One of the best telltale signs of where you are in your cycle is your cervical mucus. Around the time of ovulation, your discharge will become clearer and thinner and is often compared to the look and feel of raw egg whites. This is probably one of the best ways to get an idea of when you are ovulating.
After ovulation, your discharge will return to normal by becoming thicker and dryer. It can be useful to get to grips with understanding your discharge, not only because it can help you learn more about your cycle and ovulation but also so that you can recognise if it looks, smells or feels different than usual. This way you’ll begin to know if something is off, which could be an indication of an underlying issue such as an infection.
Basal body temperature
You may have heard of the term BBT, which stands for basal body temperature. This refers to your body’s resting temperature, specifically the temperature of your body when you first wake up, before your body starts being active.
Your BBT may be difficult to recognise and track yourself and is often done with a special thermometer, to help women track their fertile dates. In the time leading up to ovulation, your BBT will have a slight decline which is then followed by a temperature spike of roughly 0.5°C, which indicates that ovulation has happened. This rise in temperature is due to the release of progesterone, as your body prepares your uterus for the implantation of a fertilised egg.
If you are looking to track your ovulation, tracking your temperature daily can be useful but will take a series of months to understand. It is important to keep in mind that your body temperature is likely to fluctuate by small amounts regularly, so it can be helpful to keep track of other symptoms too.
It is also common to experience a libido boost during ovulation, which makes sense as it’s evolution’s way of spurring you on to have lots of sex and babies! While an increased libido alone is not always a sign of ovulation, when paired with other signs – such as a change in discharge – it can help give an idea of if you are ovulating.
You may notice some physical changes during ovulation as well. While this does not affect everyone and is also not straightforward to detect, it is not unusual for your labia – the outer part of your genitalia – to swell. Another physical symptom some individuals experience is bloating, both before and during ovulation. As bloating often occurs during other stages of your cycle such as your period bleed, bloating is not always a trustworthy sign of ovulation.