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Fertility tips

The One Ovulation Sign You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

If you’ve been tracking ovulation signs like temperature and cervical mucus, you may be surprised to learn that there’s another ovulation sign that no one ever talks about: the inguinal lymph node.

The inguinal-what?

Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped glands throughout the body. They are part of the lymph system, which carries fluid, nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. Most of the time, lymph nodes in the body cannot be felt, but they may swell during illness or injury. You may have noticed, for example, that the lymph nodes alongside your jaw become swollen when you get a sore throat. Cancer, Lyme disease, and autoimmune disorders can also cause swollen lymph nodes.

But not all causes of swollen lymph nodes are so sinister. You have two inguinal lymph nodes—one on each side of your pelvis. About 70 percent of women experience inguinal swelling on the same side of the body that the egg is released from that month.

inguinal lymph node

How to track the inguinal ovulation sign

If you are especially attentive as you approach ovulation, you may be able to feel the inguinal lymph node on one side of your pelvis swell to about the size of a pea. The change is subtle, so if you want to make sure you notice it, you should examine the region for a few days before you expect to ovulate and familiarize yourself with how it usually feels. Here’s how to track the inguinal ovulation sign:

  1. Lay down and place your hands over your lower abdomen with your fingers pointing straight down your leg
  2. Position your hands so that you can feel the pulsating artery in your leg with your middle finger
  3. When you’re in the correct position, your index finger will be directly above the inguinal gland
  4. For a few days leading up to ovulation, the inguinal gland may swell up to the size of a pea

If your inguinal gland is swollen, it’s a sign that you could be ovulating very soon—prime time for baby making!

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Lindsay Meisel

Lindsay Meisel is the Head of Content at Ava. She has over a decade of experience writing about science, technology, and health, with a focus on women's health and the menstrual cycle. Her work has been featured on The Fertility Hour, The Birth Hour, The Breakthrough Journal, and The Rumpus.

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