If you want to know when you ovulate, understanding your ovulation discharge and period is the first step.
Every woman will not ovulate at the same time during their menstrual cycle. I have already written about fertile mucus in my previous post. If you’re trying to get pregnant then intercourse during your fertile mucus will likely get you pregnant.
Getting pregnant is not the only reason you should learn about your ovulation discharge. Do you practice unprotected intercourse and want to prevent pregnancy? Then understanding your ovulation mucus and avoiding intercourse during this time will prevent unwanted pregnancy.
What is ovulation meaning?
Every woman will notice cyclical bleeding from the vagina. This is your period. The first time a woman will notice her period is menarche. Between each period is the menstrual cycle or ovulation cycle.
Normal menstrual cycle in women usually lasts for 21 to 35 days. Within each menstrual cycle, it is expected that your ovaries release an egg into the fallopian tube. This is ovulation.
When does ovulation occur in women?
Every woman already has a fixed number of follicles (which contains the ovum or egg). Your body will not produce any new follicles in your lifetime. Each month or each cycle, your ovary releases one or more of these eggs.
At birth, about 2 million follicles are present in your ovaries. However, most of them will degenerate. At puberty, just 300000 follicles are present in both your ovaries. In addition, throughout your lifetime, about 500 follicles will mature and release an egg for fertilization. The other follicles will regress.
Ovulation is the process where one of the follicles grows bigger than the others and releases the ovum for fertilization to take place.
How does ovulation work?
During the first day of your period, which is the first day of your menstrual cycle, the level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is high. This FSH hormone will stimulate the pituitary gland (which is found in the brain) to increase secretion of estrogen hormone.
Estrogen hormone will continue to rise and stimulate the maturation of the follicles. High estrogen hormone will cause proliferation of the lining covering the uterus (the endometrium) and development of one follicle (the dominant follicle). At this point you will notice your discharge is now creamy white and increasingly gets watery and egg white as you get closer to ovulation.
This high level of estrogen will cause a surge of Luteinizing hormone (LH). Ovulation occurs after 24 to 36 hours after this surge or 12 hours after the peak of LH surge.
The dominant follicle will then release the egg into fallopian tubes where the sperm will fertilize the ovum. This release of egg or ovum is called ovulation.
What happens immediately after I ovulate?
During ovulation, there is rupture of the dominant follicle with the release of the egg. This rupture can cause bleeding which can give rise to either a brown ovulation discharge or a pinkish ovulation discharge.
The ruptured follicle forms the corpus luteum, which will increase production of progesterone and estrogen. Before ovulation, there is high levels of estrogen. After ovulation the level of progesterone is dominant.
However, both hormones increase blood supply to the endometrium making it ready for implantation.
Your ovulation discharge, therefore, occurs before and during ovulation. It is stretchy, slippery watery egg white discharge that you will notice in the middle of your menstrual cycle. It does not smell and becomes creamy white after ovulation.
Here are some vaginal discharge women describe as ovulation discharge
- Milky white discharge
- Clear watery discharge
- Egg white discharge
- Clear slimy discharge
Also, some women will experience slight pain or cramps that occur during ovulation. However, this goes away in few hours or days.
What happens if the egg is not fertilized?
If there is no sperm to fertilize the egg released through ovulation, the corpus luteum will breakdown. This will lead to reduced progesterone and estrogen leading to the shredding of your endometrium and then your period.
What happens if the egg is fertilized?
If there is a sperm waiting or sperm released on the day of ovulation, then fertilization will occur. After the sperm fertilizes the ovum, the zygote (baby) is implanted into the endometrium of the uterus. Slight bleeding, implantation bleeding, can occur with mild pain which may come out as brown mucus discharge.
If after your ovulation discharge, you notice a brown discharge, then it’s likely because of pregnancy. It usually occurs about one week prior to your next period.
How do you know when you’re ovulating?
Understanding fertile mucus and fertile window will let you know when ovulation occurs. There are many symptoms and signs of ovulation that will give you a clue.
Below are 5 ways to know when you ovulate
- Your vaginal discharge
- Basal body temperature (BBT)
- Ovulation signs and symptoms
- Some ovulation test like progesterone level, pelvic ultrasound, endometrial biopsy
- Ovulation prediction kits can predict when you ovulate. Also, a fertility monitor can also predict your fertile window.
