How to Calculate Your Ovulation Period Using Your Menstrual Cycle

Updated on March 22, 2018

Ovulation is the phase in a woman's menstrual cycle when an unfertilized egg is released from the ovary and travels through the fallopian tubes and into the uterus. This is the stage of the menstrual cycle during which pregnancy can occur, if the released egg is fertilized by sperm.

I will explain how to use the length of your menstrual cycle to determine when you may be ovulating. I will also go through other ways of predicting and detecting ovulation, such as tracking your basal body temperature, cervical mucus, or purchasing an ovulation kit.

How Many Days After Your Period Do You Ovulate?

According to Ob/Gyn Dr. Tami Prince, MD, "Ovulation, which is the release of an egg from the ovary, usually occurs approximately 14 days prior to the next period." Count the number of days from the first day of your period to the day before you next period to determine the length of your cycle. Then subtract that number by 14 to determine what day after your period you will ovulate. If your average menstrual cycle is 30 days, you will ovulate 16 days after your period starts (30-14=16).

Important Note

Predicting ovulation is not foolproof, meaning there can be a margin of error in pinpointing the exact time of ovulation. Prediction can be off by at least 2 days.

An egg moves from the ovaries, through the fallopian tubes, and implants itself on the uterine wall.
An egg moves from the ovaries, through the fallopian tubes, and implants itself on the uterine wall.

How to Figure Out When You're Ovulating

1. Calculate the Length of Your Menstrual Cycle

  • Make a note of when your next period starts. This is the first day of your cycle.
  • Then, make note of when your period comes again in the following month. This is the beginning of the next cycle.
  • When you count the days in between, this gives you the length of your cycle.

Here's an example:

  • Period starts: January 1
  • Next period starts: January 31
  • Days in between (including January 1 but not January 31): 30 days. The menstrual cycle length, therefore, is 30.

You might want to do this for more than one month, as menstrual cycles can vary in length from month to month. This will also help you determine if you have an irregular cycle, in which you may skip periods for a month or more at a time. An irregular cycle will make predicting ovulation more difficult.

2. Calculate When Ovulation Starts

If you have a 30-day cycle, then ovulation will occur approximately on day 16 of your cycle. Ovulation occurs 10-14 days before your next period, so you will get an approximate ovulation date by subtracting 14 from the number of days in your cycle (eg. 30 days minus 14 = 16). This means that ovulation will occur 16 days after your period starts. If you have your period on January 1, ovulation will take place on January 17.

Use the chart below to determine when you're most likely to ovulate based on the length of your menstrual cycle. Find the length of your cycle in the left-hand column to see how many days after the beginning of your period you will ovulate and when you're at your most fertile.

When Does Ovulation Start?

Cycle Length (Days)
Ovulation Occurs
Most Fertile Days
22
Day 8
Days 6-8
23
Day 9
Days 7-9
24
Day 10
Days 8-10
25
Day 11
Days 9-11
26
Day 12
Days 10-12
27
Day 13
Days 11-13
28
Day 14
Days 12-14
29
Day 15
Days 13-15
30
Day 16
Days 14-16
31
Day 17
Days 15-17
32
Day 18
Days 16-18
33
Day 19
Days 17-19
34
Day 20
Days 18-20
35
Day 21
Days 19-21
36
Day 22
Days 20-22

How Do I Calculate My Fertile Window?

In a regular cycle, a woman's fertile window is the day of ovulation (usually 10 to 14 days before her period begins) and the five days before it. For an average 28-31 day cycle, the fertile window would be somewhere between days 14 and 17. Many doctors recommend having sex a few days before ovulation because sperm can live up to five days in a woman's reproductive tract and will already be present in the woman's body and be ready to meet the egg when it eventually releases.

What Are the Most Fertile Days After Your Period?

You are most fertile the day before ovulation and the day of ovulation. According to Dr. Hanh Cotrell from IVF Michigan, "Your fertile window is about a week prior to anticipated ovulation." So if you are trying to conceive, she recommends having sex every day to every other day during that week to give you the highest chance of pregnancy. You are not likely to get pregnant right after your period, although it can happen if you have an abnormally short menstrual cycle, in which ovulation could happen just a few days after your period ends.

