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When Do You Ovulate? 6 Easy Steps

on May 18, 2012

by Tiffany Merritt

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Learning how to pinpoint your most fertile days can be the single most important thing you can do to increase your chances of conception.

How do you pinpoint the exact day of ovulation? You may be wishing that you had paid closer attention in your middle school health classes to the reproductive cycle and the whole science behind it because as you’re probably discovering, it’s really important to understand exactly how your body is working so that you can increase your chances of getting pregnant quickly. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Well, have no fear. I want to talk to you today about ovulation and help sort of break that down for you and help it make sense so that you understand what’s going on with your body and what are the really key things that you need to know.

What is ovulation?

So, first and foremost, what is ovulation? Well, ovulation is the time during your monthly cycle when you release a mature egg from your ovary. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1-2 million. By puberty, you will already be down to about 400,000 – and during your reproductive years, you will lose an estimated 1,000 per month. Only one will be released each month to be fertilized, and it goes down through your fallopian tube and comes into the uterus. The uterus has been waiting for this mature egg to come and has been very busy and has created a very nurturing environment in the event that this egg gets fertilized (meaning that sperm meets it).

Sperm meets egg – or period comes

So, the uterine lining has been thickened and it’s just there and waiting. So when the egg comes down, it has got a great habitat in which to wait and see if it will become fertilized. If it does not become fertilized after a period of time, the egg does disintegrate in the uterine lining as well as some additional blood is shed. That’s your period. That’s what’s happening every month.

What is the follicular phase? Cycle Day 1 to ovulation

Let’s break down your cycle into two key phases. There are two main phases you need to be aware of. The first is called the follicular phase. This starts on the first day of your period. It’s important to know that whenever we talk about your menstrual cycle, your menstrual cycle begins on the day your period begins and ends right before your period begins again essentially, however long that might be for you. This is called your average cycle length. Most women have an average cycle length of 28 days, but this can vary from 22-41 days on the long & short end of it.

So the follicular phase, this is just a period of time. It goes from the first day of the period until the day you ovulate. It’s basically when the egg that’s going to be released is maturing and getting ready for that process, so being called the follicular phase.

What is the luteal phase? Ovulation to next CD1

The second half of the phase is called the luteal phase. It begins the day your egg is released from the ovary, goes down the fallopian tube and this phase of the cycle, there’s less variation from woman to woman as opposed to the follicular phase where there can be a wide variation in time.

You can be pretty sure that from the day the luteal phase starts, from the day you ovulate until the day your menstrual cycle begins again, that is typically a range of 12 to 16 days. So there is still a range in there but you can be sure of that. If your luteal phase is shorter than 12 days, again that being the day you ovulate until the day your next cycle begins, your luteal phase is probably considered too short to sustain a pregnancy. And if your luteal phase is longer than the norm, then you have a greater chance of miscarrying should you fall pregnant. So making sure your luteal phase is in the neighborhood of 12-16 days or so is key to conception.

Figure out when you’re ovulating

So as you’re trying to figure out when you’re ovulating, you can count back that far and get that window. Go to when your next cycle begins, and count back 12-16 days to find the window. That’s a more sure thing as opposed to the follicular phase which can really vary widely as to how long that phase lasts from woman to woman. But whether your cycle tends to be 20 days, 28 days or even 40 days, you can be sure that you’re ovulating roughly 12 to 16 days before your next cycle begins. So I hope that helps. There are many other foolproof ways to determine when exactly you ovulate, by taking ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), charting your basal body temperatures, or by using an ovulation monitor. You can also use this free ovulation calculator to further help you pinpoint your fertile window.

There are a few other key things that you need to know about ovulation particularly if you’re trying to get pregnant. First, knowing when you ovulate is so important because the egg only lives on its own for 12 to 24 hours without being fertilized. If it hasn’t been fertilized by that time, it’s over. So you really have to know when that’s happening. You have to be able to pinpoint that. Get 20 Free Ovulation Tests – Exclusive Bonus Gift.

Stay calm, cool & collected

Exactly when your body decides to ovulate really can be affected by things like stress, by illness or by other things that are really outside the norm for your life, so crazy things that might be happening. They can affect when your body has its hormone surge and releases that egg.

So – and I know this is easier said than done, but if you’re trying to conceive, try your best to stay calm, cool and collected and to stay healthy overall. So get that vitamin C. Get plenty of rest. Eat your veggies, all those great things, to help keep your body and your hormones stay on a nice even keel.

So I hope that helps you out to understand the basics of ovulation and next time, we’re going to be talking about how to determine those menstrual days and a strategy. See you then.

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When Do You Ovulate? 6 Easy Steps, 4.3 out of 5 based on 26 ratings

Tiffany is a mompreneur & editor whose parenting tips and product recommendations can be found at her popular blog, Stuff Parents Need, where she's busy making life a little less hectic for new parents.

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  • Lindsey

    I have been ttc for three months. Last month I missed my period but got a negative test result. How do I know when I am ovulating this month after a missed period?

