Are you trying to conceive? Here are some of the signs that now is the time to “get busy”.
1. ) Heightened Sense of Smell
Is your sense of smell extra sensitive lately? Does the garbage from a few houses down make you want to cry? Mark the date on the calendar because you could be close to ovulating. Smells may bother you more because of hormone changes in your body. Not surprisingly you will be most sensitive to your partners sweat, which carries his pheromones. It’s just natures way of helping you find your mate.
2.) Cervical Mucus Changes
Do you pay attention to your discharge? Talk about too much information, right? I know I didn’t before my husband and I started trying to conceive. Get well acquainted with your bodily fluids because they can help you determine whether you’re at peak fertility for your cycle. Early in your cycle your discharge might not even be noticeable. As you near ovulation it will become clear and stretchy, like egg whites. This slippery, sticky consistency helps guide sperm up towards your egg.
3.) Sex on the Brain
Have you notice that some days you just feel extra sexy? It’s probably your hormones. Around the time you ovulate an increase in estrogen and progesterone are responsible for giving your skin, hair, lips and body a youthful, vibrant glow. Your breasts plump up a little more. You even smell better to the opposite sex. Nature is dropping hints – telling you now is the best time to make a baby.
4.) Saliva Changes
Oh my god – are you drooling? Don’t be embarrassed. There are definitely some changes in your saliva as you get closer to ovulation. Aside from a noticeable increase in the amount of saliva there are also some minor changes taking place. Luteinizing hormones cause a microscopic ferning pattern to develop in your saliva. You likely wont be able to detect it without using a fertility microscope. This occurs right before ovulation and can be a great indicator of fertility.
5.) Tender Breasts
Breasts feeling sore and heavy? Blame the progesterone. This causes your breasts to swell and become tender to the touch right before ovulation. Don’t let this discourage you from a roll in the hay though. You can try a hot oil massage, hot packs and even a nice, hot shower to soothe the pain. Take initiative and ask your partner to join you.
6.) Feeling Wet
Remember how we spoke about cervical mucus? We’re back. Not only will you notice a change in consistency, the amount of mucus in your body (or your underwear) will increase right before ovulation. While this can seem sticky, icky and downright uncomfortable it’s actually a great sign that your producing what your body needs for healthy conception.
7.) Position of Cervix
The position of your cervix can tell you whether ovulation has occurred or not. You’ll need a few months of practice before your adept enough to feel it on your own. If you’ve never tried to find your cervix before you’ll want to begin the day your period ends. At this time the cervix is much lower and harder. This makes it easier to locate. As you get closer to ovulation your cervix will be higher and have a soft, mushy texture. To check your cervix squat or elevate one leg. Take clean hands and reach up into your vagina. You’ll find a lump with a tiny opening. Feel around for the texture and compare to how your cervix felt right after your period. With a few months of practice you’ll be able to recognize when the cervix is at it’s most soft. This signals ovulation.
8.) Mid-Cycle Cramps
I used to get terrible cramps in the middle of my cycle. “That’s so unfair! This isn’t supposed to happen until the end of the month”. Don’t stress. This is actually a sign that you’re extremely fertile and nearing the peak of your cycle. This pain, also known as mittelschmerz, is often more noticeable on one side of your abdomen. It’s caused by the egg busting through the follicle during ovulation and can sometimes be followed by spotting.
9.) Puffiness or Bloating
Having trouble squeezing into your jeans? (Just wait until your digestion slows down during pregnancy.) Your hormones are changing and the rise in progesterone can cause your stomach to bloat slightly right before you ovulate.
10.) Mild Nausea
Nausea and hormones go hand-in-hand. If you notice a slight queasiness early in your cycle it’s likely due to a rise in progesterone from ovulation. These same hormones are responsible for PMS, morning sickness and a host of other symptoms you’ll experience during pregnancy.
Not every woman will get headaches during ovulation. Chances are if you typically notice headaches near your period you’ll notice them right before ovulation. Be careful what medicines you take for pain relief if you plan to try for a baby that month – some headache medications are anticoagulants and can lower the chances of successful implantation. Try to find natural means of headache relief, like arnica gel, hot compresses and rest. Tylenol can be used at half strength in extreme situations.
Not every woman’s ovulation symptoms will be the same. Paying attention to what you experience during your cycle is the best way to ensure successful conception. Click here to read my Definitive Guide for Ovulation and Conception.
When did you ladies first know you were pregnant? Let me know in the comments below!