Ovulation occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle on average. During the three days preceding up to ovulation, you’re at your most fertile. It’s difficult to tell when you’re ovulating. You can track common ovulation symptoms like changes in your basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and cervix to figure it out.
What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the release of an egg from one of your ovaries. You’re theoretically fertile for the five days leading up to ovulation and the day you ovulate. However, if you have sex within the last three days of this six-day window, your chances of becoming pregnant are the best.
When do you ovulate?
In most cases, ovulation occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle. You may ovulate around day 14 if you have a 28-day cycle. Normal cycles, on the other hand, might last anywhere from 21 to 35 days. Some women ovulate on the same day each month, while others have trouble predicting when they will ovulation.
If you want to get pregnant, learning how to recognise and track ovulation symptoms might help you plan when to have sex.
These three ovulation sensations are experienced by almost all women:
- Changes in body temperature at rest (BBT). In a 24-hour period, your BBT is your lowest body temperature. Your BBT will rise by 0.5 to 1.0 degree Fahrenheit the day after you ovulate and remain elevated until your next period.
- Cervical mucus changes. Cervical mucus is the vaginal discharge that appears in your underwear from time to time. You may notice an increase in cervical mucus and a change in its texture in the days leading up to and soon following ovulation.
- The cervix changes. Your cervix is softer, higher, wetter, and more open during ovulation.
Because the symptoms listed below are not as prevalent or constant as the ones listed above, you may experience all, some, or none of them. They may include the following:
- Breast tenderness
- Mild cramps or twinges in the abdomen, or a one-sided backache, known as mittelschmerz (German for “middle pain”)
- Very mild spotting (vaginal bleeding or discharge that may occur when an egg is released)
- Heightened sense of smell
- Increased sex drive (some women say they feel sexy, flirty, more sociable, and more physically attractive)
- Changes in appetite or mood
- Fluid retention
How to calculate ovulation
There is no perfect way to know when you will ovulate. However, there are a few ways to predict when it’s most likely to happen so you can time intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI) to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
(You’re pregnant if that egg is fertilised by sperm and implants in your uterus!)
Try the calendar method
You can use the calendar approach if your cycle is regular — it lasts the same number of days every time (also known as the Standard Days Method).
To estimate when you’ll ovulate:
- Find out when you’re due to ovulate: To do so, go back 14 days from when your next period is due.
- Calculate your reproductive window, which covers the day you ovulate as well as the five days leading up to it. So, if day 1 is the beginning day of your cycle and day 28 is the day before your next period, you’ll be fertile from days 9 to 14.
- The final three days of your reproductive window are far more likely to result in pregnancy than the days immediately following ovulation. This is due to the fact that your egg lives for 24 hours in your fallopian tube after ovulation. Although sperm can live for up to five days in a woman’s body, they are more likely to fertilise your egg within three days of having intercourse.
This is the simplest method for estimating your fertile window, but it isn’t particularly precise, even if you know when your next period will begin. Because ovulation rarely occurs exactly 14 days before menstruation, this is the case.
The day of ovulation varied from seven to 19 days before menstruation in one major study of women with 28-day cycles. Only 10% of the time, ovulation occurs 14 days before a menstruation.
So you can see how this strategy could cause you to miss your reproductive window entirely. On the other hand, it’s easy, free, and worth a shot, especially if you’re not in a rush to have a family.
Use an ovulation calculator
You may use Ovulation Calculator to figure out which days you’re most likely to be fertile based on the calendar approach, as well as when you’ll be due if you conceive. It’s a simple and quick approach to learn how to boost your chances of becoming pregnant.
Use an ovulation predictor kit
Testing your hormone levels with an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) is a more reliable way to figure out when you’re fertile, though it doesn’t work for everyone.
There are two types of kits available:
- Urine tests: The most common test is a urine test. The pee-on-a-stick test detects an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH), indicating that one of your ovaries is about to deliver an egg. Some tests look at the amount of another hormone called Estrone-3-Glucuronide (E3G), which rises around ovulation time.
- Saliva tests: You use a microscope to look for a pattern in your dried saliva that suggests an increase in oestrogen in the days leading up to ovulation.