Here's an example of your most fertile days for a 30-day cycle:

  • First day of period is January 1
  • Next period will begin on January 31 (30 days after January 1)
  • Ovulation will take place anywhere from January 17 to January 21 (10-14 days before your next period). These are your most fertile days.
  • You can have sex up to 5 days before this period and still get pregnant.

Can You Get Pregnant During the Luteal Phase?

It is very unlikely. The luteal phase occurs after ovulation when a woman's body stops releasing eggs, so it is impossible for sperm to find an egg to fertilize during this phase. However, an unfertilized egg survives up to 24 hours before dissolving, so if you have sex 12-24 hours after ovulation, there is still a small chance that you could get pregnant.

How Long Does the Luteal Phase Need to Be to Get Pregnant?

Your luteal phase length should be 12 to 16 days. It begins after ovulation and ends with the onset of your next period. During this time, progesterone rises and signals the growth and thickening of your uterine lining where the fertilized egg will implant itself and develop into a baby. If your luteal phase is shorter than 10 days, the fertilized egg will not be able to attach, and you will experience an early miscarriage.

For Women With Irregular Cycles

Keep in mind that women with irregular cycles may not be able to predict when ovulation happens because the length of their cycle varies month to month. It is possible for some women with irregular cycles to ovulate right after their period, though this is uncommon.

Other Ways to Detect or Predict Ovulation

Basal Body Temperature

Your basal body temperature (BBT) is your lowest temperature in a given 24-hour period, most likely early in the morning when you first wake up. Two or three days after you ovulate, your BBT should rise about 0.4 to 1.0 degrees Fahrenheit due to hormonal changes and stay that high during your period. To track your BBT, follow this step-by-step guide on how to chart your basal body temperature. Only tracking your BBT for one month will not help you predict ovulation as the temperature rise occurs after the fertile window. But by tracking your BBT over several months you can see patterns in your hormonal fluctuations, and then predict when you may be ovulating.

Ovulation Kit

An ovulation kit can be easily purchased and used to test your urine for elevated levels of luteinizing hormone just before ovulation. Ovulation kits can accurately predict ovulation 12 to 36 hours ahead of time, and unlike other methods, can predict ovulation during the first month of using them.

Monitoring Cervical Mucus

The consistency and color of vaginal discharge will change over the course of a month, due to hormonal fluctuations. Examining your cervical mucus can give you some indication of where you are in your cycle. Right before ovulation, your vaginal discharge will become clear and develop the consistency of a raw egg white. The last day you see mucus of this consistency is the day before or day of ovulation, when you're most fertile.

Cervical Mucus Stages

  • After Period (1-3 days): Dry
  • After Period (days 4-6): Sticky. You might find white globs.
  • Before Ovulation (days 7-9): Thick, white or cloudy discharge. Abundant.
  • During Ovulation (days 10-14): Clear, stretchy, and slippery, like raw egg white.
  • After Ovulation: Thick and creamy white or yellow.

Remember, you are most fertile during ovulation, so if you see clear slippery mucus similar to egg white, you are ovulating!

Signs and Symptoms of Ovulation

According to Dr. Kelly Kasper, an OBGYN from Indiana University Health, the extent of the following ovulation symptoms vary from woman to woman, but the majority of women will experience at least one of these symptoms as they approach their ovulation period.

