|An illustration of the female reproductive system. / Photo by: Getty Images|
It’s important to pay attention to your body. Especially during important periods like when you are ovulating, your body undergoes so many changes. These changes, on the other hand, can also cause other things in your body to change or work differently.
For instance, you don’t probably think much of your ovulation unless you are trying to get pregnant or trying not to get pregnant, but it’s important to pay attention to it too because it can cause important changes in your body.
What are the symptoms of ovulation?
|A woman showing her sex drive. / Photo by: Getty Images|
Women have different experiences when it comes to ovulating. Some may ovulate on the same day of their cycle every month while some women ovulate on varying days.
Similarly, some women experience symptoms of ovulation while others don’t. The most common of these symptoms may include changes in cervical fluid, in basal body temperature, and in cervical position or firmness.
Other symptoms of ovulation, which are called secondary symptoms, may include light spotting, slight cramping, breast tenderness, abdominal bloating, increased sex drive, and a heightened sense of smell, taste, or vision.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with these symptoms of ovulation so that you can track them easily and pinpoint the days in your cycle when you are ovulating, which is especially important if you’re trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid it.
Using an ovulation calculator
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You can also predict when you’ll be ovulating with a tool called an ovulation calculator. First, it’s important to figure out the average length of your menstrual cycle. This starts from the first day of your menstrual period to the day before your next menstrual period begins.
For instance, if you have 28 days in your menstrual cycle, you can calculate your fertile window, your most fertile days, and when you’re actually ovulating.
Your ovulation day is about two weeks away from your next expected period. So if you have 28 days in your menstrual cycle, you’re ovulating on the 14th day.
Your fertile window is the six days that lead up to your ovulation day, which happens from the 9th day to the 14th day. Your most fertile days, on the other hand, are three days that lead up to your ovulation day; in this case, it’s the 12th, 13th, and 14th day in your cycle.
What are the symptoms before menstruation?
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You can also tell ovulation blood apart from menstruation by looking for symptoms that typically accompany menstruation.
These can manifest before and during your period, with symptoms like bloating, breast tenderness, cramps, fatigue, mood swings, and nausea.
You may also notice symptoms that are related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), like abdominal pain, acne, food cravings, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, irritability, changes in sleep patterns, and sensitivity to light or sound.
Is this ovulation blood or menstruation?
|A woman thinking about her ovulation. / Photo by: Getty Images|
Your ovary releases an egg that travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus when you are ovulating. After 24 hours, the unfertilized egg will break down and will be shed with the uterine lining after two weeks. This becomes your menstrual period.
However, it’s also possible to bleed during ovulation. This is called spotting, which is any kind of bleeding that happens outside of the menstrual period. Only 3% of people who menstruate can experience spotting during ovulation.
It is not that difficult to tell ovulation blood from menstruation. Typically, spotting during ovulation is much lighter than menstrual periods and wouldn’t require the use or menstrual pads or tampons.
Spotting can also be caused by something much more serious, so it’s important to look out for other symptoms like abnormally heavier or longer periods, vaginal itching and redness, missed or irregular periods, nausea, and pain during urination.
Bacterial vaginosis and ovulation
|A woman having pelvic pain. / Photo by: Getty Images|
When you are ovulating, you may notice an increase in cervical fluid. This is a wet and slippery fluid that’s similar to a raw egg white.
When you have a watery, thin, and white vaginal discharge with a strong and unpleasant smell, however, it may actually be a symptom of bacterial vaginosis.
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age. You may also notice symptoms like a burning sensation when urinating or vaginal itching.
It’s not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it can increase the risk of developing STIs. If you have untreated bacterial vaginosis, the infection can also spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing an infection called the pelvic inflammatory disease.
Chronic yeast infection and ovulation
|Bacteria and fungi test. / Photo by: Getty Images|
Vaginal yeast infection is a common condition caused by the fungus Candida, a microorganism that naturally occurs in the vagina. Typically, Lactobacillus bacteria would keep it in check, preventing it from causing an infection.
However, there are cases wherein the Lactobacillus bacteria can’t effectively work against the fungus. This can be caused by several factors including antibiotics, pregnancy, hormonal imbalance, lack of sleep, and a weakened immune system.
Women are also more susceptible to getting chronic yeast infections when they are ovulating. According to 2012 study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, this is because the rising levels of estrogen during ovulation reduces the activity of the body’s immune system to allow the woman to become pregnant in the first place.
“This reduced activity of the immune system is what allows sperm to survive in the female reproductive tract,” Miguel Relloso, the study’s lead author, told Live Science. “But it also allows pathogens to infect at the same time.”