If you want to become pregnant or avoid pregnancy, it's important to be aware of your menstrual cycle. Ovulation is the period of each month when an egg is released from one of your ovaries. This happens approximately on the 14th day of your cycle, and it's the time when you are the most fertile [source: Harms]. In order to know when you are ovulating, watch for some of the symptoms listed below.
- Abdominal pain, also called mittelschmerz. Some women experience pain in their lower abdomen during ovulation because the ovary may be stretching due to follicle growth [source: NLM].
- Vaginal secretion. Many women report a clear, slippery discharge of mucus from their vagina. Once ovulation is over, the secretion becomes cloudy and thicker or disappears entirely [source: Better Health].
- An increase in basal body temperature. Basal body temperature is the temperature in your mouth upon waking up in the morning. During ovulation, that temperature rises slightly. Monitoring your basal body temperature over the course of your menstrual cycle can tell you when you are ovulating [source: Harms].
- Premenstrual symptoms. Some women experience the same symptoms during ovulation as they do prior to menstruating. These can include bloating, mood changes, headaches and breast tenderness.
- Spotting. Spotting is finding small drops of blood in your underwear. It's completely normal during ovulation and is nothing to worry about. If the spotting doesn't end after a few days or the flow increases, consult a physician.
Be aware that oral contraceptives may suppress the symptoms of ovulation. It's most difficult to determine when you are ovulating while using hormonal agents [source: NCBI].
If you'd like to become pregnant, there are many over-the-counter ovulation kits. These kits measure the amount of hormones in your urine to help determine when you're the most fertile. Having sexual intercourse at least once a day during ovulation will increase your chances of becoming pregnant.