  • As a woman nears ovulation, her body produces more estrogen causing the cervical mucus to become thick, clear, and stretchy, which helps the sperm swim to the egg that is released during ovulation.
  • Some women will experience breast tenderness or sensitivity due to the change in hormones before and after ovulation.
  • A woman may experience a heightened sense of smell in the second half of the cycle after ovulating in order to be more attracted to androsterone, a male pheromone.
  • A woman may experience light spotting or brown discharge, which is normal. When ovulation occurs, the follicle that surrounds and protects the egg can rupture and result in a small amount of bleeding. This blood turns brown as it gets older, hence why the vaginal discharge can be red to dark brown.
  • A woman may notice that her sex drive (libido) increases during ovulation.
  • Some women will complain of a mild ache or pain on one side of the pelvis during ovulation. This pain is known as Mittelschmerz, or "pain in the middle." When a follicle matures prior to releasing an egg, the follicle can contain a small amount of fluid like a cyst. When the egg is released, the follicle ruptures releasing the fluid causing an ache or pain. This discomfort can last for minutes or hours and often alternates sides each month. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can be used to help alleviate the pain. If the pain is persistent or severe, a woman should see a doctor.

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    • profile image

      Oluchi obi 

      22 hours ago

      I saw my perido on 11 of oct when will I ovlate

    • profile image

      Chinel 

      35 hours ago

      Please answer Hannah am having the same issue with her

    • profile image

      Hannah 

      44 hours ago

      please I started my menses on the first of October and ended on the fifth of October and I know my next period will started 28 of October but my trucker has given me 30 of October so I don't know how to do the calculation of my luteal phase length will you please help me to do the calculation

    • profile image

      no edurh 

      2 days ago

      I had my periods on 29 September and they end on 4th of October and I hv unproctected sex on 14 October .how many chances do I have of being pregnant

    • profile image

      Tope 

      2 days ago

      I saw my period at oct 14 when i will ovlate pls tell me

    • profile image

      Hellen 

      2 days ago

      I had my periods on 2nd to 5th october 2018 and had unprotected sex on 10th october can i know if am pregnant please .

    • profile image

      favour 

      2 days ago

      my menses start on the 15 August and it last for five days and again on 15 of September pls how many days cycle do I have and when is my ovulation period, will it change from 15 to another date pls help me

    • profile image

      Joy 

      2 days ago

      What can cause someone period to be changing every month

    • profile image

      Aisah 

      4 days ago

      I hqd my period september 30 to october 7, and then october 12 i had sex with protection am i getting pregant.?

    • profile image

      Clara mensah 

      4 days ago

      Pls i saw my menses on the 13 october when am i ovulating

    • profile image

      rukiya yunusi 

      7 days ago

      I had my period started on 21. end on 24, I sleep with my on 30 and on first of October am I in

    • profile image

      Esther 

      8 days ago

      please I am having a problem with my ovulation _? i saw my period on the 28 of september to enter d next month and it ended on the 3rd so when will my ovul come? thank u

    • profile image

      esther paul 

      9 days ago

      I really need help in my own circle cause my ovulation s hard to indicate?

    • profile image

      Chidi 

      10 days ago

      This is good idea thank you.

    • profile image

      Karen 

      13 days ago

      Hey, I was wondering if this is normal. So I am 12 and I got my period 8 days before my 12th birthday(August 18). I got my period on August 10 and I ended August 19. I have not had it since and it's already October 4. The past 1-2 weeks there has been this white sort of substance come out of my vajayjay. I was wondering if that is my ovulation. I have also already searched this up since my period is late because I was supposed to get it at around September 15. It never came. So I did my research and I read an article and it said that late or irregular periods are most common to beginners(people who just got theirs[me]) and people nearing menopause. Please help. Thank You!

    • profile image

      sayuni Samantha 

      13 days ago

      I finished my periods on 18/092018 and I had sex unprotected sex on 23rd/September so I want to know whether am pregnant, thanks

    • profile image

      Priscilla 

      2 weeks ago

      Please I had my period in September 8th and ended on 11th .my period started just today 3th of October. Please may I know when I will be ovulating and getting pregnant too

    • profile image

      pooja 

      2 weeks ago

      I saw the period at September 27 when I vill ovulate plz tell me

    • profile image

      Nicole 

      2 weeks ago

      I had my periods on27 September so plz help me wen am I ovulating plzxx

    • profile image

      Irene 

      2 weeks ago

      I had my periods on 19 to 23 sept 2018 when can i get pregnant

    • profile image

      Kevin 

      2 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 13 when will I ovulate

    • profile image

      Nnenna paul 

      2 weeks ago

      I saw my period on september 11

      when will i ovulate

    • profile image

      Bevelyn 

      2 weeks ago

      I had my period on 19th of this month and it stoped 23 so when will i get pregnant

