Fertile period can be summarized as the time when a woman is most likely to become pregnant. This is because it is when ovulation occurs, that is, the ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized.
It is worth mentioning that, if a woman is looking to get pregnant, knowing her body well and each phase of the menstrual cycle helps a lot. That way, she will know better when she usually ovulates and therefore what her most fertile days are.
Domingos Mantelli (CRM-SP: 107.997), gynecologist and obstetrician, author of the book “Gestation: myths and truths under the obstetrician’s gaze”, explains that the fertile period is usually the period of 14 days before the first day of menstruation. .
“Let’s take an example: if you had your period on the 28th of the month, your ovulation day would be approximately the 14th, the 14th day of the cycle, and the fertile period would be 2 days before and 2 days after this day of ovulation. So if you had your period on the 28th, count 14 days before which is the day of ovulation and the fertile period is the period that comprises 2 days before to 2 days after this ovulation”, says Mantelli.
Top signs that you are ovulating
But is it possible for a woman to know that she is really ovulating? Fernanda Rodrigues, a specialist in assisted reproduction at the Huntington Group, explains that, by observing one’s own body, it is possible to estimate the moment of ovulation due to some suggestive signs. “However, ovulation can only be confirmed by medical evaluation, which is performed through hormonal measurements and transvaginal pelvic ultrasound,” she says.
Below you can see some of the signs that indicate that a woman is ovulating:
1. Abdominal discomfort
“As ovulation is the rupture of the follicle (liquid pouch) for the release of the egg (microscopic cell that is inside the follicle), the intrafollicular contents leak, often accompanied by a small local bleeding. This liquid with blood can cause discomfort when it reaches the abdomen”, explains Fernanda.
Mantelli reinforces that the woman can feel a little abdominal pain. “We call it ‘middle pain’ because it usually coincides with being in the middle of the menstrual cycle which is a woman’s fertile period, the period of ovulation,” she adds.
However, Fernanda points out, this does not happen in all cases. “That is, if the patient does not feel discomfort, it does not mean that she is not ovulating”, explains the specialist.
2. Change in basal temperature
Basal body temperature is nothing more than the body temperature at rest (that is, when you are sleeping). To keep track of it, you simply need a thermometer and paper and pencil/pen to record the temperature. You should measure it every day, as soon as you wake up (before doing any other activity), preferably by placing the thermometer under your tongue.
To interpret it, it is necessary to know that the basal temperature should be lower during the first two weeks of the cycle. After ovulation has occurred (about 24 to 72 hours later), the body temperature rises and remains high until menstruation.
It is a simple method to assess ovulatory function, according to Fernanda. “When ovulation occurs, there is an increase in the production of progesterone by the corpus luteum, which can cause an increase in basal temperature by 0.2 to 0.5 degrees two to three days after ovulation. Therefore, ovulatory cycles are generally associated with clearly biphasic basal temperature curves.”
“Thus, it is only possible to estimate that the patient ovulated after ovulation took place. However, sometimes a pattern is identified, making it possible to estimate the fertile period in the next cycles”, explains the specialist.
3. Changes in cervical mucus
Looking at cervical mucus can also help a woman be sure she is ovulating. It is worth noting that there are several types of vaginal secretion, and cervical mucus is one of them.
“In the period close to ovulation, cervical mucus becomes more transparent, viscous and elastic, with the appearance of an egg white. This happens by stimulating estradiol, a hormone produced by the growing follicle before ovulation”, explains Fernanda.
At the beginning of the menstrual cycle, a woman has normal bleeding (menstruation). Afterwards, most likely it will be without secretion for a few days. Subsequently, you may observe a slightly opaque color secretion, with a stickier consistency. Then, the closer you get to ovulation, the secretion will become more transparent, viscous and elastic.
4. Breast tenderness
This is an indirect sign, according to Fernanda. “Because the mammary glands have hormone receptors. Therefore, when estrogen production occurs in the first phase of the cycle, an increase in breast volume can occur, and in the second phase, after ovulation, when there is a predominance of progesterone, the breasts can become more painful,” she says.
5. Position of the cervix
Cervix is the lowest part of the uterus where it joins the upper end of the vagina.
“During the pre-ovulation period, the cervix becomes softer, with a higher, open and more humid position, also due to the stimulation of the estradiol hormone”, says Fernanda.
“However, with the observation of other signs, such as basal temperature and cervical mucus, it is already possible to predict ovulation. It is not recommended that patients examine their own cervix for this purpose”, emphasizes the specialist.
6. Other signs
Fernanda clarifies that certain signs are not direct signs of ovulation, such as:
- Increased libido;
- Energy boost;
- Heightened senses;
- liquid retention;
- Emotional lability;
- Increased vaginal secretion.
“However, it is known that all these signals are influenced by the cyclical hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle. Basically responsible are estradiol in the first phase, and progesterone in the second, after ovulation. So, the presence of these symptoms can suggest that cyclic hormone production is taking place and, in this way, can suggest that ovulation is happening”, explains the specialist.
Tests and exams to detect ovulation
It is a fact that the observation of the body – adding temperature and cervical mucus – is the most natural and cheapest way to detect ovulation. But there are other options for those looking for more certainty.
Mantelli explains that there are ovulation tests sold over the counter. They use a small amount of urine or saliva to perform the procedure, with a reliability of approximately 98%.
“When you use your own saliva to analyze it, the kit even comes with a small microscope, a small magnifying glass, in which you see the change in the pattern of saliva when you are in the ovulation period”, he says.
In tests that rely on the use of urine, as in the case of pregnancy tests, it is enough to wet the indicated place in a little urine and observe the color changes that occur. On the test leaflet, it will be showing the color that corresponds to the fertile period.
According to the gynecologist, pharmacy tests are reliable. Examples of pharmacy ovulation test are:
Mantelli explains that the ovarian exam and the hormonal exam can, through hormone dosages, know if the woman is having an ovulatory peak.
“An ultrasound can also be performed, observing the ovary and seeing the formation of follicles, and if ovulation is occurring”, adds the gynecologist.
Now you know: with the observation of your own body (basal temperature, cervical mucus) it is possible to estimate the moment of ovulation. But ovulation can only be 100% confirmed by medical evaluation, through hormonal measurements and ultrasound.
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.
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