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10 pregnancy changes that nobody tells you about

Congratulations! You’re expecting.

Now get ready to be inundated with an avalanche of advice from friends and strangers.

Don’t eat soft cheese. Do rub cocoa butter onto your tummy.

But what about those physical and behavioural changes that nobody warns you about? Here are 10 you may not have heard of.

Interested in reading about more pregnancy signs and symptoms? Click here.

1) Increased sex drive

During pregnancy we have higher levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which in addition to supporting your continuing pregnancy, also increases vaginal lubrication, blood flow to the pelvic area and the sensitivity of your breasts and nipples; all of which can make you feel like one horny mamma. Unless of course you also have …

2) Varicose veins

Unsightly and often painful, they can be found in the legs, anus and vulva. Although that particular location can cause complications during delivery, varicose veins are not usually considered life threatening. Most will recede after baby is delivered, but if they don’t, wait until you’ve had all your babies before you rush out to get treatment given they get worse with each successive pregnancy!

3) More hair

Increased hair growth on the arms, face and hands – caused by an increase in androgens (the male hormone), is one of the more noticeable side effects of pregnancy to occur in some women.

4) Itchy and scratchy

Excessively itchy palms and feet can be a sign of the liver condition known as intrahepatic cholestasis. Although rare it can have serious consequences for both mother and child, ranging from debilitating sleep deprivation to stillbirth.

5) Say what?

Blistering welts on the abdomen and extremities, known as gestational pemphigoid, this autoimmune disease can also have serious consequences including low birth-weight and preterm labour. Usually treated with corticosteroids and not to be confused with …

Feeling itchy is a common symptom of pregnancy. Source: iStock.

6) PUPP (not puppies)

A chronic hive-like rash, known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques (PUPP), which starts on the abdomen before spreading out to the extremities, is itchy and annoying but otherwise harmless and usually resolves itself after delivery. What about …

7) Eating dirt

Forget sardines and ice cream! Pica is the term used to describe the behaviour of eating non-food items including dirt, sand, ice, wood chips, paint, coffee grounds, ash and even animal faeces. It’s thought to be associated with a deficiency of iron and zinc and does require treatment.

8) Uncontrollable laughing and crying

Wildly swinging moods can be attributed to hormonal changes, caffeine and alcohol withdrawal, lack of sleep as well as other psychological factors including fear of losing control or anxiety about a change in family dynamics to name a few.

9) Out of control nesting

More than a few dads have woken to find the nursery repainted overnight, or mum busy scrubbing the bathroom tiles with a toothbrush. That’s if she isn’t …

10) Falling over

And not just from exhaustion. Many women experience a change in gravity as a result of their growing bump that sees them regularly hitting the deck. Don’t panic – baby is well cushioned by the amniotic sac and is usually fine.

Why are pregnant women so horny?

Pregnancy is a time filled with many changes, both physical and emotional. If you’re having a normal pregnancy, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy sex, if that’s what you want to do. There’s going to be a range of physical and emotional changes that affect both desire for sex and the pleasure that you get from it.

Hormone driven

In order to support your pregnancy, your body increases the amount of progesterone and estrogen in your bloodstream.

The rising levels of the hormones helps increase the amount of blood flow to the pelvic area, the amount of lubrication in the vagina, and increases the levels of sensitivity to your breasts and nipples, giving you a boost in desire while making sex satisfying.

Hormonal fluctuations in pregnancy also play a part in a woman’s reaction to sex. During the second trimester, most women’s sex drive increases, causing them to experience a huge energy boost.

Doug Black, OB/GYN states, ‘that many women will experience an increased libido, especially late in the first trimester and beyond, when hormones are high.Sex Drive

When women reach puberty, the pituitary gland located in the brain, signals your body to begin producing sex hormones. These hormones assist us to ovulate and menstruate, while also giving us the desire to have sex.