    • profile image

      Bevelyn 

      2 weeks ago

      I had my periodon 19th of this month when can i get pregnant

    • profile image

      Kemi 

      3 weeks ago

      I had my period on 13th of dis month ad nw am seeing it again on 25th of dis same month pls help me out

    • profile image

      blessing 

      3 weeks ago

      I had my period on 20 of this month and irrgular period please how do i knwo my ovulatio period this is confuseing .thank s.

    • profile image

      Claire villano 

      3 weeks ago

      My 1st day of period was last september 13 2018 then last september 23 2018 i had sex,am i able to get pregnant?

    • profile image

      muhozi yvonne 

      3 weeks ago

      i saw my period on 25 September what is my ovulation period ?

    • profile image

      Oluchi 

      3 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 15 of september and last 4 days and when is my voulatiom

    • profile image

      Priscilla 

      3 weeks ago

      My period was on the 19 September and it last 3 days whn is my ovulation?

    • profile image

      Bussy 

      3 weeks ago

      I had my period on d 9th of dis month nf my cycle is 28th days pls how do i calculate my ovulation its really confussion me, when is it d right time for me to hav preg. Bcos i want to fall pregnant can u pls explain to me,God bless u as u do

    • profile image

      Eze favour 

      3 weeks ago

      My period started on sep20th, when am i ovulating

    • profile image

      Patience 

      3 weeks ago

      My period started on the 8th September and lasted 3days when am I liking to ovulate

    • profile image

      AWULATU ABUBAKARI 

      3 weeks ago

      I really needs more education on this

    • profile image

      Serah 

      4 weeks ago

      Any group that can add me an educated me more about getting pregnant?

    • profile image

      joy 

      4 weeks ago

      i had my period on the 23 ad it ends on the 29 ad i had sex on the 19 is there a chance dat i can get pregnant ?

    • profile image

      Dee 

      4 weeks ago

      I started my period august10,nd ended it on 13th of august,can i get pregnant on the 29-31 of august?

    • profile image

      Lamiz 

      4 weeks ago

      I had my period on 4th September end on 8th September, and i had sex sometimes including day 14 of my period so when do i start my ovulation????

      My length cycle is 30-31 days which day i expect ovulation ??

    • profile image

      Funmilayo 

      4 weeks ago

      I had my period on the 5th to 9th of September...pls when do I start ovulating

    • profile image

      Chidinma 

      4 weeks ago

      My period start on the 16 of this month stop on 20th I want now My ovulation day please

    • profile image

      Chikaodi 

      4 weeks ago

      I had my perrio on 5th Septenber end on 10th Septenber, i do have regula, when do i have sex with my husband?

    • profile image

      eugene schola 

      4 weeks ago

      I had my period on August 13 and it ends 17th..I do have irregular though.when do I likely see it again

    • profile image

      Nathalie 

      4 weeks ago

      I had my period last teusday on the 8.i had sex with boyfriend this friday.is it possible for to get pregnant

    • profile image

      Elizabeth elia 

      4 weeks ago

      I started my periods on the 5th July and finished on the 11th when do I likely to ovulate

    • profile image

      I had my period on 13 of August and today been 15 of September I saw my period 

      4 weeks ago

      Bt i have 24-26 circle

      Can i b pregnant

    • profile image

      ezeanyagu mary 

      4 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 24 of august and it ended on the 28 of august , pls what date can i get pregnant, or how can i calculate my ovulation date.