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    Missing a period can make it more difficult to track your ovulation, as you will tend to ovulate roughly 14 days after your period has begun. You can do two different things – you can begin taking ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) daily until you get a positive result. You can also begin charting your basal body temperature each day, as well as checking your cervix position and cervical mucus.

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  • ems

    I have a baby that is 16 months, my husband and i decided we want another before our son gets too old as we want him to have company, been trying for a few months but no luck,it took us 5-6 months with our son but dont want to wait that long, any ideas?

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    You want to immediately begin pinpointing when you are ovulating. Ovulation only occurs once per month, and if you are not timing intercourse precisely to when you ovulate, you will miss the opportunity for that cycle. Once you are timing intercourse properly, you may wish to also begin use of a fertility supplement which will help boost your fertility to help ensure maximum chances of success.

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  • burtsgirl

    I am almost done with month #1 of fertibella conceive with ease and I’m hoping for good news. I see a lot of you have conceived in the 2nd month. Fingers crossed!

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  • MaddiesMomma247

    After remarrying, my new husband and I
    were having trouble conceiving my second child (his first). We are
    both working hard but didn’t have the funds needed to see a fertility
    specialist. So after 2 and a half years and almost giving up, I came
    across ConceiveEasy. The price was so much more reasonable so we
    decided to give it a try. I am happy to announce that THIS PRODUCT
    WORKS!!! Now my daughter can finally be a big sister. Thank you so
    much FertiBella.

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  • tcurrey

    Is it possible to enter the luteal phase without ovulating, or is ovulation a requirement of initiating the luteal phase? I mean, I know it is, but I suppose what I’m really asking is could there be rare circumstances in which ovulation before a luteal phase would not occur?

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  • Bethysweb

    Why is a long luteal phase not ok? I’ve only recently got my period back in November, when I weaned my 1 year old. And with my 1st pregnancy my period was crazy all over the place after weaning, and now it seems to be a structured 31 days long, 6 days of bleeding, sometimes 7, and then on day 13 I generally ovulate. so that means my luteal phase is like 18 days?

    And if this is not ok, how do I get it back between 12-16 days in length as is suggested is normal?

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  • Anna

    I went off my mini pill I have been on for over a year after taking four of my pills from my new pack. According to the ovulation calendar I was ovulating then and my husband and I are TTC. The next week I had a weird bleed. Started with little pieces the first day then a tint of pink when I wiped the next day, then bled light for two days. I have been having signs and symptoms that I’m pregnant but still getting a negative test. It has to only been 14 days since the first night we tried. Can I be pregnant and have had experienced implantation bleeding or a irregular period? This is my third baby if I am never had this with first two.

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    There is a possibility that your are pregnant. Implantantion bleeding occurs about 6-8 days after fertilization. It is light brown to pinkish in color. I suggest you take another test after a week or two or visit your doctor and have a blood test done as it blood tests detect the hCG hormone in your body earlier than urine tests.

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  • Charleneb

    we are trying for a little one nothing is working we do it like one or twice a week he is working away during the week but weekends he is with us we got a little one of our own she is 3 so we thought its time for a new born in the house what can we do so that i can fall pregnant faster we are trying for a year now

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  • Monica Scott, RN

     One of the ways to get pregnant faster is to have intercourse 2-3 days before you ovulate because it gives your man’s sperm a head start of reaching the ovum (egg) on time. The ovum can only live for approximately 24 hrs after ovulation. You can use an ovulation prediction kit to help you find out when your ovulating days are. It may seem a little harder for the both of you since he is only with you during the weekends.  But having sex during the weekends are okay since it pretty much covers the entire week (sperm can live inside of you for as long as 5 days).

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  • Charleneb

    BUT THE DAYS THAT I DO OVULATE THEN HE IS NOT HERE AND WHEN HE IS HERE I DONT WHAT THEN I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE

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  • Charleneb

    CAN I GET THE FERTIBELLA IN JOHANNESBURG

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

     Yes, FertiBella can be purchased by residents outside the United States. You may order online or call by telephone at (888) 363-9222. Please note, at this time our risk-free
    trial is only available to residents in the United States.

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  • Cclorissa

    how would i figure out when im ovulating i havent had a period in like 2 years cuz i was on the depo shot
     

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    Ovulation dates usually occur on the 14th day of a regular 28-day cycle. Your ovulation is most likely occurring if you experience abdominal cramps, your cervical mucous changes in color and your body basal temperature rises. However; if you have irregular cycles, it is best that you buy an Ovulation Predictor Kit for you to accurately detect your ovulation dates.

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  • Maureen Stephens, RN

    No; ovulation without luteal phase is most likely impossible, given that that luteal phase is considered to be the post-ovulatory phase of your menstrual cycle. If you’re experiencing ovulation problems, it is best that you consult your ObGyn in order for you to determine its causes and its possible effective treatments.

