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.

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.

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    • profile image

      Anita 

      13 hours ago

      Jan 14 2019 i saw my period an it come agian 13 feb when can i get pregnant

    • profile image

      Popalzai 

      16 hours ago

      I saw my period on 24 Jan 2019 and ends on 31 Jan . And don’t have protection.i have baby 12months .and give him milk . want to have a baby .plz guide me

    • profile image

      jackie 

      22 hours ago

      i saw my periods on 31 dec 2018,and again 18/1/2019 and again 9/2/2019 which has comes very light but lasts for two days.. could it be i am pregnant

    • profile image

      Clever Okwe 

      2 days ago

      I saw my measuration on 8th February, when is my right day for ovulation. and process for having a baby boy.help please

    • profile image

      Princess Oly 

      2 days ago

      Pls I saw my period on the 17th of February. Pls help me and calculate my ovulation

    • profile image

      Blessing 

      4 days ago

      my period started on 21 of January and ended on 25 of January. when is my ovulation.

    • profile image

      Gifty 

      5 days ago

      How to increase your chances of conceiving Twins

    • Bilqis Nurudeen profile image

      Isabel 

      9 days ago from New York

      My question is I saw my period Jan 9 and last for 7 days, now we are in Feb I saw it Feb 6 also last for 4 days pls can anyone help me calculate d ovulation time

    • profile image

      Joy 

      9 days ago

      I saw my period on 30th of January please when is my ovulation please help come to calculate it please.

    • profile image

      gifty 

      10 days ago

      started menstrattion on 4-9 when is my ovulation and fertile period

    • profile image

      FAN 

      10 days ago

      This is very helpfull

    • profile image

      Behzad 

      2 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 24 Jan 2019 .when will be my ovulation?

    • profile image

      Haberts Sempijja 

      2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much this guide.

      It's really educative.

      Big up Dr.

    • profile image

      okeke Ifeoma 

      2 weeks ago

      i saw my period on 23 January and end on 28 when is my ovulation

    • profile image

      linda 

      2 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 17 january2019 and it end on 21 January ,when is my ovulation

    • profile image

      Adejoke 

      2 weeks ago

      I menstruated on 3rd of January,2019 Buh I saw it again on 30th of January,2019 please when is my ovulation period,I need baby

    • profile image

      rods 

      3 weeks ago

      My menstrual starts on 22 January & ends on 27 January 2019 which days am i fertile to get pregnant

    • profile image

      Evelyn 

      3 weeks ago

      I see my period on 28 of December 2018 see it on 22 of January 2019 which is about 26 cycle so what is my ovulation day and most fertile days

    • profile image

      blessing 

      3 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 24 it ended on 27 when am ,when will I start ovulating,

    • profile image

      Jessica 

      3 weeks ago

      I don't know my period cycle my period start December 30,2018 and end January 4, 2019 i need help please

    • profile image

      Maikano 

      3 weeks ago

      I started period on the 24 and finished on the 28 in which days should i try to conceive

    • profile image

      uju 

      3 weeks ago

      my period ends on 20 January pls i went to know my ovulation day

    • profile image

      Taiwo 

      3 weeks ago

      My period is regular l always see my period every 20 of d month went is my ovlulation

    • profile image

      Taiwo 

      3 weeks ago

      My period is regular l always see my period every 20 of d month went is my ovlulation

    • profile image

      Aderemolu oluakemi 

      3 weeks ago

      I started my period on the16th of January 2019,when will I start ovulating and get pregnant.

    • profile image

      Sarah Joshua 

      4 weeks ago

      I menstruated on the 14-17 January 2019. When am I supposed to ovulate?

    • profile image

      Jassilia 

      4 weeks ago

      My period started last month december 23 and end 27 and start Jan 2019 on the 19 and end on the 23 when is my ovaluting period.

    • profile image

      Catherine 

      4 weeks ago

      my period start on the 22 January and will end on 26 January 2019, it, s a 24 cycle when do I ovulate pls

    • profile image

      Deborah 

      4 weeks ago

      My menses came on 19th January and ended at 23rd. When am I ovulating

    • profile image

      Arunga 

      4 weeks ago

      MY periods starts on 21 And ends on 24th January 2019.Its a 31 Days circle WHEN am i ovulating?

    • profile image

      happiness 

      4 weeks ago

      Add Your Comment. I saw my period on 21 january and end on 24 January when will i start ovulation ?

