Ovulation SignsLearn the common ovulation symptoms and signs of ovulation in this article, including how ovulation works and how it relates to your period. 

Ovulation symptoms are often subtle. You have to be paying attention to your body’s signs and signals in order to tell that you’ve ovulated. Learning when you have ovulated – or are approaching the most fertile time of the month – is vital for women trying to conceive. You can dramatically increase your chance of pregnancy if you have unprotected sex during the week that you ovulate. Similarly, if you practice natural birth control, you obviously will want to avoid having any sexual intercourse during this week.

Getting pregnant, and having a menstrual period is tied to ovulation. You won’t have a normal period if you didn’t ovulate this month. (Some women do experience anovulatory bleeding, also called dysfunctional uterine bleeding. This bleeding can be mistaken for a period, but it’s not a period. It only occurs when ovulation does not take place.) There’s also no possible way for you to become pregnant unless you ovulate.

What Happens During Ovulation?

Every month, usually day 14 in a regular 28-day cycle, your ovaries release a mature egg. This is called ovulation. The egg is swept into the fallopian tube, where it is available for fertilization. In order for pregnancy to occur, you typically have a 12 to 24 hour window after ovulation for a man’s sperm to fertilize this egg. If fertilization doesn’t occur, the egg will dissolve and you’ve missed your opportunity for pregnancy that month. Implantation typically occurs 6 to 12 days after ovulation.

Most women will release one mature egg each time they ovulate. If the ovaries release more than one egg (which occurs more often in older women), and the eggs are fertilized, you will have twins or multiples.

How to Know When You are Ovulating

If you have a textbook 28-day menstrual cycle, you will ovulate on day 14 (exactly two weeks after the first day of your last period). Unfortunately, not everyone has the perfect cycle. A menstrual cycle can range from 21 to 35 days. In addition, stress, a poor diet, medications, and other lifestyle factors can affect when you ovulate. So, the only way to know when you are ovulating is to pay attention to your ovulation symptoms. (You can also buy an ovulation predictor kit at your local pharmacy.)

Ovulation Signs and Symptoms

Ovulation symptoms are different for every woman. The two major signs of ovulation that almost all women will experience include the following:

1. More Cervical Mucus — During the week leading up to ovulation, you may notice that you’re more moist down there. A common ovulation symptom is increased cervical discharge. As you approach ovulation, your cervical mucus will be sticky, moist, and it may be white or cream in color. Right before you ovulate, your cervical mucus will become thin, clear and transparent, and it will look like raw egg whites.

After ovulation has occurred, your cervical mucus will change color and consistency, and you’ll end up with that vaginal dryness that you noticed right after your period. Your cervical mucus is one of the most obvious signs of ovulation.

2. Increase in Basal Body Temperature — For many women, they notice that their basal body temperature rises slightly (usually only between 0.5 degrees or 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit) during ovulation. This increase in basal body temperature is another ovulation symptom, but it’s very subtle. You won’t feel this increase in temperature. This sign of ovulation is only accurate once you’ve been tracking your basal body temperature accurately over the course of several months. Your temperature will rise and fall naturally throughout your cycle, pattern, and charting your temperature for a couple of months helps you see the pattern. You can more easily see when a slight rise in body temperature means you’ve ovulated.

The other signs of ovulation are often considered secondary signs, because they don’t occur consistently. You may notice these symptoms one month, but not the following month. Some women will never experience these ovulation symptoms at all. The less commonly known ovulation symptoms include:

3. Mittelschmerz — An estimated 1 in 5 women will suffer from ovulation pain, also called mittelschmerz. This word is German, and it’s translated to mean “middle pain.” This ovulation symptom is a one-sided, lower abdominal cramping or pain that can occur before, during, and after you ovulate. Mittelschmerz may only last a few minutes or a couple of hours. The pain is usually mild to moderate. Sometimes it does feel sharp, but it’s often described as feeling like a distinctive cramp.

You may feel mittelschmerz on the left side one month, and the right side the next. The ovulation pain can switch from side to side, or it can be felt on the same side for several months in a row.

4. Light Spotting — Some women experience light spotting or brownish staining around the time they ovulate. This is called ovulation spotting, and there are several theories to why it occurs. Some believe it’s the physical result of the egg bursting through its follicle. Other people argue that this ovulation symptom is due to hormonal changes. Whatever the reason for this spotting, it’s a normal sign of ovulation.

