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

      Yung Grace 

      15 hours 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 

      20 hours ago

      I m still waiting for my answer

    • profile image

      Lolly 

      20 hours ago

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

    • profile image

      lena Agnes 

      28 hours ago

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

    • profile image

      Rhoda 

      2 days 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 days ago

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

    • profile image

      Tails 

      3 days 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 

      4 days 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 

      4 days 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 

      5 days 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 

      7 days 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 

      8 days ago

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

    • profile image

      evergreens 

      8 days 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 

      8 days ago

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

    • profile image

      jane 

      10 days 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 

      12 days 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 

      12 days ago

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

    • profile image

      mpho 

      12 days ago

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

    • profile image

      Mellow81 

      13 days 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 

      13 days ago

      my period came31july,wen can I get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Ishaq 

      13 days ago

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

    • profile image

      Miah 

      2 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      Innocentia Ijeoma Amadi 

      2 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks ago

      My period is 20 when would be my ovulation period?

    • profile image

      Mercy Isaac 

      2 weeks ago

      My period started on the 25th and it ended on the 28 of July 2018 so is my circle 28? And when is my ovulation?

    • profile image

      Anne namba 

      3 weeks ago

      I had my periods on 25 to28 July. When am I most likely to get pregnant if I have sex right after periods?

    • profile image

      Georgina 

      3 weeks ago

      I had my last period on 20th July and it last for 4days when will i get ovulation

    • profile image

      Adenike 

      3 weeks ago

      I had sex on the 6 of july and i saw my period on the 8 of july it lasted for 5 days and i had sex on the 11 of july can i get pregnant

    • profile image

      Deborah 

      3 weeks ago

      I saw my period 1st to 5th july and i had sex on 15th of same month will i get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Christiana 

      3 weeks ago

      I had My period on 25 of July when should I be expecting my ovulation

    • profile image

      Promise 

      3 weeks ago

      I had my period on 14 july...... when should i expect my ovulation......i fall on 26 cycle

    • profile image

      Ij 

      3 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 23 of june when are mine going to see it again l fall on 28 day circle

    • profile image

      Nana boafo 

      3 weeks ago

      i had my period 11to15 so what time Am i ovulating and which day is good for regnancy

    • profile image

      NjaMaggie 

      3 weeks ago

      I had my periods from 20 to 25 july so when am I ovulating and which date is right to get preg

    • profile image

      slie M 

      3 weeks ago

      I had my periods from 16 to 20 july so when am I ovulating and which date is right to get preg

    • profile image

      MARVELOUS AG 

      4 weeks ago

      IF UR PERIOD STAR 25 END 30 CAN U BE PREGNANT

    • profile image

      Mary 

      4 weeks ago

      I menstrated on 17 to 19 July my circle is 25 days when is my fertile day?????

    • profile image

      RubbyAnn.. 

      4 weeks ago

      please. I started my period on Monday 9 of July. and I had sex with my husband the next Monday. can I be pregnant with this? though just did fibroid operation on April. this is my questions and where can I read your answer...

    • profile image

      Laura Auricchio 

      4 weeks ago

      I had my period June 25 I was ovulating 3 day before my period July 24 I think I’m pregnant not married I’m divorced for a year I’m single for a year know I do not know

    • profile image

      mary 

      4 weeks ago

      l had my period on 16 july to 18 july ..pliiz help me to calculate my ovulation so that l can meet with him .

    • profile image

      favour 

      4 weeks ago

      I had my period on 15th July 17,pls wen is my ovulation period, or help me wen can I meet my partner so that I will be pregnant thanks

    • profile image

      adaeze 

      4 weeks ago

      I menstrual on d 15 of July so when is my ovulation day.

    • profile image

      Anita 

      4 weeks ago

      Had my period on 11 Feb. And it lasted for 5 days, i had sex 24 Feb. And am pregnant. How is it possible

    • profile image

      Una unathi 

      4 weeks ago

      I had my periods on the 9th June 18 till 13th june 18 and now it's the 16th july 18? I had unprotected sex on the 3rd July 18, could i be pregnant?

    • profile image

      Isa123 

      4 weeks ago

      Greetings. My period is May 28th and stop on Ist June and next one is 28th June and stop on July 2. Pls help me with date i can be Conceive .

