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How to Calculate Your Ovulation Period Using Your Menstrual Cycle

Author:
randy

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).

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 OccursMost 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.

Sources

  1. "Determining Your Fertility Window," American Pregnancy Association. February 28, 2017. Accessed March 17, 2018.
  2. "What Every Woman Should Know About Her Luteal Phase," Ava Women. Accessed March 17, 2018.
  3. "Cervical Mucus Chart: Know When You’re Fertile," Mama Natural. Accessed March 18, 2018.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

precious nzedinma on August 22, 2020:

I saw my period on 24 December 2019 and end at 28 then when I my suppose to see my ovulation

Demi on August 16, 2020:

ummm saw my period on the 16th of July when next am I seeing it in this month of August

Blessing on August 09, 2020:

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Simple babe on July 16, 2020:

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Favour on July 16, 2020:

My period start on 9 and end on12 when

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shaddydex22@gmail.com on July 03, 2020:

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OMO on June 09, 2020:

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Charity on June 05, 2020:

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peace on May 30, 2020:

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Dora on May 29, 2020:

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Maryjane on May 27, 2020:

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Chioma on May 26, 2020:

I starts period on the 17 may 30 days circle when am i ovulating

Joyce on May 26, 2020:

I start my period on 8 when is my ovulation

Ruth on May 14, 2020:

Istart period on 4 April when I will ovulate

Gloria on May 12, 2020:

I started mensurating on 11th April please when will I ovulate

Leo on May 08, 2020:

I started my period on 20th of April and ended on 23rd of April. When will my ovulation start and stop

Thanks

Chizzy on May 07, 2020:

I started my period on the 24 and ended on the 28, when is the best time to have babies?

Ivie on May 03, 2020:

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Rachael on May 01, 2020:

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purity on April 22, 2020:

my period start on 6 of April when is my ovulation date

Harry on April 19, 2020:

I am 21 days cycle. I started my menses on the 8th and complete on the 12th. Just had unprotected sex yesterday. Am I safe?

Olivia on April 19, 2020:

My period started on the 1st of April and ended on the 5th of April and now am seeing it again on the 19 which is today that is after having sex (protected) with my fiance. Please is it normal....? (08101665755 case you want to send the answer via SMS or whatssap

Phina on April 19, 2020:

Please my period starts on the 16th of April and ends on the 20th Wich is tomorrow.

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I saw my period on 14 of February and on 15 of March but had sex on 20 of March can I be pregnant on April 17, 2020:

Thanks

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Peace on April 17, 2020:

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Mimi on April 15, 2020:

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Victoria on April 12, 2020:

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Cbabe on April 07, 2020:

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Sayo on April 05, 2020:

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Julietosinachi@yahoo.com on April 02, 2020:

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Love on April 02, 2020:

I saw my period 2nd of April, when is my ovulation

Naomi on March 31, 2020:

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Joy on March 28, 2020:

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Rose on March 23, 2020:

My menses march 20 when is my ovulation

mercy on March 22, 2020:

Period started by 18th of March...Which day is ovulation.pls calculate for me.

monde on March 16, 2020:

I had my periods on 5 March when can I ovulate

Chinaemerem on March 16, 2020:

Please my period started yesterday 15 , when am I going to ovulate

Evenly on March 07, 2020:

My period start on the 6th of March 2020 when will I ovulate

Mercy chigozie on March 04, 2020:

Please my period started on the 24th of February, when is my safe and unsafe period.thanks

love on March 03, 2020:

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Lucy on February 27, 2020:

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Yaa on February 23, 2020:

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gift on February 21, 2020:

my period started on 6th of February and when will i ovulate

Purity on February 19, 2020:

pls my period started on. 13 to 16 February

when is my ovulation.

faith on February 05, 2020:

I started my period on 28januaty 2020 which day iwill ovulate

Morgana on January 31, 2020:

I start my period 1to 4 of jun, am pregnant and the scan say my birth month is April ples is this good?