Ovulation spotting may be light pink or brownish in color. Sometimes, it’s also mixed with egg white, transparent cervical mucus (which is a universal ovulation symptom). This ovulation symptom should only last for a day or two. The bleeding shouldn’t be heavy – it’s not like menstrual blood.

5. Increased Sex Drive — Since it’s common to have increased discharge during ovulation, it’s also normal for you to feel more turned on. Some women find that they are more interested in babymaking when they’re ovulating. Chalk this up to your biological desire to reproduce. If you’re trying to conceive, this is definitely a perk to ovulation.

You may also notice that your vagina and vulva are more sensitive around the time of ovulation. This can also give you a boost when it comes to being in the mood for love.

6. Breast Tenderness and Bloating — Unfortunately, ovulation also means the beginning of your PMS symptoms. Some women will experience breast tenderness, bloating, and other premenstrual symptoms around the time that they ovulate.

Ovulation Symptoms are Subtle

Always keep in mind that ovulation symptoms can often go unnoticed. Unless you’re paying attention, you won’t know that you’ve ovulated. As a rule of thumb, you will usually have your period roughly two weeks after ovulation.

My Recommendations for Ovulation Products

Looking for accurate ovulation predictor kits? Head over to my Pregnancy and Baby Store and check out the products I think are the best for predicting ovulation.

DP Nguyen

DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick's Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.


AY · May 17, 2018 at 5:11 am

I am 44yrs old. Trying to get pregnant. I realized lately that my cycle is 30 to 35 days and always painful. I am on clomid as recommended by my doctor. I don’t know when my ovulation period will be. I noticed pelvic pain on the 9th day. Could that be ovulation period? Thanks

Erica · January 6, 2018 at 6:13 am

My laste period was meer as n jaar trug is daar iets wat ek kan doen op swanger te word ons traai al 2 jaar lank en niks gebeur nie wat kan ek doen. Die dokter hier is nie veel help nie en hoe werk ek uit wanner ek ovulasie asb ek kort help asb

Heather · September 22, 2016 at 8:28 am

Mine is kind of weird but I notice I get less of appetite, nausea and sometimes things smell really strong. It usually a cycle, it doesn’t happen all the time but when it does happen it seems like it’s during my ovulation time. Weird

Esther · June 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

I’m 29 years old, I do have my menstruation after 33days from d first day of my last period before I commence another one. So when will I ovulate ?

    Josie · October 24, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I would say day 16to 18

Sarah · June 9, 2016 at 4:16 am

For the last 6-12 months or more every month when its my ovulation days I’m in agonising pain right in the middle lower down feels like my insides are gonna fall out . every month with out fail I end up in hospital on morphine no one knows what the course is I don’t have no discharge and my periods are fine each month I have painful sexual intercourse my stomach swells I haven’t been on the pill for 3 years because we wanted a baby! Well this month on my ovulation day I didn’t get no pain nothing the first time in 12 month .. I’m just wondering why? Xx

ifoma · May 28, 2016 at 7:30 am

I saw my period on 17/5/16 when is my ovulation

ifoma · May 28, 2016 at 7:27 am

Is good knowing much about yourself as a woman

Nikeysha · February 17, 2016 at 12:24 pm

I just need some information. I had my daughter 2 years ago and I still have not had a menstrual cycle. Is that normal? Also can I still get pregnant without having a menstrual cycle?

    Xee · July 22, 2017 at 9:39 am

    It may happen if you are still breast feeding, a friend of mine took in immediately she stopped breastfeeding.

amy · January 30, 2016 at 10:59 pm

Please i haven’t seen my period and have done blood pregnancy test and unrie test and up till Now the period hasn’t come. is it ovulation symptoms?

treasure · December 15, 2015 at 6:52 am

My menstrual cyle is every 25days. So how can I know my ovulation period

shindara · December 1, 2015 at 2:01 am

i ovulate almost everyday,is it nomal?

shindara · December 1, 2015 at 2:00 am

i ovulate almost everyday,is it nomal? Also my menstration circle is not constant y?

sweetiemo · November 29, 2015 at 5:20 am

am having dis discharge that I can not sleep sometimes it will be pure white sometimes it wilb milking and sometimes it wil be very tick whit milky of a tin the water wil even soak my pant .pls I want know if it is still normal ovulation pls

    leo · September 1, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    yes dear it is part of ovulation and u are fertile that time any mistakes u get pregnant

Lerato · November 23, 2015 at 8:07 am

I’m having pain 2 weeks before my period m’i ovulating.

