How do you know when you’re ovulating? You were probably taught that ovulation occurs on the 14th day of your cycle - at the presumed mid-point - but for many women it’s not as simple or straight-forward as that. Although commonly we start tracking ovulation signs when we’re hoping to get pregnant, knowing if and when you’re ovulating is also useful for understanding the source of any cycle issues or symptoms you might be experiencing like missing periods, irregular cycles, or pre-menstrual problems like mood swings and depression.
A lack of ovulation is a cause of infertility, of course, but it’s also a cause of many common period problems and hormonal imbalance issues. With no ovulation signs, with no ovulation, your body won’t be producing enough progesterone. Low progesterone (and the resulting estrogen dominance) is a root cause of many hormone-based health issues, from PCOS to fibroids to ovarian cysts.
The benefits of ovulation
Ovulation is essential if you want to conceive, but you also want to be ovulating regularly even if you don’t want to get pregnant anytime soon. Consistent ovulation has many benefits including:
- Regular cycles
- Lighter periods
- Less PMS symptoms like mood swings, acne, bloating
- Boosted libido
- Less anxiety or depression
- Long term good health and longevity - avoidance of cancers, heart disease, osteoporosis
The signs your body gives you when you’re ovulating should be obvious and clear. You should know and feel your ovulation signs with every cycle. If you’re currently struggling to figure out when to time sex to conceive or whether you’re ovulating at all, then getting your cycle back on track might be the first step to understanding and getting in touch with your ovulation signs.
If you’re trying to get pregnant tracking your ovulation signs should not be stressful or difficult. It shouldn’t require ovulation predictor kits, tester strips, frantic sex scheduling or months of missed opportunities due to lack of ovulation from that same stress and anxiety. Ovulation ought to be something you can really feel as a change in your body, a change in your sex drive, and a change in your energy. Once you learn to listen and observe your Flo and how your hormones move melodiously from phase to phase then trusting in this process will become much easier. If you have menstrual irregularities however, it can be difficult to figure out when you’re ovulating. Until you get back in your FLO, checking your basal body temperature is an excellent way to know when you’re ovulating - whether you want to know so you can get pregnant or so you can ensure you don’t get pregnant - while you’re building an improved relationship to your cycle.
If you’re finding it really hard to know if you’re ovulating and discern your ovulation signs, then you might have trouble getting pregnant. If you are not experiencing the signs outlined below, then you’re not at your most vibrant, fertile self - primed for pregnancy.
What are the signs of ovulation?
- Cervical fluid - your cervical mucus or cervical fluid changes throughout your cycle. Look in your panties or after you wipe! When you’re fertile cervical fluid is referred to as “egg white” in consistency - stretchy and clear. You need this for fertility - it helps the sperm to travel to meet your egg. You can see and feel cervical fluid around ovulation time. It’s a very clear indicator to me that I am fertile and that my hormones are in balance and working in harmony.
- Basal body temperature - your resting temperature or the temperature you have when you wake up first thing in the morning can be tracked and charted so you know when you have ovulated. You can use a regular thermometer and paper charts or an app. Note - if you use anti-histamines or don’t produce much cervical fluid this is a good option.
- Sex drive - your testosterone levels peak around ovulation, boosting your sex drive. When you’re fertile you should feel an increased interest in sex and possibly enjoy sex more than other times of the month. You may feel more attracted to your partner or generally more amourous. Your body knows this is the best time to make a baby and it just giving you a gentle reminder of your fertility.
- Energy - when I enter my ovulation phase my energy shifts - I feel buoyant, energetic, sociable, communicative, and I have increased stamina for exercise. It’s a really fun week of my cycle for me! I look forward to my ovulation phase and see this energy shift as a sign of my vibrant fertility. I live in my Flo, so I shift how I approach my work, my social life, my workouts, my relationship, and of course my diet with my hormonal changes.
- Symptoms - some women experience symptoms around their ovulation which are a lot like period problems, including spotting, bloating, acne, and pain (known as mittelschmerz). These are the kind of ovulation signs you really don’t want! There are ways to fix this naturally though and it’s all to do with making sure you’re producing enough progesterone and estrogen in balance.
When you don’t have the signs of ovulation
It’s possible to experience an anovulatory cycle (a cycle with no ovulation) on occasion as the result of short term illness, chronic stress, medications, traveling - your body can “read” when you probably shouldn’t be getting pregnant, or potentially getting pregnant, and it will delay or prevent ovulation accordingly. It’s pretty cool like that! Although a one-off anovulatory cycle is not ideal as you’ll likely experience the resulting symptoms from low progesterone of PMS, heavier bleeding, and cramps, it does occasionally occur.
However, if you’re experiencing multiple cycles without ovulation signs you need to take a really good look at your diet and lifestyle and consider making some changes to support your body. Your body wants to ovulate, it needs to ovulate, and consistent ovulation every cycle is going to ensure you feel at your best and avoid hormonal symptoms.
Why you’re not ovulating
A lack of ovulation signs can indicate a number of root causes that can be addressed naturally and effectively with the Flo Living protocol:
- Blood sugar irregularity - your endocrine system relies on your blood sugar staying in stable stasis without any crashes or too many peaks. Your body will read mismanaged blood sugar as an internal stressor and the first thing to go when your body is under perceived pressure is ovulation.
- Sleep deprivation - sleep deprivation over even just a few days blocks the hormone melatonin and increases the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Of course, a lack of sleep can be linked to stress or anxiety and become something of a loop of ovulation-suppressing issues.
- Adrenal fatigue - overexerted adrenal glands create cortisol and this can disrupt progesterone (your body starts to use progesterone up as a cortisol substitute when stressed). Low progesterone levels prevents ovulation and makes miscarriage more likely.
- Thyroid problems - a sluggish thyroid is a root cause of anovulatory cycles.
- PCOS - the central symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome is lack of ovulation, irregular cycles and missing periods.
- Low BMI - Having low enough body fat can not only suppress ovulation, but can also stop your period. Maintaining a healthy weight, and eating the right quantity of calories and fats is key to a healthy cycle.
If you’re not experiencing the signs of ovulation, I advise you not to wait until you want to get pregnant to figure out how to get your body to ovulate. I would recommend you start to support your body in ovulating regularly and consistently - every single cycle - from TODAY. You will see and feel immediate benefits if you do this. Ovulation is about so much more than making babies. I want you to FEEL how you shift into your verbal, social, and sexual self during your ovulation phase! Not only that, but consistent ovulation ensures a symptom-free, healthy, happy whole menstrual cycle and a perfect period.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this - the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
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