    • profile image

      mrs osas 

      4 weeks ago

      i saw my period sept 7 and it ended on sept 11,when is my chance of conceiving a male child.thanks

    • profile image

      Miss presh 

      4 weeks ago

      I saw my period on sept8 and it ended on sept13,please when is my ovulation I need a baby so desprately

    • profile image

      nikkie 

      4 weeks ago

      i saw my period 29 nd ended on the 2 when is my ovulation taking place

    • profile image

      Angel 

      5 weeks ago

      I have a period on 5th of september to 8th of septembet then i have unprotected sex on 9th of september. Could i got pregnant?

    • profile image

      Gabby 

      5 weeks ago

      I saw my periods 4 to 7 september n i had sex 9 and 10/september could i get pregant

    • profile image

      Joyce 

      5 weeks ago

      I had my periods on the 9th September and it ended 12th september am what will be my ovulating day due to my irregular period.

    • profile image

      Jessy 

      5 weeks ago

      I had my period on 23 of August it ended on 25august,i had sex on 26september,and 9 of September will i get pregnant

    • profile image

      Am Mrs. Bright 

      5 weeks ago

      I had my period on 2 -4sept,when am i most fertile to get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Yessy 

      5 weeks ago

      I just have my period on September 4 I want to know how long after can I get pregnant

    • profile image

      UGO 

      5 weeks ago

      my period start on 1st

      September. when can I get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Amarachukwu Nwanacho 

      5 weeks ago

      I didn't when my ovulation can be i see my period on 30 August

    • profile image

      Jossy 

      5 weeks ago

      My menstrual cycle will start on 21 september and i hard unprotected sex on 9th september. Am i safe???

    • profile image

      Debola 

      5 weeks ago

      My menstraul cycle start which i dont expect please when can i have again to get pregant when im starting my ovulation....

    • profile image

      Thanks for the write up am so ecited 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks for the write up am so ecited

    • profile image

      igwejuliet 

      6 weeks ago

      My menstrual cycle start on 3rd of September, when can I get pregnancy and when those my next period comes up

    • profile image

      real 

      6 weeks ago

      Pls I had my period on 13Aug-18Aug. N I had sex with my bf 14days after my period has end. So will I get pregnant

    • profile image

      My name is mrss miller 

      6 weeks ago

      I start seen my period on the 23it end 29 pls wan will i start to ovulat and my baby is just 3months old pls i need help

    • profile image

      Lish 

      6 weeks ago

      I had intimacy on 11 Aug and took ipill on 12 Aug . On 24 August I started bleeding and on 29 August my periods was over . On 31 August again I had intimacy and took ipill after that ..

      So is it safe from pregnancy...

    • profile image

      Joy kelvin 

      6 weeks ago

      I saw my period on the 28 of July-3rd of August. Then I meet with my boyfriend on the 18th of August . What date will I see my next period, or are my pregnant?

    • profile image

      My 

      7 weeks ago

      My period came on 31st of July then 25th of Aug again. When is my ovulation am

    • profile image

      Natasha Thomas 

      7 weeks ago

      My menstruation came 2018 7 22 then 2018 8 10 then 2018 8 25 whats wrong. I'm 38

    • profile image

      Anita 

      7 weeks ago

      Plz my menstruation was on d 22 August ended on 26 plz wen is my save time ad ovulation time

    • profile image

      Nana Ama 

      7 weeks ago

      My period was on 17th August and Ended 23rd when do I ovulate

    • profile image

      Mimi 

      7 weeks ago

      My period was on the 3rd till 5th of August slept with my husband on the 18th of August and 26th of August am I likely to be pregnant.

    • profile image

      Yung Grace 

      2 months ago

      My period stated on the 9th of July and the next one started on 4th of August.when I’m mine likely to get pregnant or ovulate.

    • profile image

      Lolly 

      2 months ago

      I m still waiting for my answer

    • profile image

      Lolly 

      2 months ago

      My period start on 12August end on 15 when do i ovulate pls help i want to get pregnant

    • profile image

      lena Agnes 

      2 months ago

      I have learn alot. Thanks but does ovulation comes with lower abdominal pains?

    • profile image

      Rhoda 

      2 months ago

      Add Your Comment..I had my period on 23rd-27th July and it's started again on 13th of August and it will end 17th of August. So when will I ovulate this month? want to get pregnant.

