Wait, so what exactly is ovulation? After we examined several methods to calculate your ovulation last week, we want to dig deeper today. Therefore, we have summarized 8 facts about your ovulation, which you (perhaps) did not know yet.
1. You don’t ovulate in every cycle
You don’t ovulate every cycle, and that’s nothing to worry about. So-called anovulatory cycles are quite normal, as long as they do not occur too often. Studies show that most women have one to two cycles a year where ovulation does not occur. If you don’t track your ovulation, such as with ovulation trackers like femSense, you probably won’t even notice. You do have bleeding after an anovulatory cycle in many cases. However, this bleeding is not actually your period, but an estrogen breakthrough bleed caused by low progesterone levels and a buildup of uterine lining.
So anovulatory cycles are not a sign of infertility. However, if it looks like your anovulatory cycles are chronic, you should definitely check in with your gynecologist.
2. Your ovulation does not always occur on day 14 of your cycle
In theory, a woman’s cycle lasts 28 days and ovulation occurs on day 14 of the cycle. However, this statement should not be taken at face value, because the female body is complex and does not adhere to such theories. Every woman is different, and the female cycle is also individual. Moreover, each ovulation is the result of a complex chain reaction that starts already in the previous cycle and can turn out differently each time. A study by the University of Leipzig has even shown that 70% of all women do not ovulate between the 13th and 15th day of the cycle, but either before or after. In this blog post, we explain how you can calculate your ovulation exactly.
3. Your cervical mucus changes before and after your ovulation
You may also have noticed that your cervical mucus changes during your cycle and looks slightly different in each cycle phase. The closer your ovulation date comes, the higher the estrogen level in your blood and the more your cervical mucus changes. Around ovulation, your cervical mucus has a liquid-watery or clear, glassy consistency, like raw egg whites. After ovulation, it then becomes more viscous and whiter yellowish again quickly. If you want to conceive, it makes sense to observe your cervical mucus during ovulation tracking to narrow down your fertile days even better. By the way, this method is called the Billings method.
4. Your ovulation is triggered by the LH (Luteinizing hormone)
As already mentioned, the female cycle is a complex chain reaction of hormonal processes and changes. But when it comes to the hormone that triggers ovulation, we need to take a closer look at the luteinizing hormone (LH). In a nutshell, the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) causes an egg to mature in the ovaries. LH is then the hormone that signals the ovaries to release the egg and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. A rise in LH levels triggers ovulation and thus the release of an egg from the ovary, which is why LH tests are often used to monitor ovulation. You can learn more about hormones throughout the cycle in this blog post.
5. Your basal temperature is an indicator of ovulation
A sure sign to determine your ovulation is the rise of your basal body temperature (waking temperature). On average, the temperature rises by about 0.2°C- 0.5°C after ovulation and only drops again when your period starts. This method is called temperature method and femSense is based on it. Our patch measures this postovulatory increase of your basal body temperature by means of a highly sensitive sensor and thus determines the exact time when your ovulation has occurred. To do this, you wear the patch on a maximum of 7 days per cycle and read it twice a day with your smartphone and the corresponding app with NFC technology.
6. Your fertile window is not limited to one day
If you believe that you are only fertile on the day you ovulate, we must now dispel this myth once and for all. It is true that the egg is only fertile for about 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, but sperm can survive in the female body for up to five days. Thus, we can say that a woman has about 6 fertile days in a month: three to five days before and 24 hours after ovulation. If you want to get pregnant, it is, therefore, best to have sex with your partner two to three days before your expected ovulation, because the sperm can then already be in the fallopian tube waiting for the egg to be fertilized.
7. Some experience pain or discomfort during ovulation or even have ovulation bleeding
Have you ever felt your ovulation? Some women report mid-cycle pain, also called intermenstrual pain or “Mittelschmerz”. This phenomenon has not been scientifically proven to be accurate, and there are several theories as to what may cause this pain. One reason may be that the follicle first swells as the egg matures inside and then bursts open when the egg is released at ovulation to begin its journey to the uterus. The swelling follicle and the bursting of the egg follicle are said to cause pain in some women. In addition, when the follicle bursts, some fluid is released that can further irritate the peritoneum.
Another symptom that may occur around ovulation is ovulation bleeding. This is a light bleeding that is often brownish or bright red. The exact cause of this bleeding has not yet been definitively determined, but it is thought to be related to a sudden drop in estrogen levels. This drop can cause parts of the uterine lining to become temporarily unsustainable.
8. Your sex drive increases during the time of your ovulation
Yes, it’s a fact! In the time around your ovulation, your body releases more estrogen, and this also results in an increased libido. Nature has cleverly engineered this to maximize reproduction. It would be extremely counterproductive from an evolutionary point of view if you didn’t feel like having sex on your fertile days. Allegedly, men can even smell it when a woman is ovulating and thus “ready to reproduce”.
We hope you were able to learn something about ovulation today. If you’re interested in topics like fertility or the female cycle, check out our Instagram.