While there are no concreate rules, certain factors such as: woman to woman, pregnancy-to-pregnancy, and trimester stage in your pregnancy can impact your sex drive.

The hormonal fluctuation of pregnancy also plays a part in your reactions to making love, as do trimesters. Most women are too nauseated and fatigued to be interested in sex during the first trimester. However, as your belly continues to grow in your second trimester, so does your libido.

Sex Positions

Perhaps you simply can’t get enough of sex and crave your partner every time he’s near you. Here are some sex positions that are comfortable, giving you and your partner creativity freedom during your pregnancy:
Spooning- This position is the safest for your belly while also giving you the support of the bed. Both you and your partner cuddle each other in the same direction, while your partner enters you from behind.
The Cowgirl – This position is great because it allows you to control the pace and depth of penetration as well as not putting weight on your abdomen.
Leap Frog- This position is similar to doggy style but with one major difference, you rest your arms and head on the mattress, providing you further support to hold up the weight of your stomach.

Benefits of having sex

There are lots of physical and psychological benefits of sex during your pregnancy. You and your partner can enjoy the new changes to your body, while enjoying the benefits of new sex positions. In addition to being more intimate with your partner, your orgasms are more frequent and intense than ever before. If you had trouble climaxing in the past, you’re in for a pleasant surprise!

Change is rampant during pregnancy, while women may feel large and uncomfortable, men generally find the pregnancy body desirable. Those added curves around the hips, breasts and stomach can contribute to an increase in your sex drive. A heightened sensitivity with the breasts allow for foreplay to seem fierier. Use Durex Perfect Play lubricant and take sex to a whole new world of sensation.

As your pregnancy advances, sex can help get your ready for labour and delivery. Semen contains prostaglandins which can help your cervix develop. Increase frequency of sex near the end of your pregnancy and continued orgasms help keep the muscles in your uterus in tip-top shape.

Communicate clearly with your partner and let them know exactly how you feel- this will allow the two of you to come to a meeting of the minds and bodies as well. It’s important to remember that every woman’s experience with pregnancy is different.

Here’s to a safe and satisfying pregnancy!

Time to get real: this is one of those questions we all want to ask.

You might have heard different stories about sex drive during pregnancy — some people will tell you that all they wanted to do from the moment they conceived was get busy in bed.

And others will say that they couldn’t stand the thought of sex, let alone actually do it, while they were growing a small human in their uterus.

So which is it?

Will being pregnant make you super horny early pregnancy? When does horniness start in pregnancy?

Or will you be saying “No, thank you!” to any kind of sexual contact during your 9 months of baby-growing?

Well, it could be either.

Or you could find that you’re at a happy medium, sometimes wanting to have sex and other times not really feeling it.

As much as we wish we could tell you exactly what to expect, it’s impossible to know how you will feel until it happens.

But what we can do is explain the hormonal, physical, and emotional changes that take place during pregnancy which could affect how much you want — or don’t want — to have sex.

Table of Contents

Sex in the First Trimester: from conception to 13 weeks pregnant

Women often report that they’re not very interested in sex during the early weeks of pregnancy.

This is usually thought to be because in the first trimester it’s common to feel sick, exhausted, gassy, and for your breasts to feel sore and tender.

At the start of your pregnancy, your body will produce a lot of a hormone called progesterone. This hormone is vital for your body to support your growing embryo, but it can make you very sleepy and slow the movement of food through your digestive system, sometimes leading to an upset stomach.

All of this can mean that you just don’t feel like having sex. The prospect of an evening lounging on the couch with a baked potato watching Netflix might be much more appealing than stripping off your clothes and bouncing around in bed.

But if you do feel horny, you are not weird.

And having sex in the first trimester poses no risk to your pregnancy unless your obstetrician has told you otherwise.

So if you’re feeling it, go for it!

Dim those lights and enjoy some alone time with your partner.