    • profile image

      jane maina 

      4 weeks ago

      I started my periods on 6th june later i conceived on same month 30th june so when is my ovulation period

    • profile image

      Lizzyuche 

      5 weeks ago

      Good evening. name is Elizabeth. please is it possible for me to get pregnant after having sex on dis days 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th day after my period

    • profile image

      Bama girl 

      5 weeks ago

      I started my piored on july 9 i am a 31 cycle i only stay on it for 5 days when should i have sex to get pregnant

    • profile image

      Jossy 

      5 weeks ago

      Had my menses on the 30th june and had sex on 10th july. My cycle is 28/30 days irregular. I ovulated on the10th July so i had sex. Is there chance of pregnancy?

    • profile image

      hannah 

      6 weeks ago

      I had my last period on 20th of june when is my ovulation though my menses for May came on 28th, I use to have irregular periods.. how do I calculate my ovulating periods

    • profile image

      Genisa 

      6 weeks ago

      I want to get pregnant my period starts on June 28 it end on July 2 and were planning to have an sex this coming July 8 it's possible that I get pregnant that day hope your kind and respect reply thank you

    • profile image

      Nosakhare Ehis 

      6 weeks ago

      How can I calculate my ovulation period

    • profile image

      Adepa 

      6 weeks ago

      I had my menses on the 24th june 2018 and had sex on the 30th june can I get pregnant

    • profile image

      Aparna Dutta 

      6 weeks ago

      I usually have my period on 26th or 27th days. I had my last period on 7th of june and started ovral 28 ocp from the 5th day for the first time. On 9th day i have unprotected sex . though i complete the 21 tablets is there any chance to be pregnant? My period not start yet.

    • profile image

      GIFT 

      6 weeks ago

      I had my period on the 16th -20th of June,please when is my ovulation date,thanks

    • profile image

      abby 

      6 weeks ago

      I normally have my period every month 4th but last month I had it 19th june to 23rd of June then had unprotected sex 4th July,can I get pregnant

    • profile image

      dessy 

      6 weeks ago

      pls is possible to get pregnant when having a Candida infection?

    • profile image

      Chidiebele 

      6 weeks ago

      I haven't see my period for last month and am seeing some white particles in my private part pls wat will be the cause...

    • profile image

      Lenny 

      7 weeks ago

      i have a question and i would wish to ask it privately what can i do and will i be answered?

    • profile image

      Peace 

      7 weeks ago

      How Many Days Does Ovulation Take Place

    • profile image

      taiwo 

      7 weeks ago

      I did my period btw 24-26, pls tell me my ovulation day

    • profile image

      Zooms 

      7 weeks ago

      I had period on 16 june 18 when am i suppose to make love to get preggy? Thx

    • profile image

      Ren 

      7 weeks ago

      I had my period on the 11th of June, 2018 n ended on de 15th n my circle is 30 days...I had unprotected sex on de 27th of June....can I get pregnant plsss.

    • profile image

      Remie 

      7 weeks ago

      I had my period between 15th-18th of June, my cycle i s 25days.

      I had unprotected sex on the 25th of June, 2018, are my safe or I will get pregnant because I didn't use any drug?

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      Juliet 

      7 weeks ago

      I started seeing

      my period on 24 of June, so when am I expecting my ovulation?.

    • profile image

      glory henry 

      7 weeks ago

      I saw my period 25 an it ends today pls when is my ovulation

    • profile image

      Adenike 

      7 weeks ago

      I have always been having unprotected sex for d past two years but have not been pregnant even for once pls wot can I do cause I really need to be pregnant

    • profile image

      Katiana Castor 

      7 weeks ago

      I had my period 5/30th and now I'm on June 25th still not coming however Saturday night and Sunday night I had unprotected sex with my partner so I don't know if I'm pregnant or not? I'm confused abt that please I need an answer pls!!!!

    • profile image

      Eseta 

      7 weeks ago

      I had my period on 15 on june and its will end on 18 June 2018 when is my fertile time pls

    • profile image

      Audrey 

      7 weeks ago

      The last day of my menses, was on 9 June 2018, and i had sex on 22 June 2018,can i get pregnancy?

