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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Ovulation 

Written by:, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm successful ovulation at home.

If you’re hoping to get pregnant soon or already are trying to conceive, learning as much as you can about ovulation may help you on your journey! Today, we’re sharing 5 things you didn’t know about ovulation! 

What is Ovulation and How does it Work? A Basic Overview 

Ovulation is the process by which an egg leaves the ovary and is available for fertilization. Even if you are not trying to get pregnant, ovulation is an important process and is a sign of health in the body. 

It takes the coordination of several reproductive hormones (follicle stimulating hormone, estrogen, luteinizing hormone, and progesterone, to name a few) to cause a successful ovulation. So if you are ovulating, it lets you know that your body is producing those hormones and cycling on its own. When looking into the health benefits of ovulation, information will be everywhere! Factors around ovulation can give medical providers insight into:

  • Endocrine disorders
  • Gynecological abnormalities
  • Autoimmune, genetic, and neoplastic diseases
  • Pregnancy-related issues

Eggs begin maturing after the menstrual period and produce the hormone estrogen. As they grow to a fully mature size, one will be selected to be released from the ovary. When this egg bursts from the side of the ovary, ovulation has occurred. 

5 Surprising Facts about Ovulation

Now that you know the basics of what ovulation is, let’s get to the surprising facts about ovulation!

1. It Doesn't Always Happen on the Same Day Every Month

Although it would be really very handy to know when you’ll be ovulating each month for the rest of the year, it just can’t be predicted like that. The hormonal process leading up to ovulation happens slightly differently every time. This could feel intimidating but, luckily, there are ways to look for signs of ovulation while tracking the cycle for peak fertile days like Proov Predict LH tests.

2. Many Women Can Feel it Physically

If you’ve ever experienced mild to moderate pain on either side of your abdomen a week or two before your period starts, it could have been ovulation! Many women (over 40%!) will feel a little something happening around that time, whether it’s described as pain, twinges, or a mild ache. The feeling often occurs when the follicle is at its largest, right before ovulation. This experience is called “mittelschmerz” (a German word that appropriately means “middle-pain”). 

3. It Affects Fertility and Pregnancy Chances

If you don’t ovulate in a given cycle, then you cannot conceive that cycle. That’s because conception requires an egg and a sperm. So if no egg is released, then fertilization (and therefore pregnancy) can’t happen. 

This is why identifying ovulation, and learning as much about it as you can, is beneficial for your process of trying to conceive. If you suspect that you’re not ovulating, that must be addressed and ovulation restored before you can try to conceive. The good news is that, although ovulatory dysfunction is the number one cause of infertility, it is also often treatable!

There are many issues that can cause ovulatory dysfunction. Once you discover you’re not ovulating, you can move to restoring that function. 

4. Stress Can Disrupt Your Cycle

One surprising thing that could be causing issues with your ovulation is stress!

Remember, the reproductive cycle is complex and intricate, relying on hormones from the brain and the reproductive organs. If things are really stressful, the body will introduce new hormones like cortisol to help us manage the stress, and cortisol can tell the reproductive organs to take a break for a bit until things settle down. 

Reducing stress in life can be challenging, but incorporating small acts of stress-reducing activities can make a big difference. Activities like going for a walk, being in the sun for a few minutes, getting 7-8 hours of sleep, or laughing with friends can help reduce levels of cortisol

5. You Don't Always Get Peak Fertile Days

If you have a hormonal imbalance or underlying condition, you won’t see signs of peak fertile days. This is because peak fertile days occur only when those reproductive hormones we talked about earlier are rising and all systems are a go for ovulation! If stress or other factors are hindering those hormones, the body won’t show signs of rising fertility, because there aren’t any. 

If you’re unsure whether or not you’re ovulating, using a PdG test like Proov Confirm can help you confirm successful ovulation!

What Are the Signs of Ovulation

As mentioned, there are ways to spot signs of ovulation within your body. When reproductive hormones are successfully transitioning around ovulation, you may notice: 

  • A morning shift in basal body temperature
  • Clear, stretchy, or slippery cervical mucus
  • An open cervix 
  • Mittelschmerz 
  • LH rise 
  • Progesterone or PdG rise, several days later

Keep in mind that these are not guarantees that you are successfully ovulating, but they can be helpful to identify anovulation (i.e. a lack of ovulation), if you don't have any of them. 

Tips on How to Track Your Cycle Accurately

Now that you understand the basics of how ovulation works, you can begin looking for these signs through cycle tracking and at-home hormone tests! Accurately tracking your cycle can help you identify your body’s unique window of fertility to give you the best chance at conceiving a pregnancy every cycle.

We recommend: 

  • Understanding how your body works 
  • Looking for signs of ovulation 
  • Tracking your hormones and cycle with at-home hormone tests 

How to Use Ovulation Information to Improve Your Health

Being this aware of your menstrual cycle can give great insight into your hormone health and overall health. As mentioned, the health of the menstrual cycle can indicate health (or concerns) with the body’s hormone production, stress levels, or more. 

When you notice your body is not giving you healthy signs of ovulation, it may be a good time to begin working with your doctor to identify what’s causing that to happen. Figuring this out can not only help you successfully ovulate again (and possibly get pregnant), but it will improve your overall health and wellness — which is always a good investment!

Have questions? Email us!