Sex in the Second Trimester: from 14 to 26 weeks pregnant

As you move into the second trimester, the levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen in your body continue to rise — but more slowly.

As your hormones level out, there’s a good chance you’ll start to feel a lot better.

When the feelings of nausea and exhaustion begin to lift, you might suddenly wake up one morning and think ‘Wow! I feel AMAZING!’ — or you might just feel a little bit less rubbish than you did in the first trimester.

Many women are more interested in sex in the second trimester.

And if you’re one of those people who does get super horny during pregnancy, this is likely to be the time when those feelings are at their strongest.

Your hormones are calmer and making you feel attractive, and your cervix starts to release lubricating fluids which can make the sensations of sex even more enjoyable.

Pregnancy hormones affect everyone differently, and lots of women will find that they still don’t want to have sex very often, or at all, during the second trimester.

Don’t worry about horny early pregnancy!

If you have a partner, try to talk openly with them about how you feel and let them know that it’s nothing to do with them; your body is going through incredible changes and you’re dealing with a lot.

Respect your feelings, and don’t put pressure on yourself to have sex if it doesn’t feel good.

Ask your partner to respect how you feel too.

You can find other ways to be intimate — like cuddling up in bed and watching a movie together, or learning how to do prenatal massage.

Sex in the Third Trimester: from 27 weeks until birth

As your pregnancy progresses and your baby grows, you will grow too.

In the third trimester, your bump will grow rapidly.

This is the time when it starts to become more difficult to move around or see your feet.

The amazing physical changes you’re going through might make it tricky or uncomfortable to have sex — and it’s also totally normal to feel self-conscious as you adapt to your body looking and feeling different.

It’s equally normal for your partner to be less inclined to make a move on you; they might feel strange about the idea of having sex when your baby is so clearly right there between you.

Possibly even kicking them.

The continued rise of progesterone and estrogen in your body is now combined with the stress hormone, cortisol, being released by your placenta — and all of this has an effect on your brain chemicals too.

It’s very common to have mood swings in the third trimester.

Your body is coursing with powerful hormones.

You’re mentally and emotionally preparing to give birth and meet your baby face to face.

And you’re carrying a heavyweight around all day every day, so you’re pretty tired!

These physical and emotional changes mean that your sex drive might drop again in the third trimester.

If not, it’s still perfectly safe to have sexual intercourse unless you have any complications which means that your Obstetrician has advised you not to.

But you might have to get a little more creative with sex positions to work around your bump; try being on top so that you have more control, or have your partner spoon you while you lie in bed together.

So to answer the question… YES!

You can feel super horny during pregnancy due to your hormones, especially in the second trimester.

But horny early pregnancy doesn’t happen to everyone.

The most important thing is to be gentle with yourself about how you feel, and try to keep communicating with your partner.

Here’s a short video discussion about sex during pregnancy:

Your body is doing a lot of work, and you’re preparing for a huge change in your life.

If you feel like having sex all the time — great!

And if you don’t? Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Sources:

Dear Dr. Kate,

*Why do I get so horny right before and right after my period? *Libido is a strange, enigmatic thing. We know that many, many factors play into our level of randiness: life stress, body image, physical health, available partners—and possibly hormone levels. There haven’t been a lot of studies looking at the connection between women’s libido and hormones at various points in the menstrual cycle, but some research has shown a spike in lust around the time we ovulate, mid-cycle (which is when evolutionary forces would have us engage in intercourse to get pregnant). That said, there are many fluctuations in the different sex hormones throughout the month, and these changes are different for every woman. Arousal isn’t cyclical—it can happen at any time, and that’s completely normal. This is why one week you may you jumping on your partner as soon as he walks in the door, and another week you may be pushing him off you. But if you’re lucky enough to have such predictable arousal levels, plan your dates accordingly and have fun.

Readers, have you noticed this about yourselves? How does getting your period affect your own libido?

Have a sex health question of your own? Ask Dr. Kate here, and keep checking back to see if she’s answered it.