Ogechi · November 14, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Why is that whenever i did ovulation test it will read positive, but iam not seeing the egg white coming out of my virgina. It is normal like that? Please i need answer.

ayangba · November 11, 2015 at 2:34 am

I want everyone to listen to this information here: We are specialize on curing these following diseases!! Are you worried about your health? 1} watering spam 2) weakness of the organ 3) Body pain 4). Rumatism 5) Taford fever 6) vagina discharge 7) internal heat 7) Irregular menses 8)Infertility stroke 9 gonorrhea 10) diabetes 11) HIV 12) menstruation problem 13) Eye problem

    Esta · May 7, 2016 at 4:29 am

    I stopped seeing my period for almost2yrs bt 6 months ago it returned n looks very normal pls wat could be the cause

bose · November 11, 2015 at 12:33 am

So my period is always very very very regular….i can set my watch by it basically, i always get my period at 3 am every 28 days…..i wasnt due to get it until the 7th of october and i got it on the 1st, it was only like 3 days of bleeding which is normal and then i spot for one or two but i spotted all the way until the tenth…..I have been urinating about every 2 to 5 hours and lately i have been super super super hormonal, like my boyfriend can say one thing and i will get so pissed off and throw a fit and logically i know its dumb but i just cant stop my moods….then after about 2 to 10 minutes of being pissed off then im bawling….and sunday i went to bed at 730 pm and didnt get up until 145 pm on monday. the thing is i took a home pregnancy test yesterday and it was negative……do i go to a doctor or just wait it out?? i have two children already but never had this kind of thing with either of them, at least not immediately. and my breasts arent sore or painful and the areola hasnt darkened again. I also dont see the line that i got with both of them that ran from my belly button down to my pubic area….any advice would be appreciated

rosemary · November 10, 2015 at 11:46 am

My menstruation deny can someone tell me the reason why?

helen · November 10, 2015 at 11:39 am

I want to used this time to thank doctor ayangba for helping me in life, as a woman I need to see my ovulation before my period, my ovulation was giving me problem but with the help of doctor ayangba I got it, thank you so much.

    Ogechi · November 14, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Am not seeing the white egg during my ovulation.pls i help

      Ogechi · November 14, 2015 at 6:25 pm

      Why is that whenever i did ovulation test it will read positive, but iam not seeing the egg white coming out of my virgina. It is normal like that? Please i need answer.

micky · November 8, 2015 at 3:55 pm

While bathing i used my hand to pull out my ovulating mucus nd since den i hvnt been feeling comfortable ….i hope it didnt cause any problem to my body?

juliet · October 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Am still single but usually notice breast milk comes out of my breast,I made love sometimes but I found out Dat my period delayed dis month and am feeling breast tenderness, abdominal pains,could Dat be that am pregnant?

mummy · August 5, 2015 at 9:02 am

my both symptoms of menstrual & ovulation cycle are thesame,is it normal?

mummy · August 5, 2015 at 9:02 am

my both symptoms of menstrual & ovulation cycle are thesame,is it normal?

Loveth · August 3, 2015 at 11:37 am

Why is it that whenever i did ovulation test it will read positive, but i am not seeing the egg white coming out of my virgina. Is it normal like that? Please answer me.

lipstick · July 27, 2015 at 10:23 pm

I menstrated on the 5th of June n had sex on 23rd n 24th I had my next period on 3rd of July but somewhere within 22nd I started feeling very unusual lyk coldness breast tenderness with tingling nipple severe abdominal pain bt de pain has lasted for 6day and still paining me . Could it be pregnancy? ?

Vera · July 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm

My period are not flowing well . Please what can i do

Kumari manisha · June 21, 2015 at 8:27 pm

hello I had an intercourse wid my husband on and before my ovulation day…after two days I felt like vomiting sensation,cramps,vaginal discharge, getting tiredness …later when I’m getting near to my periods (before 3-5 days) I feel like periods symptoms…I’m I pregnant or not???