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  • Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

    For you to effectively get pregnant, it is important that you increase your sexual activity during your fertile period and ovulation date. However; given your situation, I do recommend that you try to get an hCG trigger shot which can help induce your ovulation as soon as 36 hours after getting the shot. In this way, you can timely have sexual intercourse during your ovulation and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    Best of luck! Fertibella ConceiveEasy has been shown to be effective in treating cases of secondary and unexplained infertility while increasing the odds of getting pregnant faster without the use of expensive and invasive fertility drugs. In addition, Fertibella ConceiveEasy is clinically shown to help you overcome the most common obstacles in getting pregnant, dramatically increasing your chances of conception.

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  • Dr. Renee Hanton, MD

    Though a long luteal phase don’t pose any risks to miscarriages or infertility, it can greatly cause frustration and anxiety to women who are trying to conceive. Long luteal phases are considered to be rare and usually happen when the body continues to produce increased levels of progesterone for more than 16 days after ovulation. In order to normalize your luteal phases; it is best that you take fertility medications such as Viex, that can help induce your menstruation and normalize your hormonal levels.

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    Congratulations! Now that you’re pregnant, you must give proper care and attention to your body and nutrition. For you to ensure a safe pregnancy, you must try to eat right, avoid stress and take prenatal vitamins for your baby to have a healthy development as well.

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  • pumkin

    I am trying for a babe and with no luck as yet what can help me,I have a history of PID

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  • Maureen Stephens, RN

    PID or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease will only affect your chances of getting pregnant if left untreated, and there is still a chance for you to conceive. I do suggest that you visit your doctor for a preconception check-up in order for you to determine what prevents you from getting pregnant. In this, your doctor can also run you tests which can help detect if you have been experiencing underlying infertility issues.

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  • tina

    what to do if i am irregular periods….how to look the ovulation time??pls. help

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  • Jo

    okay so here it goes….. i had my tubes tied a little over 4 years ago now, but have been having symptoms of being pregnant. I had my tubes tied during a c-section at the age of 21. Is there anyway i could be pregnant? The smell of raw hamburger makes me very sick along with other smells. I have 2 children but never had the raw meat smell making me sick, i have also noticed my right boob seems to be leaking. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

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  • ashley

    I haven’t seen my period this month and I’m taking the pills what causing my monthly not to come on?

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  • kathy

    Hi iam kathiana I been stopping my depo shot it been 6 month iam still having get pregnant but my cycle still come normally

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  • paulina

    i’ve been trying for about a year now and nothing has happened i was really upset when everyone else around me was getting pregnant but me .. what can i do ?

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  • Teena Binu

    we r having two beautiful girls aged 6yrs & 31/2 yrs, now we want a baby boy…pls. help me…how do i know when i am ovulating…my periods r irregular but i get them on every month…

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  • shana

    I just started conceiveeasy last month a few days after my period began. My cycles are normally about 22-23 days and this pill made me late a week. I assume that means its working and lengthening my cycle to a normal 28 day cycle. But now that its changed im unsure when I will start my period next so im unsure when I will ovulate. I know your answer will include charting my temperature and taking ov tests through the month, but when should I start taking the ov tests? Should I go by my 22 day cycle so I dont miss my window or shoot for the 28 day cycle? I dont chart my temperature because I dont wake up at the same time every day and I know once you spike ovulations already over. Is there an easier way since I dont have insurance? And if I have a 22 day cycle can I still sustain a pregnancy? Ive had 2 miscarriages so far. Once because bad egg bad sperm and once because it was a blighted ovum. Help?

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    There are no methods can guarantee that you will get pregnant with a baby boy, the best way to achieve this goal is to create an alkaline environment because it is favorable to boy sperms. There are also lots of tips you may try. You can have an energy drink, a cup of coffee or some chocolate before having sex. Having an orgasm during sex also helps as it makes your reproductive area more alkaline. Since your periods are irregular, you may try having intercourse every other day to ensure your fertile days are covered.

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  • Monica Scott, RN

    ConceiveEasy® is specifically designed to stimulate ovulation by regulating hormones and normalizing your menstrual cycle. It is designed to lengthen your luteal phase to promote ovulation. the best way you can go about this since your cycles have changed is to have intercourse every other day to make sure your fertile days are covered. If it is not possible, you may try at least once every 3 days as sperm can survive inside the body for 72 hours.

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  • gloria

    my cycle is 29 days hv tested for 3 months now with predictor no result yet ad i need a boy hv 3 girls

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    There are lots of ways you can try to raise your chances of having a boy. As you see, boy sperms are weak but they are fast moving. Also, they thrive in an alkaline environment. You can make your vaginal environment more alkaline by eating foods such as beans, fish, zuchinni, raisins and bread. Also, reports say that consuming caffeine can make boy sperms more active.

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  • Ebere Licia

    i saw my menses on 17th of jan,wen is d best date to meet my husband

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  • shayan

    i am 28 years old and never been pregnant. i have been trying to get pregnant for 6-8 months but no luck, i went to a doctor and she told me that i have weak eggs :( and i have been taking medication since then but still no luck! do u have any suggestion or ideas?

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  • beautyG

    i am 27 years old and never been pregnant. i have been trying to get pregnant for 3 months and im really desperate for a baby. Do u have any suggestion or ideas that can help me

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  • beautyG

    26 March

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