More on your libido

  • 8 Seriously Juicy Secrets About Your Sex Drive

  • 3 Totally Random Sex-Drive Boosters

  • No Sex Drive? This Yoga Move Could Help Boost Your Libido

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Here’s exactly why you want to have sex when you’re on your period

  • Lots of people experience an increased sex drive during their period.
  • Although scientists aren’t quite sure why some people get extra-horny during periods, it might have something to do with an uptick of testosterone during the period.
  • Periods can also enhance lubrication and a feeling of security during sex.

If sex drives followed the perfectly-laid plan of your menstrual cycle, then you’d feel your sexiest around 10 to 13 days after your period ends, because that’s when you’d be ovulating. And, from an evolutionary standpoint at least, sex is all about making babies. (We have to further the human race, amiright?) So, then why do some people get super horny when they’re on their periods?

Periods are the time of the month when your uterus sheds the endometrial lining that has built up over the last 28 days (or more, or less, because periods are all different), which doesn’t exactly create an ideal environment for a fetus to set up shop. You can get pregnant on your period, but it’s much less likely than any other time of the month and definitely not a time when your body is actively encouraging procreation. So, it turns out that the ebbs and flows of a cisgender woman’s sex drive aren’t as simple as evolution would predict.

While science hasn’t found one solid answer for why some people feel extra frisky during their menstrual cycle, it at least partially comes down to hormones, says Nicole Bullock, D.O., an Ob/Gyn in Texas.

“During a normal menstrual cycle, most women will feel a libido surge during ovulation. This makes sense from a reproductive standpoint,” she says. Right before ovulation, a cisgender woman’s body has its highest levels of estrogen, which makes you feel good. “The week of ovulation is the week you feel like a queen and could save the world,” Dr. Bullock says. Your estrogen is kicking your sex drive into high gear.

Being horny during your period is due in large part to hormone levels. VG Stock Studio/

On the flip side, estrogen is at a low during the week of your period, and so is progesterone (the hormone that prepares your body for pregnancy). So, it’d make sense for your libido to be at an all-month low during your period, too, right? After all, libido starts to wane as women get older because their hormones are also waning, Dr. Bullock says.

But, unlike when someone goes through menopause, not all hormones wane during your period. You actually experience a small surge in testosterone. While testosterone is known stereotypically as the hormone that makes men want to have sex all the time, cisgender women have low levels of testosterone, too. So the slight uptick in testosterone during menses could cause increased libido for some people. Of course, there may be other factors, too, including the psychological effects of knowing that period sex is (mostly) safe, and the benefit of added lubrication, Dr. Bullock says.

No matter the reason, there are some clear benefits to having period sex. “Having increased sex drive during menses may not make sense from a reproductive standpoint, but maybe our great creator knew that,” Dr. Bullock says. “Maybe it’s for our relationship or just to feel good.” Sex isn’t all about making babies, after all.

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Some Women Get Horny as Hell Right Before Their Periods

For many years, I associated PMS with a time when I had zero interest in sex. I mean, I wanted to devour all the chocolate and carbs in sight, but my feelings toward my spouse ranged from full-on rage if he so much as left the toilet seat up, to wanting to throttle him if he even lightly brushed up against me. My sore breasts, bloated stomach, and hormone-triggered migraines and constipation didn’t help either.
But then—after I moved past two pregnancies and a few years of breastfeeding, both of which made my hormones and cycles wonky—I noticed something strangely awesome started happening. I’d have my usual PMS symptoms, where even the thought of sex would make me nauseous. And then, the day before my period came, I would become horny as hell, demanding all the sex right now.
During sex, I’d have orgasm after orgasm, as though my body was holding it all in during that god-awful week of PMS, and was ready to release it all. Sure enough, by the next day, I’d start to bleed. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but it was definitely something my husband and I noticed (and enjoyed) like clockwork every month.
Recently, my girlfriends and I were chatting about PMS and sex (because, of course), and it turned out that I wasn’t the only one experiencing the day-before-you-bleed-fuck-me-please phenomenon. Several of my friends chimed in with almost identical stories.
“I’ve always been really in the mood right before my period starts,” says my friend Katie Smith, from Bowdoinham, Vermont. “As a teenager it made me feel a little strange. As an older woman, I love it! There’s nothing like an orgasm to relieve my cramps and irritability.”