Jan · June 9, 2015 at 4:09 pm

I have been tired lately and ive been eating more i feel bloated and i had sex on a fertile day and was suppose to ovulate on sunday and now its monday an i have sharp pains and clear thick discharge could i be pregnant ?

sarahjeffries · April 19, 2015 at 11:54 pm

You can look out for some physical signs that will help you tell when you’re ovulating (release an egg). A reliable sign is an increase in vaginal discharge, which changes from white, creamy or non-existent to clear, stretchy and slippery when you ovulate. You may also notice other signs, such as breast tenderness, bloating, mild abdominal pain, etc. You can buy ovulation prediction kits to test the hormone levels in your urine to find out when you’re at your most fertile.

juliet · April 16, 2015 at 1:25 am

i mnstrate 23 to 27 of evry mnt wen am i xpctd 2 b fertile and ovulate pls can u kinly help me figure it out bcos ave been ttc pls i nid ur help

amy · March 23, 2015 at 11:46 am

Hello the beginning of my last period was March 4. Supposebly i get my period every 27-28 days me and my bf had makeup sex on the 16th a day i was fertile i started crying when we had sex cause he said sorry i didnt think much of it but idk when but a couple days before i think i cried cause he didnt ejaculate inside me which usually idc about but then just a couple days ago after ovulation on the 22 i cried even harder again after sex cause he didnt ejaculate in me and idk why but we both think its wierd. Im supposed to get my period on the 31 of march but i cant wait no more. Ive also been getting nausea throughout the day and been super tired the past 3 days.

    Joyce · May 11, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Is lyk u ar prgnt go 4 test

    DO · May 19, 2015 at 9:08 am

    you are oregnat

okafor Augusta · January 6, 2015 at 1:12 am

Am 22yrs old I do see my period every on 23 of each month. But now I don’t menstrate for more than 8months now,I have run pregenancy test”NEGATIVE” am afraid since then. But have run different test but d prescribe drugs didn’t work.what is wrong ..and I also noticed my breast bring out water.. Am still a single girl. Wats wrong pls I need ur advice

    ifeoluwa · April 7, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Am having the same problem with yours but my is 3 month late.

Camille Polinar · November 17, 2014 at 7:39 am

Hi I had sex before 1week of my period (nov,11) but nov.17 I experience a blood while I pee just excatly only what is that m ean? Am I pregnant or just ovulating??

tanya · September 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

I am trying to fall pregnant for 1 year nd 6 months I had my pms 9 september done 11 wwhat does it mean thanx tanya Bottcher

Shan · July 24, 2013 at 6:31 am

Normally when I ovulate one of my ovaries gets sore but this month I never felt the soreness from either of my ovaries does that mean I didn’t ovulate?

OvulationSymptoms · June 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm

These are all really good indications of when you are ovulating. Generally, women should pay close attention to their bodies anywhere between 7 and 12 days after their period.

Graceey · March 3, 2013 at 11:29 am

I saw my period last febuary2,3,4.until now ve not seen again.i did not sleep wt a man. 34day now is still delayin.but i ve sharp pain on my right side &my breast too is paining me.what do i do pls

    Ada · March 3, 2015 at 4:55 am

    My menstration came out last on jan2015 and till now it hasn’t come out yet but i always have sharp pain and breast pain

olan · January 17, 2013 at 10:17 am

This really helpful i thank the writer so much now i know more abt my body as a woman

priyanka · November 10, 2012 at 3:09 am

i have late periods 62 days over.
pls give me any suggestion .


Ali · September 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm

i have been experiencing some similar signs, but i have also noticed things such as, frequent headaches, decrease in appetite, feeling nauseous, and tired all the time. this all just happened with the last 3 days. it it possible that i am pregnant?

Tammy · July 20, 2012 at 4:32 am

since I started my period ive been getting it very painful bt last month I ddnt hve a pain at all nd two weeks bck I started getting lower back pains could I b pregnant any advice pls help

Tammy · July 20, 2012 at 4:30 am

since I started my period ive been getting it very painful bt last month I ddnt hve a pain at all nd two weeks bck I started getting lower back pains could I b pregnant

    Susy · December 13, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    A bit sursriped it seems to simple and yet useful.

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jill duggan · December 2, 2011 at 4:57 am

Obviously, Ovulation is a period that occur right before a woman will experience menstruation. And having the knowledge about Body symptoms make it a big difference. Thank you for a post well said!

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