, scientifically proven birth control without chemicals or devices
  • Maximise her chances of conception or expedite fertility treatment, by identifying impediments to conception
  • Increase the likelihood of choosing the gender of her baby
  • Gain control of her sexual and gynaecological health

#2: Plan to Get Pregnant: 10 Steps to Maximum Fertility by Zita West

Having a baby is one of the biggest life-decisions that a couple can make together. Plan to Get Pregnant tells you what you need to do to maximise your chances of conception, and breaks the process down into 10 manageable steps. It not only talks you though getting pregnant, but also offers guidance on how to stay pregnant, especially through the, often difficult, first trimester. From ‘how to know when you’re both ready to become parents’ and ‘what to eat for maximum fertility’, to ’embarking on IVF treatment and beyond’, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to start a family.

Zita West has written numerous fertility books and I highly recommend her work. Other books from Zita West include:

#3: Natural Fertility: The Complete Guide to Avoiding or Achieving Conception by Francesca Naish

Many women have problems with their fertility at some time in their lives. The solutions and preventative advice in this book will contribute to womens’ well-being, and help to overcome problems with contraception, infertility, reproductive and hormonal health. Topics include:

  • The natural approach
  • The unnatural approach
  • Cervical mucus changes
  • Basal body temperature changes
  • Rhythm calculations
  • The lunar cycle
  • Synchronising cycles
  • Sexual expression in fertile times
  • Charting and co-ordinating the methods for contraception
  • Natural remedies for hormonal and reproductive health
  • Natural, healthy conception

Connect With Others On The Conception Journey

If you’d like to read others’ experiences or even contribute your own, please join us in the BellyBelly Forums — we have a section dedicated to conception.

Last Updated: November 28, 2015


Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a doula, writer and mother to three awesome children. Currently, she's travelling the world for 12 months with her partner and children, and hopes to inspire more families to do the same. Visit aroundtheworldpluskids.com.au for more information.


  1. This Belly Belly really help me a lot, with each tips im very interested with. Encourage me more that getting pregnant at my age is not impossible. Thanks for this page.

    1. “My Story”
      for 10 years I was told that I could not conceive naturally.
      After 5 years of fertility treatment I had a beautiful boy.
      Then we tried again for 2 years with fertility treatment, to have another son and he is now 3 years old.
      At 43 – what chances did I have to fall pregnant naturally!!!!
      = “O”
      God’s timing is perfect – I am 30 weeks pregnant now without any treatment or planning. Expecting my 3rd son in January.
      God does wonders – without you even planning for it!
      Don’t give up – Anything is possible in God’s eyes!
      Good luck and God Bless! xxx Brenda

  2. Hi there,

    I am Linin and I am 29years old. I am planing to get pregnant, but it fails many times. My husband is not an acolholic but he has parties, meeting and drinks very often. In addition, he smokes also. And me , I used to use fiber capsule for losing weight for a box and my period was effected. Then I quited. After quitting for a month, I and my husband plan for a baby, but it seems 4 months already and doesn’t work. Is there any advices for this matter? I really wanna get preganant. My period is regularly 28days on circle and I stop using any medicines and try to eat good also.So far I used to get an abortion of baby died in my warm 4 years ago. Please help :(

    1. Hello. We were successful on our second attempt. We did a lot of reading and I am sure you have to however I would like to share our planning with you and I pray that it helps.

      First, we had sex every alternate day, as ovulation period is very short so it’s good to be sure that sperms are in the body at all times during the ovulation time. Sperms live in the body for upto 4-5 days.

      Secondly, which we feel was important was a good rest before intercourse. Helps the mind focus as well as increases sperm motility which is also vital. Sperms ability to swim as further as possible.

      Thirdly, no use of lubricants or sprays that delay ejaculation.

      Lastly, healthy eating. Loads of fruits and nuts and less of junk. Also loads of water.

      I hope this helps. All the best.