Watch this on VICE:

My friend Jordan (who asked to withhold her last name), from San Jose, California, had a story similar to mine, where the trend started to happen as she got older, after her kids were grown. “Before my son was born—he’s nine—my sex drive was sort of all over the place, rarely determined by my cycle, except of course for the extra randy period around ovulation,” Jordan says. “Then, around the time my son turned two, I noticed a funny thing: After the initial four or five days of PMS in which my husband knew that unexpected caresses and sexual overtures would most likely be met by a grumble and a glare, I realized that I had a fierce urge to make love to him the day before my period arrived.”
Jordan says she can even determine when her period will arrive based on her sudden uptick in horniness. Another friend, Amanda Finch, from Queens, New York, concurs with her, even going so far as to say that she thinks that sex actually brings her period on. “If I have sex on day 27 or 28, when I am very, very horny, I will get my period within 12 hours,” Amanda tells me, adding that her instinct tells her sex “gets things moving down there,” bringing on her flow. I share Amanda’s experience: My period will sometimes arrive within hours after sex, as though the contractions of orgasm are bringing it on.
I know that from a purely scientific point of view, orgasms do not bring on periods. Just a quick glance through my beloved bible of the reproductive system, Our Bodies, Ourselves—which I have been reading for insights about sex and reproduction since I was a teen—lays it out. If we don’t conceive during ovulation, write the authors of the book, “the corpus luteum is reabsorbed into the ovary…and the hormone levels drop; this is the trigger that causes menstruation.”
But whether or not sex affects the exact timing of our periods, wanting sex (and orgasms) galore right before our periods arrive is definitely a common thing, at least for some women. And because I have always been a female reproductive system junkie (what? It’s a thing), I had a nagging compulsion to get to the bottom of this. So I got in touch with Leah Millheiser, an OB/GYN and assistant professor at Stanford University, who was able to shed a little light on this whole thing for me.
She alerts me to one important caveat. “First, let’s start with this fact,” Millheiser says. “Research has never shown consistent results when it comes to determining how the menstrual cycle affects sex drive.”
Nevertheless, Millheiser concedes that horndoggery the day before one’s period is indeed common for some women, and even has some theories about why. “There are biological as well as psychological factors at play here,” Millheiser tells me. “Some women are very ‘in the mood’ right before or even during their periods because of the reduced pregnancy risk. Other women enjoy sex during this time because it helps with their PMS symptoms, like cramping,” she explains.
Of course, Millheiser would be remiss not to add that many women see a noticeable increase in their sexual drive during ovulation (week three in a four-week cycle), which can be explained by that aforementioned nagging evolutionary drive to procreate. “This may have to do with the fact that they are more fertile during that time,” she says. But while ovulation horniness seems to be a given for so many women I know, most don’t really talk about the day-before-your-period sexplosion all that much.
Millheiser’s explanation of why some women see that pre-period spike jibes well with my experience, and the experience of many of my friends. Sex seems to relieve cramps for many of us, and it’s certainly an added bonus that you are much less likely to conceive the day before Aunt Flo arrives. Perhaps just that knowledge—coupled with the fact that you are about to be gushing blood and probably won’t want sex for a few days—is enough to increase sexual interest.
“It’s hard to really specifically associate libido with a specific hormone, given that there are so many things that impact your sex drive,” says Connie Liu, an OB/GYN at Gallup Indian Medical Center in New Mexico.
Liu has a different explanation for that pre-period spike in sex drive—she chalks it up to hormone fluctuations. “A woman’s period is brought about with a downward shift in the hormone progesterone; I think it’s reasonable to think that there are some downstream effects that are related to that, including increased sex drive,” she explains.
Liu’s explanation matches my experience exactly: A week of feeling those awful PMS-y symptoms most likely brought on by the high levels of progesterone during the luteal phase of my cycle; and then, on that day before I bleed, what feels like a quick (and lovely) shift in my hormonal make-up.
Still, Millheiser and Liu both emphasize that there is not one consistent trend when it comes to this inquiry. “It’s impossible to apply a one-size-fits-all when it comes to sexual interest and the menstrual cycle,” Millheiser says.
For sure, all women’s bodies are different, and even change throughout their lives. I could imagine it changing for me, especially in few years when I get closer to menopause and everything gets thrown totally out of whack yet again.

