Can Ovulation Actually Affect Your Sense Of Smell?

Much of the talk surrounding the menstrual cycle naturally revolves around PMS and the actual period. However, ovulation is one of the most important times in a monthly cycle and it's also highly fascinating. On average, ovulation takes place in the middle of your cycle, so if you have a 28-day cycle, it occurs around day 14, though it can fluctuate, as per Mayo Clinic


For that reason, many choose to look for signs of ovulation when trying to get pregnant, or even when trying NOT to get pregnant. According to What To Expect, signs you may be ovulating include increased cervical mucus which has an egg-white appearance, a slight pain in the pelvic region known as mittelschmerz (particularly on one side where the egg is being released), breast tenderness, and heightened libido.

Some people have no signs at all during ovulation and others have strange signs which can affect the senses.

What your nose knows during ovulation

Sometimes you may notice that during ovulation you feel more in the mood. You might find others more attractive and you likely feel more attractive yourself. That's because your body will work to make sure this prime time for conceiving doesn't go wasted. You can only conceive during your fertile window which is the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation, as per Healthline. After that, the chance of conceiving is basically null and void.


Consequently, your body will naturally do what it can to increase your sex drive during this time. That's also why your sense of smell may sharpen when you ovulate according to multiple studies (via the National Library of Medicine). Hormone levels change drastically during ovulation and they work to encourage and promote conception, as per Scientific American. It's these hormone fluctuations that find scents such as musk more enticing than usual. It's likely also why male-scented colognes contain a lot of musk scents.

Your sense of smell can also change at other times from hormones

Your body is so wonderfully intuitive that it adapts to do what is best for you during each part of your cycle. Ovulation isn't the only time that you may become super sensitive to smells, as per Verywell Family. One of the earliest pregnancy signs is becoming acutely aware of scents and odors. Again, increased amounts of hormones are the culprit. Yet instead of encouraging you to conceive, it seems these hormones are letting you know you don't have to keep trying.


Evolutionarily speaking, that's a way to protect the pregnancy in these early days. "Anything that could be perceived as a poison, your brain is going to say, 'Hey, that's dangerous, get away', says otolaryngologist Erich P. Voigt (via Verywell Family). "And because smells are very complex, there may be something that could be normal and pleasurable, but your brain may perceive it as dangerous when you're pregnant."

Of course, this heightened sense of smell can also lead to intense taste changes, too (via Elite Daily). While you're probably familiar with food aversions during pregnancy, during ovulation, you're more likely to gravitate toward bitter tastes, yet soon after you'll notice a hankering for sweets, right in time for PMS.