When it comes to making a difference between ovulation and PMS symptoms, we must mention that a couple of the physical ones are similar, but there are some signs which can help you when differentiating them.
First of all, you must know the differences between your menstrual cycle, ovulation period, premenstrual syndrome and the bleeding at the end of them all.
As a woman, you probably already know a lot about your menstrual cycle – its frequency and its flow. In a fact, there are many factors that play the role towards affecting when and how the menstrual cycle occurs. The most common ones are stress, a person’s physical activity and a person’s hormones level. And considering this, it can sometimes be very hard to follow it or to predict when it is going to start. The calculation of your menstrual cycle is based on the first day of your last menstruation until the first day of your next period. It is supposed to last for 28 days, but on average it lasts from 26 to 32 days.
It is separated into two phases: follicular and luteal phase. The follicular phase starts on the first day of your last menstruation and it lasts until your ovulation. But this cycle can have a lot of varieties. The second phase starts on your ovulation and it lasts until your next menstruation. The luteal phase doesn’t have many varieties and it usually lasts from 12 to 16 days, but most frequently from 13 to 14 days.
The ovulation lasts one to two days and it is a phase of your menstrual cycle when your ovary releases an egg for fertilization. During this phase, a couple of changes may occur before and during the ovulation, such as breast tenderness, a rise in basal body temperature and increase in cervical mucus. They are all a part of the biology’s way of preparing your body for fertilization. There are some general symptoms and changes that may occur during this period but usually not every woman feels the changes during this period. Some women can feel lower abdominal pain during the ovulation, and others feel it with lower intensity or don’t feel it at all. Before your ovulation, the estrogen in your body helps in forming a follicle in the tissue of the ovary. After releasing the egg, that follicle ruptures which causes fluid to be released into the abdominal cavity, making it irritating for some women. If you have a regular menstrual cycle, the one that lasts for 28 days, you will ovulate on day 14.
On the other hand, between the ovulation and the start of your menstrual bleeding, your premenstrual syndrome begins. It is a state which is very hard to define considering all the different signs and symptoms which may be experienced. This period is associated with many physical and emotional changes, coming out during the last phase of your cycle, one or two weeks before the bleeding starts.
Once we went through the basic meanings of the previous processes, we can discuss their symptoms and differences.
Changes happening during the ovulation:
Cervical mucus changes
When you are close to ovulation, your body produces more estrogen causing your mucus to become stretchy and clear, egg white, which helps the sperm to swim to the egg that’s released during the process of ovulation. If your secretion is sticky and stretchy or very wet and slippery, that’s a sign that you are in a fertile phase.
Mild pelvic or lower abdominal pain
Some of us can actually feel the ovulation, mostly as mild ache or pain in the lower abdomen, usually on one side or the other. This pain, called Mittelschmerz can last between a few minutes and few hours. Also, you might experience a light vaginal bleeding, discharge or nausea with the ache or pain, which is usually mild.
Light spotting or discharge
Another symptom that occurs during your ovulation is a brown discharge or spotting during ovulation which is normal if it is not that common. This usually happens when the follicle that surrounds and protects the developing egg matures, grows and ruptures, resulting in a small amount of bleeding. The older it gets, the browner it becomes, which is an explanation for the varieties of shades on your discharge. But if this becomes a frequent process you should visit a medical institution to check for signs of infection or the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy.
Another frequent symptom of ovulation is intense sex drive, which is a natural reminder that you are in a period where your chances of pregnancy are highest. But you need to be very careful not to mix this symptom because there are varieties of things which may increase your sex drive.
Changes in the cervix
Last but not least, your cervix may become higher, softer and more open. You can check it along with your mucus for ovulating symptoms but it can take time to learn the differences and it is more difficult than following the other symptoms.
On the other hand, some of the most frequent PMS symptoms are
anger and irritability
feeling sad for no particular reason
Symptoms of PMS can be very similar to the ones happening during an early pregnancy, but they are subtle and vary from woman to woman. You are experiencing similar physical symptoms during your ovulation and PMS phases, but their intensity is becoming stronger when you are closer to get your menstruation flow started. You may experience lower back pain, abdominal pain, and breast tenderness during your ovulation, but once it comes to increased appetite, mood swings, irritability and all the other symptoms mentioned above, it is a sign that your premenstrual syndrome has started and you are close to getting your period.
It may sound hard to get through it, but there are a lot of medicines and copying mechanism which may help you get through the symptoms easier, so you won’t need to feel bad almost seven days per month. However, you should consider checking your calendar and stick to the dates mentioned in the first part of this article, in order to be sure when your ovulation is supposed to begin.