    • profile image

      Aisah 

      7 weeks ago

      i had my period on 19th June and it will end 25th June 2018.when is my fertile time. please

    • profile image

      Nana 

      8 weeks ago

      I had my period on 6 /14/2018 and it end on the 6/18/2018 what day my ovulation start because am trying to get pregnant i can't count my ovulation days?help please thanks God bless you

    • profile image

      Anastasia 

      8 weeks ago

      Pls is it possible to get pregnant when you have sex on four or three days to your ovulation period?

      I had my period on 18/06/2018 when will be my ovulation period?

    • profile image

      Doris 

      8 weeks ago

      I saw my on 5th of December when will be my due date

    • profile image

      Jessica 

      8 weeks ago

      My cycle was on the 11th of May an jun An ended on 16 like wen is my fertil days

    • profile image

      Nana Akua Adepa 

      8 weeks ago

      i had my period on 19th June and it will end 24th June 2018.when is my fertile time. please

    • profile image

      Seema 

      8 weeks ago

      My period start on 05/02/2018 and irregular period (30;24;36;38)my ovulation date please

    • profile image

      Lenda 

      8 weeks ago

      I have my period on 14th of May, and now is 19th still have not my period yet and I feels, want to have my period but is not coming but, feels headache and vomiting

    • profile image

      Christalove 

      2 months ago

      I saw my period on the 11/6/2018 and it ended on the 15/6/2018 when will my ovulation start and end and when will I see my next menstruation please help me thanks you can inbox me

    • profile image

      mina 

      2 months ago

      I had my period on 4th May and had sex with my guy on 25th May

      .I have not see my period in the month of June ,could there b a possibility of me getting pregnant.plz I need an answer

    • profile image

      mabel 

      2 months ago

      pls I had my menses on 22 may and had sex on 5 June can I be pregnant

    • profile image

      Shainne 

      2 months ago

      Hello my name is Shainne I want to get pregnant but it's hard can anyone help me please

    • profile image

      Miss Nitt 

      2 months ago

      Pls help me determine who the father of my child is. There are two guys involved A & B.I saw my period on the 10th of may and i had sex on the 18th with guy A, on the 15th guy B and on the 16th i still had it with guy A. Now i'm pregnant and i don't know who the father is. P.S my circle is from 28- 32 days.

    • profile image

      Shainne 

      2 months ago

      Am trying to get pregnant an it's seem hard anyone can help me out please

    • profile image

      Nolwazi 

      2 months ago

      I started my period of the 02/,06/2018 and end them on the 06/06/2018 n I have sex on the 10 of June 2018 can I be pregnant?

    • profile image

      Nana 

      2 months ago

      I had last period started may9 and end on may15th.now June still haven't had a period am l pregnant ?

    • profile image

      Kay 

      2 months ago

      I had my period 13 of may have about 3 days after can get pregnant

    • profile image

      Abera 

      2 months ago

      1. What is the difference between period and mrndtrual cycle

      2. It is known that ovulation ocurrs from 12-14 days. Does it mean it counts these days from the first day of menstruation or lasting day of menstrustion?

      thank you in advance.

    • profile image

      Agatha 

      2 months ago

      pls advice me I need a baby boy and my cycles is 34 and 35,I'm confused, when am I suppose to have sex since my menses came out on 6th of June plss inbox 08063791699 thanks

    • profile image

      Cindy 

      2 months ago

      I got my periods on 1st_6thmay I then had sex on 8th may and took I pills same day, bt again same month I got periods again on 14th may . what could be the problem plz

    • profile image

      Beautiful 

      2 months ago

      I had my period on 15 May and it ended on 18May and I had unprotected sex on 19May and 26 May.can I get pregnant

    • profile image

      Mavis 

      2 months ago

      I had my period 10th May and had sex on the 15th . can i get pregnant ?

      Pls inbox me.

    • profile image

      Ama 

      2 months ago

      I saw my menstrution 22 may 2018 and I had a sex at 30 may 2018 , will I be pregnant

    • profile image

      Jane chioma chiok 

      2 months ago

      I am new here, and I need to know about my circles,I started menses on 18th of may, I have 25 or 26 days circle, please calculate for me

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