The big ooooooooo – no, I’m not talking about orgasms, but you can find a thorough discussion on that scintillating topic right here.
Despite the fame of the period, ovulation is the main event of the menstrual cycle. This is a much recycled phrase you’ll hear all over the internet whenever someone is educating people about the menstrual cycle. It is the time in the cycle that we are fertile. It is the time when we are energized & inspired. Like I said, it is an important time for those who are on the magical journey to conception, but it is 1000% excellent knowledge for ANYONE with a menstrual cycle.
In essence, ovulation occurs roughly 12-16 days BEFORE your period. In the days before ovulation, the dominant (or chosen) follicle releases more and more oestrogen. This triggers the brain to release luteinizing hormone (LH), which lets the follicle know that it’s time to release the egg into the fallopian tubes.
Let’s go over it from every angle so that you get a really close look at this magical time.
What does it feel like?
In clinic, the first few signs that I describe to patients include:
- Increased energy
- Increased libido
- Increased cervical mucus
I start with these, because in my experience they’re the most universal. Firstly let me refine what I said about libido – for some, they may have sex on the brain in the days leading up to ovulation and then feel it very viscerally as ovulation occurs for that 12 hour window.
Some, however, may feel a little lift in libido that is conveyed by finding their partner, (or the person in the supermarket queue) VERY attractive. You know who else gets attractive at ovulation? YOU! When everything is kicking along nicely, at ovulation you should be feeling like you have a glow about you. Your skin is looking fresh and whatever outfit you put on that day (even if it’s your pj’s tbh) looks AMAZING. You feel good in your skin and you have a bit of a strut about you.
Why do these funny little symptoms and behaviours show up? Because your body is very clever and it literally WANTS to get pregnant. So to do that, it makes you horny, makes you look and feel and even SMELL different and it creates the right environment (via abundant cervical mucus) in order to get you in the mood.
The transition from Yin to Yang within the cycle. After you finish your bleed, your body is in a very Yin state and is governed by oestrogen. It is rebuilding! The body is preparing a dominant follicle and building a juicy, plump endometrial lining that the newly fertilized egg can nestle into. Interestingly, you tend to feel more energetic (a Yang state) during the Yin phase of the cycle due to the high amounts of Qi and Blood your body is creating!
Post ovulation is referred to as the Yang phase of the menstrual cycle. A corpus luteum is formed from the by products of the follicle, lavishing the body with progesterone.
Ovulation is the transitional time between Yin and Yang. Due to this shift, if the body mechanisms are feeling a little clunky, it can be a bit of a jolt at this time, not dissimilar to the classic PMS symptoms (think breast tenderness, bloating and moodiness). Why is that?? Well, because when we’re premenstrual we’re transitioning from Yang to Yin! So you see, it’s all in the transitional times. How do they feel for you and what do we need to do to tidy them up so they leave you feeling less knocked around.
Ovulation is high summer. It’s the menstrual cycle equivalent of sitting on the beach under an umbrella after a refreshing dip with a refreshing mineral water with a twist of lime in it after finishing a Yoga class. To put it plainly, you feel invincible.
In her book “Period Power” Maisy Hill suggests that you take FULL advantage of your inner Summer by embracing this invincibility and leaning into the inspiration it brings with it. Allow communication to flow, get chatty, allow productivity and tackle the trickiest tasks on your to-do list, and enjoyyyyyy life’s pleasures. All of them. But do keep in mind that you don’t overdo it and say yes to everything, because this can leave you feeling burnt out when this feeling of invincibility wanes.
Trying to conceive
If you are trying to conceive and the concept of ovulation is confusing or you’re not sure how to pick it – book in with one of us. Many people on the journey to parenthood spend a lot of time on the internet leaning all there is to know about this time in order to know when to schedule sex. Something I’d like to debunk right here and now is that you will ovulate on day 14 of a 28 day cycle and conceiving is easy – not true and not true.
If you are trying to conceive and you think that you have ovulation pinned down, but are still not falling pregnant – book in. Let’s investigate what is going on.
And please remember – your period app doesn’t know when you’re ovulating!!! No matter how clever it is. Please don’t put all your eggs in that basket (so to speak).
If you are tracking your cycle using a BBT (basal body temperature) chart, ovulation is the dip in temperature before a big, tall spike. But please please please don’t let it ruin your day if you look at your chart and it is confusing or you’re not seeing a clear dip or spike. To read a BBT chart properly requires skill. Let us show you what is going on and do NOT rely on the internet only for your info. The internet is a dark place.
Yes! You can track your cycle to avoid conception as well. It is accurate and it is simple, BUT, for the love of god, get a coach to train you how to do it properly. I am not here to scare you away from natural contraception, but I am here to strongly advise you to learn how to do it properly from someone who knows, because as you dive into the literature, you will realize that it can change from month to month and pregnancy can occur when you lease expect it.
So as you can see, ovulation is a mood. It is complex, fun, inspiring, sexy and will light up your life. It is the Yang to the period’s Yin. It is generous and knowing when it is happening whether you are trying to conceive or not is such a gift, as it allows you to work with your body’s natural rhythms and not fight against them. Welcome to the excitement of understanding your body and beautiful menstrual cycle.
Caz Butler works on a Wednesday from 9am-2pm and a Thursday and Friday from 2pm to 8pm.
138 Tanti Avenue, Mornington, VIC
03 5973 6886
Image from @shutthekaleup