Whatever the case, I’m going to proclaim that a rush of the fuck-me-now urges right before we bleed is a very real phenomenon. And whether or not I ever satisfy my reproduction geek curiosity about the “why,” I’m going to go ahead and enjoy the hell out of it.

Read This Next: The Period That Wouldn’t Quit

11 Weird Things That Can Happen When You Ovulate That You Probably Never Noticed

Our body goes through changes constantly, whether it’s from our daily habits, what we eat, or even from the time of the month. But most of us don’t pay attention to the various things that happen to our bodies when we are ovulating, and some of them can be quite surprising — and even very strange. Although most changes are related to our fertility, since we are at our peak fertility during this time, some of them result in thoughts and behaviors you would never expect, including what you look like to others and how you carry yourself.

So how do you know when you’re ovulating? Figure it out by mapping out your period. “The first day of your menstrual cycle is considered day 1 of your cycle, and you ovulate 14 days before that,” says Dr. Pari Ghodsi, MD, FACOG to Bustle over email. “So you can consider that day the day of ovulation for the next cycle. Your fertile days are typically five days before that and up to 24 hours after.”

You may not be aware of them, but your body goes through a lot of funky changes during this hormonal stage. Here are 11 weird things that happen to women when they ovulate that you’ve probably never noticed.

1. Your Body Temperature Might Increase

During ovulation, you may find that you’re feeling a little warmer than usual. But don’t fret. “In most women, the body’s normal temperature increases slightly during ovulation (0.5–1°F) and remains high until the end of the menstrual cycle,” says Ghodsi.

2. Your Face Might Gets Red

Maybe your body temperature has gotten you a little more pink in the cheeks than usual, but a study from the University of Cambridge found that women have the most facial redness during ovulation. However, this isn’t detectable by the human eye, so don’t worry too much about looking a little flushed.

3. People May Find You More Attractive

That rosy glow might have you looking more appealing to a potential mate. A study from the journal Hormones and Behavior found that men rated women’s faces and voices as more attractive when they were ovulating. This makes sense biologically, as it is when women are the most fertile.

4. Your Sense Of Smell Might Be Stronger

If you’re dating a man, and you find that his smell is particularly potent a certain time each month, you’re likely ovulating. A study from the journal Hormones and Behavior found that women who were ovulating were more sensitive to male pheromones and musky odors.

3. Your Sex Drive Can Increase

If you’re feeling a little more frisky, it could be because of ovulation. “Multiple studies have shown a woman’s libido increases around ovulation,” says Ghodsi. Considering this is when we are most fertile, it’s our body’s way of increasing the likelihood that we try to have a baby.

4. Your Breasts Might Feel Tender

“Some women have breast tenderness around ovulation, similar to what many experience with PMS,” says Ghodsi. This can also include nipple soreness or pain on the side of the breast, likely due to hormones during this time of your cycle.

5. You Start To Use A Higher-Pitched Voice

According to a study from UCLA, women use a higher-pitched, more feminine voice when ovulating. Higher-pitched voices are associated with youth and attractiveness, which may be a reason we take on this habit without realizing.