  3. hi, after my first baby 3yrs ago, i have been trying to conceive again but no result yet but i noticed lately that i start feeling sick immediately after ovulating and i will get fat but immediately after mensuration i will be very fine, initially i will treat malaria not until i noticed that it happens every other month and even now as i am sending this mail. please what should i do

  4. I want to get pregnant but I have a hard time figuring out when I’m fertile.I have a period trackerthat tells me when I’m suppose to be fertile but I’m not sure if that’s accurate.Please help

  5. Good day. I am 39 of age and yet to be pregnant. Please I need your advise on how to go about it since for the past conception has been very difficult for me.
    Please reply.

    1. Hi Priscilla,
      I’m also 39 and have yet to get pregnant. What have you been trying? I’m reading blogs and your story mirrors mine the most.

  6. I would love to have a baby with my husband. But I’ve been attending the nurse, my doctor & hospital as they say I’m low ovulating. I’ve been getting blood took three times now at different stages of the month to see if I am ovulating. Honestly can some one tell me what to do? I don’t feel a like a normal woman. There’s nothing more in this world that I want than to have a family with my husband. It’s really getting me upset. Help me out ladies

  7. I have a regular 32 day cycle. I always have my period on the 31st of every month. I am TTC and this month it is already the 20th of the month and I do Not think I’ve ovulated! I’ve been tracking my BBT and no rise in temp yet. But boobs are a little achy and I have like a mild cramping in my lwer abdomen. Mainly left side. I have little to no vaginal discharge. What’s going on??

  8. My question is after the 4-6 days mensuration.when will ovulation start .

    Secondly is it true that 2day after mensuration you can conceive with baby boy?

  9. Hi I’m 21 and me and my boyfriend been together for awhile now and we are trying to conceive our first child and it’s so hard. I calculate my period and we try on the days it says I’m ovalationing and still nothing..and its really making me upset because I just want this baby…

  10. Hi, I am 24 yes old and I am trying for baby but I am waiting still (my PRL is 37.2 in blood test) my weight is 70 kg and height is 5.4” please advice me what to do and my period is very painful.

  11. Hi, my name is Luciana and I had sex a day after my period and two days after the sex I began to fell tenderness of the Brest , headache, dizzy, appitet for food, sex and pain around my lower pelvis and cramb around my waist please I don’t know if its pregnancy or ovulation

  12. Hi everyone. I have been on Visanne for almost a year. I was very lucky to not experience any of the symptoms described to be expected from this medication. I had a headache for 2 days, very minor but that was it. I have not had any spotting or bleeding since i have been on Visanne. I have noticed my hair falls out a lot more than I have ever experienced, is there a fix for this? And my doctors keep recommending me to have a child to take away the endometriosis, knowing it will return. Has anyone experienced the hair loss or anyone who has has children, did the endometriosis go away and then come back years later, and how bad?

  13. I had twins last year but lost them. I ve had three miscarriages after then. I missed my period in oct n was taking it for pregnancy only to ee it again on d 4th of Nov. What is wrong with my circle. I want n wish to take in as I can. What do I do? Meanwhile, I am on folic acid n vit E, c

  14. Good day, I had my period in May and it lasted for 4 days, the next day I had unprotected sex then after 1 week I started feeling strong pain on my right side of the abdomen but the was no blood or spotting, after 2 weeks I had unprotected sex again then after 3 days I felt tired and sleepy and bloated for a week then I bought a pregnancy test it was positive. Could I have gotten pregnant the first time I had unprotected sex or the second time?

  15. Ok so I noticed that this morning I have very very wet and clear discharge from my vagina and it’s not stretchy yet but very very wet and clear. I have also noticed that I feel dizzy and that I have a mild pain coming from my right hand side of my abdomen area very low around the ovaries area. Have been trying to conceive for 2.5 years now and this is the first time that I am actually able to notice changes occurring in my body to be getting ready for ovulation. Should my partner and I be making love today, tonight and tomorrow and tomorrow night and Monday to TTC?

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