How does your vaginal discharge tell when you’re ovulating?
Just after your period, your vaginal discharge is dry or thick white discharge. Towards ovulation and due to increase in estrogen level, your discharge becomes creamy white discharge. Around ovulation, your discharge is watery and clear discharge (Sometimes described by women as Egg-white)
After ovulation, due to the effect of dominant progesterone, your discharge becomes thick white mucus.
Ovulation discharge occurs around or just before ovulation. If you notice a stretchy egg white discharge coming out, then you are likely to ovulate in few days.
How your Basal body temperature tells when you are ovulating
Before ovulation, estrogen which is the dominant hormone will not cause raise in body temperature. However, progesterone will increase your body temperature due to its thermogenic effects.
Basal body temperature (BBT) is the temperature at rest. It is recorded in the morning after you’ve had sleep for atleast 6 hours. You should record it while you’re still inactive and on your bed.
Normal body temperature is between 97.7 to 99.5ºF (or 36.5 to 37.5 ºC). Just before ovulation occurs, there is a slight dip in your BBT. After ovulation, your basal body temperature will increase by an average of 0.8ºF. This can be detected if you regularly check your basal temperature every morning.
How some tests can confirm when you’ve ovulated
Progesterone test. Ovulation can be confirmed with a progesterone test done at 3rd week of your menstrual cycle or a week before your next period. Progesterone levels that is ≥ 3ng/ml confirms ovulation.
Pelvic ultrasound. The maturation of follicles can be monitored with the use of pelvic ultrasound. Ultrasound can detect the disappearance of the dominant follicles to confirm that you have ovulated.
Endometrial biopsy. You doctor will collect samples from your womb just before you ovulate. This will confirm the maturation of the endometrium due to effects of estrogen and progesterone.
Progesterone test, ultrasound, and endometrial biopsy are especially important to confirm ovulation in women that find it difficult in getting pregnant. If your doctor suspects you do not have ovulation, some of these tests will be done.
Use of ovulation kits and fertility monitors
Ovulation kits and fertility monitors can predict when you are likely to ovulate. Ovulation kits work by checking when there is a surge in LH. LH surge tells you that you’re likely to ovulate in few hours or days.
Ovulation symptoms and when women ovulate?
Other symptoms and signs of ovulation like abdominal pain, breast pain, mood swing, ovulation cramps can also give a clue that you’ve ovulated.
FAQs about ovulation discharge and when women ovulate
These are some frequently asked questions about ovulation discharge and when women ovulate.
When is my ovulation days or period?
Your ovulation days (ovulation period) or fertile days are just before you ovulate and 24 hours after you have ovulated. The lifespan of a normal male sperm is about 3 to 5 days while the life span of your ovum is just 24 hours. Therefore, intercourse during 5 days before you ovulate and one day after will likely get you pregnant.
If you are trying to prevent pregnancy, then you should avoid unprotected intercourse during this time. However, if you are trying to conceive, then you should have intercourse every 2 or 3 days during your ovulation period.
How long does ovulation last in women?
Ovulation is the process where your egg is released. Normal egg in females lasts about 24 hours. Intercourse 5 days before and 24 hours after your ovulation can get you pregnant.
Ovulation discharge vs pregnancy discharge? Whats the difference?
- Ovulation discharge is stretchy and watery while pregnancy discharge is clear sticky and creamy white discharge that may be excessive.
- Brown discharge due to ovulation occurs at the middle of your cycle while if you’re pregnant your brown discharge occurs a week prior to your expected period.
- Ovulation discharge does not smell, however, pregnancy discharge may have a mild odor though not foul smelly.
- The timing of your discharge can easily make you know if its ovulation or pregnancy. White discharge due to pregnancy occurs just before and after your missed period. However, discharge due to ovulation occurs in the middle of your cycles.
White discharge after ovulation?
Are you worried about the white stuff you see after you’ve ovulated? Then you shouldn’t. Discharge after ovulation is white creamy discharge that increasingly gets thick and dry towards your next period. It is normal excepts it smells or cause vaginal itching.
Now it’s your turn. Can you know calculate your ovulation? Do you have problems calculating your fertile period? Let us know.