Both types of testing give you a positive result in the days leading up to ovulation, giving you plenty of time to prepare for childbearing sex.
The kits are accessible without a prescription at drugstores or online. They can range in price from $10 to $50 each.
Chart your cycle by monitoring ovulation symptoms
For a few cycles, you can watch tiny changes in your basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and cervical stiffness to see when you ovulate.
If you pay attention to these signals and record them on a chart or app, you might notice a pattern that will help you anticipate when you’ll ovulate next. (However, if your periods are sporadic, you might not observe a pattern.)
Charting is free (after you buy the thermometer), but accurate charting takes time and effort.
This is how you keep note of each symptom:
- Basal body temperature (BBT): You measure your BBT every day, right when you wake up and after you’ve had at least three hours of unbroken sleep, with a specific basal thermometer (which you can get online or at a drugstore). Your BBT will climb 0.5 to 1.0 degree Fahrenheit after ovulation and stay there until your menstruation arrives. Because the change in temperature does not indicate when you will ovulate but simply that you have, it’s vital to utilise this method in conjunction with tracking changes in cervical mucus throughout your cycle.
- Cervical mucus: You may have very little cervical mucus for the majority of the month, or it may be thick and sticky. However, you’ll notice an increase in cervical mucus and a change in its texture in the days leading up to, during, and immediately following ovulation: It’ll become clear, slick, and elastic (like raw egg whites). Intercourse is most likely to lead to conception at this period, immediately before ovulation.
- Cervix changes: As you get closer to ovulation, your cervix will shift from soft, high, open, and wet to SHOW (soft, high, open, and wet). These symptoms disappear after ovulation, and the cervix becomes hard, low, closed, and dry. If you put your finger within your vagina, you can feel the changes. Continue reading for more information on how to check your cervix.
Other ovulation symptoms, like as spotting or cramps, can also be helpful to be aware of. Although being aware of these symptoms (if you have them) while using the calendar, OPK, or charting methods isn’t a precise approach to predict when you’re ovulating, it may be beneficial.
How to check your cervix for signs of ovulation
You shouldn’t need to check your cervix if your other fertility indications are evident – you generate fertile-quality cervical mucus leading up to ovulation and have a sustained temperature shift following the development of cervical mucus that indicates ovulation. If there’s any doubt, your cervix can provide valuable information to support the other two indications.
Many women are apprehensive about touching their cervix. And even if they do, they might not be sure how it should feel. (For instance, how soft is “soft?”)
Here’s everything you need to know about cervix checks:
Check your cervix when your mucus changes consistency: The best approach to learn about your cervix is to check it after your cervical mucus changes consistency and to keep looking for a few days after your fever has climbed. You’ll notice the most drastic shift throughout that five-day period.
Insert your clean middle finger inside your vagina up to your middle knuckle or perhaps further to inspect your cervix. Take note of how the cervix feels when you touch it. It may feel like your lips just before ovulation. It will feel firmer, like the tip of your nose, after ovulation.
Learn more about ovulation tracking
Find out more about how keeping track of your BBT and ovulation symptoms can help you predict ovulation. Then follow the steps to charting your BBT and cervical symptoms.
- How long after ovulation symptoms do you ovulate?
According to Pollio, many women will have ovulation symptoms for up to five days before ovulation, as well as on the day of ovulation, and for up to a day after ovulation. Don’t panic if you don’t see any indicators that you’re ovulating—it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Moore claims that “the majority of women have no idea.”
- How do you tell if you are ovulating?
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation?
Your resting or basal temperature drops somewhat before rising again. Before getting out of bed in the morning, you can check your temperature with a particular thermometer.
With a silky consistency similar to egg whites, your cervical mucus becomes clearer and thinner.
- How many days before ovulation did you conceive?
Pregnancy is only technically feasible if you have intercourse five days before to ovulation or on the day of ovulation. The three days preceding up to and including ovulation, however, are the most fertile. Having sex during this period increases your chances of becoming pregnant.
- How many hours does ovulation last?
Once a month, ovulation happens and lasts roughly 24 hours. If the egg is not fertilised within 12 to 24 hours, it will die. You can start tracking your fertile days with this information and boost your chances of conceiving.