How to Know If You’re Ovulating – 3 Signs of Fertility

ovulation signs

If you want to conceive, you need to know when you ovulate. (image by – thank you!)

“When am I ovulating?” is the question to ask if you want to get pregnant. There are clues to your fertility in the symptoms of ovulation – they help you identify the best time of month to conceive a baby.

These ovulation symptoms can be an alternative to ovulation predictor kits (which can get expensive).

“Your menstrual cycle can basically be divided into three phases: the pre-ovulatory infertile phase, the fertile phase, and the post-ovulatory infertile phase,” write the doctors in Our Bodies, Ourselves. “You can determine which of the phases you are in by observing the three primary fertility signs: waking temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position.”

Watching for your natural symptoms of ovulation can help you get pregnant because they reveal the most fertile time of the month. Yes, you can get pregnant at other times during your cycle (we all know women who have!), but your chances of pregnancy are increased if you focus on certain times of the month.

One of the best ways to know if you’re ovulating is with an ovulation test such as the Clearblue Digital Ovulation Test. It’s a bit expensive, but worth it if you want to conceive.

And, here are three natural signs of ovulation…

3 Signs of Ovulation

Cervical Position

This is the hardest-to-spot sign of ovulation; you might need to practice finding the cervical positions that indicate optimal fertility. You cervix prepares for pregnancy every month by becoming soft and “mushy”, rising a little higher, and opening up. Increasing estrogen levels cause the cervix to change angle as well, and to emit fertile cervical fluid.

To determine if your cervical position is indicating ovulation, you need to become familiar with your body. Before you know it, you’ll be able to physically feel when your body is fertile and ready for pregnancy.

For easier, less messy, and perhaps more effective ways to predict ovulation, read Ovulation Predictor Kits — The Best Way to Tell When You’re Ovulating.

Cervical Fluid

Before you ovulate, your body produces cervical fluid. This fluid encourages the sperm to reach the egg – it creates an alkaline environment. Cervical fluid nourishes the sperm and acts as a filtering mechanism.

As you approach ovulation and your estrogen rises, your cervical fluid will become more evident. It’s first a sticky, and then a creamy, discharge. The final phase of cervical fluid is a clear, slippery, stretchy substance (similar to raw egg white). This is a sign of fertility — and recognizing these signs quickly can help you conceive.

Don’t forget that food affects female fertility – read how nutrition and eating affects your ability to get pregnant.

Waking body temperature

When you’re not ovulating, your waking body temperature is about 97.0 to 97.5 Fahrenheit. When you are ovulating, your body temperature should rise to about 97.6 to 98.6 degrees.

“The important concept to understand is the pattern of lows and highs that your temperatures exhibit,” write the doctors in Our Bodies, Our Selves. “The sustained rise in waking temperature almost always indicates that ovulation has occurred. It does not reveal impending ovulation, as do the other two fertility signs (cervical fluid and cervical position).”

How do you determine your waking body temperature? With a Basal Digital Thermometer.

These ovulation symptoms will help you recognize signs of fertility, but they do take practice!


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Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
Shalom! I can't give you advice, but please feel free to share your thoughts below. I'm a writer in Vancouver; my degrees are in Psychology, Education, and Social Work. I live with my husband, two dogs, and cat. We can't have children, and we trust in God's love, grace, and wisdom. Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28.

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3 Responses

  1. Kristi says:

    Laurie, we conceived him naturally (without treatments) when I was 41, after a year of no pregnancies, so I’m not sure what finally did it. :) But it did help relieve some of my stress, because understanding those three signs (cervical position, cervical fluid, and basal body temperature) along with using ovulation predictor tests helped me know that I was still ovulating and what my normal cyclical signs were. It helped emotionally to understand what my “normal” was.

    Thank you for your condolences. We experienced three years of primary infertility before our first daughter (now five) was born, and then Naomi introduced us to the community of pregnancy loss and secondary infertility. We are so grateful for the life of our son and how God has led us on this journey the last four years. I’m glad I found your websites and look forward to reading more.

  2. Laurie says:

    Thanks for your comments, Kristi! Did the book help you conceive your son?

    Also, I want to offer my sincere condolences on the loss of your daughter Naomi. I know you have a son (from reading your blog), and I have a great deal of respect for you and your faith in God.

    Thank you for being here.


  3. Kristi says:

    I went years not understanding the basics of how ovulation works. I finally got hold of a book called “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler that explained the same points that you do here, and it totally changed how I saw my body and trying to conceive. Understanding how our bodies work can help us feel more proactive and less out of control in this often-frustrating pursuit of parenthood.

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