6. You Find More Men Attractive

Most of us like to claim we have a type, but when you’re ovulating, all of that goes out the door. A study from the University of Texas found that women seek a greater variety of men when they’re going through this stage of their cycle. So if you happen to be sexually attracted to men, you may be less picky while you’re ovulating.

7. You Want More Products

In the same University of Texas study, women also sought out a larger variety of consumer goods and services.

8. You Are More Open To The Idea Of Sexual Fantasies

Normally opposed to a random sexy night with a stranger? Ovulation may change that. A study from the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior found that women were more open to the idea of more adventurous sex, such as one night stands or sex with an acquaintance, when they’re ovulating. However, this didn’t necessarily mean that their attitudes translated to more sex during this time.

9. You’re More Likely To Wear Pink Or Red

Suddenly wearing all the colors in your closet — or, rather, just shades of crimson? A study from the University of British Columba found that women are more likely to wear pink or red clothing when they’re ovulating.

10. You Have Fewer Asthma Symptoms

If you suffer from asthma, you may see a dip in your symptoms around ovulation. A study from the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that symptoms of wheezing and shortness of breath dipped during ovulation.

11. You Become More Competitive

One study from the Journal of Marketing Research found that women attempt to boost their social standing during ovulation. Researchers gave women a fixed amount of money to share with other women, and those who were ovulating shared half as much as women who weren’t.

Next time you have some weird attraction or heightened sense of smell, it probably isn’t in your head at all; it could be an indicator that you’re ovulating.

Images: (12); Pexels

Ovulation and Temperature: The Hidden Key to Tracking Fertility

Body temperature and the menstrual cycle

When we think about our body temperature changing we usually think about being ill and having a fever or the chills. However, even when we’re healthy, women’s bodies have a natural temperature fluctuation that’s actually linked to the menstrual cycle.

There’s an identifying point in a cycle when body temperature changes. This happens in the second half of the menstrual cycle, when there is a noticeable rise in temperature right after ovulation happens. Take a look on the graph below:

Why does temperature rise after ovulation?

So now we know exactly when temperature changes in the menstrual cycle, but why is there a rise in temperature after ovulation? The reason for this is hormonal. Levels of the hormone, progesterone, rise after an egg cell is released. Progesterone raises body temperature, so you’re likely to get a higher temperature reading in the latter half of your cycle.

If no egg is fertilized, then progesterone levels drop again (as does your body temperature). This cues the uterus lining to shed, leading to your period and the start of a new cycle. If you don’t find a shift in temperature, it’s possible you’ve experienced an anovulatory cycle – this is when ovulation doesn’t happen. It’s fairly common, but unless you’re tracking your temperature you might not notice it happening.

Tracking fertility with temperature

Once you’re able to detect ovulation, you’re able to detect your fertility as this means you can pinpoint the fertile window – that’s right, you can’t get pregnant every day of your cycle. There are only a small numbers of days in any cycle when it’s possible to get pregnant. Identifying these gives you the power to plan or prevent pregnancy with a hormone-free method.

However, to measure this small, yet significant shift you need to measure BBT (basal body temperature), which requires a thermometer showing two decimal places. Basal body temperature is the body’s lowest resting temperature which can be measured in the morning as soon as you wake up.

Regular measuring can help you find ovulation day. However, it’s worth remembering that for both planning and preventing pregnancy, the most fertile days happen in the lead up to ovulation, this is because of the length of sperm survival.

This is where ovulation prediction comes in. Natural Cycles uses an algorithm which learns your unique cycle and can predict your fertile window ahead of time, so you know when you are most fertile and can plan a pregnancy or use protection on those days to avoid getting pregnant.

What can affect tracking fertility with a temperature method?