Cynthia on January 30, 2020:

I start my period on 17 to 21 of January please when will be my ovulation

favore on January 27, 2020:

please i started my period on the 1st of January to the 7th of January but i had sex on the 27th please will i get pregnant

Victoria on January 22, 2020:

I saw my period 22 of this month ,when is it likely for me to ovulate, when will be my next fertile day to be pregnant

Sandra on January 16, 2020:

I saw my period on 12 of jaunary 2020, when will my ovulation start.

milka on January 15, 2020:

I started my period on 9th of january and i have irregular cycle so when is my ovulation happening? I have really tried to be pregnant but all the time it bounces

Pristy on January 08, 2020:

How many days will you stay out of sex befor your ovulation and after your ovulation. For the

prevention of unwante pregnancy

Euphemia on December 29, 2019:

My period started on 29th of Dec please when will my ovulation start .

Deborah on December 26, 2019:

I start my period in 16th of December

When is my ovulation period

Ifeoluwa on December 19, 2019:

Please I start my period on d 29th of November... please wen is my ovulation date

adoma on December 06, 2019:

i saw my menturation on the 1 December and it ends on the 6 december what is my ovulation day

Sarpong Rita on November 05, 2019:

Please i had my menses last month on the 5th October and had unprotected sex on the 26 October how possible is it to get pregnant

joy on October 23, 2019:

pls I saw my period on 23rd,Oct and I have 25days cycle.so when will I start my ovulation

joy on October 23, 2019:

pls I saw my period on 23rd,Oct and I have 25days cycle.so when will I start my ovulation

Ella on October 22, 2019:

Pls i need an urgent reply i saw my period on the 17_19 of october but last month own been september was on the 18_20 when am i likely to ovaluate so that i can conceive for a baby girl/baby boy ..

chika Franklin on October 13, 2019:

pleas I need you to help me calculate I need it urgently my menses started 8 October and stops 11 pleas when will I ovulate I want a baby boy ,but last menses was firs 1 sept.

Angel on October 02, 2019:

I saw my period on 19th of Aug. also 19th of sept. When am i likely to ovulate please i need a baby boy.

Esther on September 27, 2019:

I had my period on 3rd of septmber and end on 5th of septmber. When is my ovulation

lilly on September 27, 2019:

I saw my period 27aguast now again 27 September

KENNETH Gbemi on September 15, 2019:

I Started my period on the 8th of September and my period is 32day when is my ovulation time

Maureen Okenwa on September 12, 2019:

I had my period on 9th of September and my circle is 32 days which day is my ovulation day and I want to have baby boy please answer

Maureen Okenwa on September 12, 2019:

I had my period on 9th of September and my circle is 32 days which day is my ovulation day and I want to have baby boy

Confidence on August 28, 2019:

l saw my menstruation on 23rd of August, when am l ovulating

Anna on August 20, 2019:

I saw my period in 29july when will I start ovulation and free day pls

Prisca on August 12, 2019:

Pls when next will i see my period , i saw the last one on the 24th of last month

Blessing on August 05, 2019:

My period start 10 of July when is my ovulate starting

b on July 23, 2019:

if my first day period is 7/7/...cycle about 32 days..I will start to ovulate at 24/7?

Nadia on July 23, 2019:

My period started 21St July when and endede 27the July when I ovulated and when is, my fertility day's???

Elodia on July 23, 2019:

I had my period on the 24th of June 2019 plz when should I expect my ovulation

Sea on July 17, 2019:

My periods started 17july when do i overlate

pam on July 13, 2019:

my period started 8july and ended 12july when is my fertile days?

Favour on July 10, 2019:

My period started on 30 June when am I likely to ovulate

Mhiz joy on July 07, 2019:

My period start on the 7th of july when am i likely to ovulate

Elise on July 04, 2019:

My period came on 15th june and ended 21st,, but still cannot Figure out my ovulation date,,, because i met with my partner yesterday without a protection,, am i likely to get pregnant

Ruth on June 27, 2019:

I had my Mendes 20- 26th June, when should I expect my next ovulation. what date is free for me to have unprotected sex to avoid pregnancy?

Ify on June 27, 2019:

My period start on 31may end 4 june which day is my ovulation

Agatha on June 23, 2019:

2019

Mirriam on June 23, 2019:

My period started on 12 june when is my ovulation

Chy on June 19, 2019:

I saw my period on 19 may,but it came out on 15 June which is 26 days,& I want to conceive so fast ,I seriously need twins.please when will I be expecting my ovulation

Bani on June 16, 2019:

My periods start on12 June when will i ovulate

Esther on June 08, 2019:

Please i saw my period on 18th of May... When do I ovulate

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