    • profile image

      Omoregie Annabel 

      2 months ago

      my last period was 2nd August, and my next is 22nd of August, how do I calculate my ovulation

    • profile image

      Tails 

      2 months ago

      I had my period on the 28th of may and had sex the 9th of June and the 15th which day is most likely that I got pregnant on?

    • profile image

      Wunmsy 

      2 months ago

      I had my period on 16-19th June and 17th -19 July, i had sex on 29th July and 12&13th August, pls is there any luck of me getting pregnant? And also my family planning expired Dec 11th 2017 but i got it removed March 18th 2018. Should i be hopeful?

      How do i get my answer?

    • profile image

      Reachel 

      2 months ago

      I started my period on the 4th of July and finished on the 9 and again my period came again on the 29th of July and finished on the 2nd of August, when do I ovulate?

    • profile image

      Missy 

      2 months ago

      My cycle varies from 25 to 24 to 26days.had my last period on 22 july.when is my most fertile period

    • profile image

      Vivian Friday 

      2 months ago

      Last period waz on the 25th of June

      Then, i think my period is 32

      Had my period on 26th of July to 28th July when will I ovulate

    • profile image

      Helen 

      2 months ago

      Had my period on 30th of July to 3rd August when will I ovulate

    • profile image

      evergreens 

      2 months ago

      I have a30days circle but can not profit ovulation my period start on every 11 and last for 5 days when is my chance of getting per giant

    • profile image

      Rosalia 

      2 months ago

      I had my period on 31 july and end on 4th of august when is my ovulation?

    • profile image

      jane 

      2 months ago

      my period was on 26 June n yes I had sex since am married. and since I got married the last time I missed my period is when I was pregnant n now from June up to date no period

      should I say am pregnant

    • profile image

      Anita 

      2 months ago

      My period is on 26 june last i had sex on 22 july and no period,is that chances to be pregnant

    • profile image

      Sneha 

      2 months ago

      I had my periods on 28th July. So when will be the chances of getting pregnant?

    • profile image

      mpho 

      2 months ago

      started my period on the 1st august until 5 august.when is the best time to get pregnant

    • profile image

      Mellow81 

      2 months ago

      I started my period 8/02 it lastes till 08/09 whole 7 days when is the best time to get pregnant

    • profile image

      tracy 

      2 months ago

      my period came31july,wen can I get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Ishaq 

      2 months ago

      I started my period 31 last month . when can I started having sex .that I will have pergant

    • profile image

      Miah 

      2 months ago

      My last period was on the 4th july n now my period started again on the 29th july to 2 august when can i have high chances of getting pregnant?

    • profile image

      Didi 

      2 months ago

      I had my last period on the 1 st of july and i had unprotected sex on the 18 th and on the 29 th of july... Did 2 pregnancy test which came negative am worried about the 29 th of july Could i be pregnant as my period was suppose to come on the 30 th and it didnt come

    • profile image

      Divya golap 

      2 months ago

      My last period was 30 June I get sex on 13.14.15 and 20.21.22 should I can get pregnant

    • profile image

      biola 

      2 months ago

      i had my last period on the 15th of july, i had unprotected sex on the 29th. Pls am i safe because am scared

    • profile image

      Jennifer 

      2 months ago

      My period started on 27th july and stoped on 31th july when will my ovluation period start?

    • profile image

      Innocentia Ijeoma Amadi 

      2 months ago

      I saw my period on the 17th of July and I had sex on 30th do I have a chance of getting pregnant.

    • profile image

      Jhoy Camayra 

      2 months ago

      My last period is july 13 and i had sex on july 25 do you think can i get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Zb 

      2 months ago

      Hello so i have a couple drops of blood july27th which started off lite pink and ending in this brown old blood. The 28th only that morning when i wiped that was it the 29 a little drops very mild cramping could i be prego

    • profile image

      Joy 

      2 months ago

      My period is 20 when would be my ovulation period?

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