There are a number of factors that can influence our bodies and are worth keeping in mind if you are considering tracking fertility with a temperature method. These include:

  • Illness/taking medication
  • Being hungover
  • Jet lag/travel
  • Sleeping significantly more or less than usual
  • Some thyroid conditions

However, we like a glass of wine from time to time, and no one can help getting sick – so how can we factor in those changes to our routine? Unlike traditional temperature methods, the Natural Cycles app has a built-in deviating temperature feature which lets you log any changes which might affect your BBT. If you have a thyroid condition, PCOS or another condition which can affect your body temperature, Natural Cycles will still work for you, it might just take a little longer to learn your cycle.

So now you know the link between ovulation and temperature and its role in fertility tracking, there’s lot’s more to learn about your body and your unique cycle. At Natural Cycles we’re committed to closing the knowledge gap when it comes to reproductive health.

Signs of Ovulation

Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation

The signs of ovulation vary from woman to woman. It is possible that some women will not even experience ovulation symptoms. In addition, the time of ovulation differs for every woman. Some women ovulate like clockwork on the same day of their cycle every month, and other women may ovulate on varying days each month.

Narrowing down the window of time when ovulation may occur is the first step to identifying and tracking your ovulation symptoms. Your next step is to pay attention to signs that may indicate that you are ovulating.

Getting pregnant is tied to ovulation, therefore it is important to make sure that you are familiar with ovulation and how it works. Take time now to learn about ovulation, its signs, and how to track it so that you can get pregnant quicker and easier.

Common Signs that Occur in Most Women

Again, it is important to note that ovulation symptoms vary from woman to woman with some women experiencing no symptoms at all.

  • Change in cervical fluid – the Cervical fluid that resembles “egg whites” is a sign that you are near ovulation or are ovulating. Every woman can experience her own type of cervical fluid, and not all cervical fluid looks the same. Ovulation usually takes place on the day a woman has the most amount of wet fluid. There are products available to help improve cervical fluid production if that is an issue.
  • Change in basal body temperature – For most women, you will see that prior to ovulation, the basal body temperature is rather consistent. As you get closer to ovulation, you may have a slight decline, but it will be followed by a sharp increase after ovulation. The increase in temperature is the sign that ovulation has just occurred. Tracking your basal body temperature accurately over a few months can help you predict when ovulation is going to occur.
  • Change in cervical position or firmness – The cervix goes through many changes as a woman ovulates. During ovulation, the cervix will be soft, high, open and wet. For most women, it will take some time to be able to differentiate between what their cervix normally feels like and the changes it goes through during ovulation.

These 3 main signs of ovulation can be studied and tracked so that you can accurately predict when you ovulate. The Fertility Awareness Method has helped many women use these signs to prevent or achieve pregnancy.

Secondary Ovulation Symptoms

There are other ovulation signs that women may experience in addition to the 3 main ovulation symptoms. These are called secondary signs and may not happen as consistently, if at all, for many women.

These ovulation symptoms may include:

  • Light spotting
  • Slight cramping or pain on one side of the pelvis
  • Breast tenderness
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Increased sex drive
  • A heightened sense of smell, taste or vision

Learning to track your ovulation and pay attention to your signs can be a challenge for some women at first, but over time many women come to recognize these common signs easily and are able to use them to gauge where they are in their cycle. Understanding your ovulation time can help you become more in tune with your body and be an active participant in what occurs each month.

If you are trying to get pregnant and looking for resources to support your efforts, we invite you to check out the fertility product and resource guide provided by our corporate sponsor. Review resource guides here.

Your Next Steps

  • Learn about using Ovulation Kits and Fertility Monitors
  • Order an Ovulation Kit from Fairhaven Health
  • Read the most frequently asked questions about ovulation
  • Things to Know About Ovulation
  • Track Your Ovulation
  • Getting Pregnant
  • Preconception for Women

Compiled using information from the following sources:

Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Wesheler

Can being horney be a sign of pregnancy

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