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A woman's chances of getting pregnant are highest on her ovulation day, and this is why many women use tools to determine when they ovulate.

Some, however, have built-in natural ovulation symptoms, including ovulation pain and bleeding. Are these two occurrences normal? Can you use them reliably to pinpoint ovulation? 

Ovulation bleeding

It is not quite certain what causes ovulation bleeding, but there are a few theories that make a lot of sense. The most common one is that the bleeding is caused by the rupturing of the ovarian follicle as the mature egg is released. The blood that is expelled in this process is said to show up as the light spotting we refer to as an ovulation bleeding. The other theory is that the sharp rise in the hormone estrogen is responsible for an ovulation bleeding. There are numerous possible causes of mid-cycle spotting, and they include an implantation bleeding and endometriosis. In order to "self-diagnose" yourself with ovulation bleeding, you need to be sure that the spotting you experience actually happens right before or during your ovulation.

Tools such as an ovulation calendar, ovulation kits, and fertility charting will help you with this. Not every woman experiences ovulation bleeding by any means, but if you do, you may have a very reliable ovulation symptom on your hands! To make sure that the bleeding you experience happens right around the time of your ovulation, do utilize some of the ovulation-detection methods I just mentioned. After a few cycles, you can be sure that light spotting is your signal to get intimate. If you find that the bleeding you have is not really connected to your ovulation, however, you get another signal the signal to consult your doctor about your unexplained mid-cycle bleeding. Some of the causes of mid-cycle bleeding have long-term health consequences and can even lead to infertility. This is not something to ignore, in other words.

Ovulation pain

Ovulation pain is another signal that you are ovulation, and once again many women ask themselves whether the symptom is normal of a sign of a medical problem. Also called mittelschmerz (from German), ovulation pain is something around 20 percent of women experience. Ovulation pain is caused by the expulsion of the egg from the follicle, and those who experience pain as an ovulation symptom will feel it on one side. This is because you usually release one mature egg from one ovary thus on one side of the body during one menstrual cycle. Ovulation pain may not be something the majority of women in their childbearing years feels, but it is not abnormal or a sign of a medical problem.

I would, however, like to take this opportunity to mention that not all abdominal pain during the middle of your cycle is caused by ovulation. Pelvic pain can also be a sign of medical problems like endometriosis or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). If you feel pain on one side of your abdomen, once a month around the time of your ovulation, then this is almost certainly ovulation pain. Once again, this can provide a great opportunity to women who are trying to get pregnant! Pain during your whole cycle experienced periodically or constantly, and moaning or stabbing should lead you to make an appointment with your doctor, though.

Other ways to detect ovulation

Are you trying to conceive and don't have either ovulation pain or bleeding? That, too, is normal. Don't be too disappointed that you cannot benefit from these natural ovulation symptoms, because there are some others that you do have. Cervical mucus is a particularly helpful tool to find out when you are fertile. Sounds yucky, right?

But your mucus changes throughout your menstrual cycle and it can be used as a sole tool to determine when you are fertile, once you familiarize yourself with it. Fertile cervical mucus is thin, slippery, and egg-white in color. After your ovulation is over and your luteal phase commences, the mucus will turn thick and more toilet-paper white. Taking your basal body temperature helps you tap in to another natural sign of ovulation, namely a sudden spike in your temperature. Your body temperature is lower during the first half of your cycle (the follicular phase) and remains higher during the latter half. This is called fertility charting, and we've got a bunch of posts to help you get started on this blog if you are interested.

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