    • profile image

      Thelma 

      4 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 15th january and it ended on 18th january,when am i free and when do i start ovulating

    • profile image

      Marth 

      4 weeks ago

      i was off on the 14 january,i had unprotected sex on the 20 january,am i likely to get pregnant

    • profile image

      romoke 

      4 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 13th of January and end on 17th of January,when will I start ovulating

    • profile image

      Ada 

      4 weeks ago

      My period started today 20/1/2019 please when will my ovulation start please I need your help

    • profile image

      Aminat 

      5 weeks ago

      I saw my period on January 14, what day will be my ovulation day

    • profile image

      Precious 

      5 weeks ago

      My period started 2nd December 2018 and also start today 15th January 2019 when is my ovulation and how many circle do I have

    • profile image

      Chloe 

      5 weeks ago

      hi i saw my period on the 27 december and had sex on 6th january which was my 11th day can i get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Dappa Beatrice 

      6 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 1 January. what day will be my ovulation day. 2 i want to know if am ovulating or not

    • profile image

      Faustian 

      6 weeks ago

      i saw my period on December 27-29 what day will be my ovulation day

    • profile image

      Favourite 

      6 weeks ago

      I saw my period on d 15th of december when am i to ovulate?

    • profile image

      Maria Dalia Garcia 

      6 weeks ago

      My last period January 7,2019

    • profile image

      Ngozi 

      6 weeks ago

      I saw my menstrual period on the 16th of December, when am I supposed to ovulate

    • profile image

      Mimidan 

      6 weeks ago

      Nice one,and helpful too...

    • profile image

      confidence 

      6 weeks ago

      I saw my period on 27/12/18 when am l likely to ovulate

    • profile image

      Shernan 

      7 weeks ago

      My last menstural cycle started Dec.22-25,2018. Had unprotected sex the early morning of my ovulation day, how likely am i to get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Mapitsi 

      7 weeks ago

      Add Your Comment..i saw my menstruation on 18th of December..... circle

      28 days

    • profile image

      Joy 

      7 weeks ago

      I saw my messes on 28 December 2018, when am I to ovulate, when my circle is 31 days

    • profile image

      Boingotlo 

      7 weeks ago

      had my period on the 17/12/2018 when eould i ovulate?

    • profile image

      Faith 

      8 weeks ago

      I saw my last period on 9 december, pls wen will i ovulate?

    • profile image

      precious 

      8 weeks ago

      i saw my period on 19th December 2018, circle of 30days. when am i ovulating

    • profile image

      Bella 

      2 months ago

      I saw my mess on d 28 of November

      Pls wen is b ovulation starting

    • profile image

      Lucy 

      2 months ago

      I saw my periods on 7th December which is the best day for me to concieve a baby boy?

    • profile image

      Pooja 

      2 months ago

      I have my menses on 9 th december so when will be my ovulation day

    • profile image

      Genevieve 

      2 months ago

      I saw my mess 8 of December 2018 so wen we be my Ovulation day

    • profile image

      Omolola 

      2 months ago

      I saw my period on 22nd of November, and am 30days circle,pls when will i see my ovulation,and date of my peak ovulation Y

    • profile image

      Wendy 

      2 months ago

      I saw my ovulation on 2nd november

      When is my ovulation .

      And please which date is the peak day of my ovulation

    • profile image

      Victoria 

      2 months ago

      I saw my menses on 3rd of October it end on 7th October when is my ovulation and fertile time

    • profile image

      Victory 

      2 months ago

      I saw my period on 27th of October i don't know when I'm ovulating

    • profile image

      Tochukwu 

      2 months ago

      l saw my period on 10 of Nov and stop on 14 please when will my ovulation start

    • profile image

      Adepa 

      2 months ago

      i had my last menses on 22nd october to 27th

      and i had unprotected sex with my husband on 1st nov, 2018. pls may i know if am pregnant

    • profile image

      Amina 

      2 months ago

      I start menses on 29 of October and finish on 1 November,so which day my ovulation start

    • profile image

      Mabel 

      3 months ago

      I don’t know when am free and when am ovaluting

    • profile image

      Nessa aikomienojo 

      3 months ago

      How can i know am ovulating

    • profile image

      ROSELINE 

      3 months ago

      i started my menses 18 of Nov. and finished on 22nd of Nov. pls when is it likely to be my ovulation? thanks as i wait your reply.

    • profile image

      akingboye charity 

      3 months ago

      i started my menses on the 18th of Nov 2018 . pls is it likely to be my ovulation time.

      thanks in advance.

    • profile image

      Unbeatable 

      3 months ago

      I saw my period on 9th November and it ended on 12th November which day my ovulation will start

    • profile image

      Anne 

      3 months ago

      hello, I missed my period in August then I saw it in September from the 2nd to the 6th, I missed it again in October now this November have seen it from the 6th to the 10th.

      whenever I make a pregnancy test it comes out Negative

    • profile image

      Gloria 

      3 months ago

      I had my menses on 30th to 3rd.. Please when is my Fertile and ovulation period

    • profile image

      Ifelove 

      3 months ago

      Thanks for the message.

    • profile image

      Nandhinisiva 

      3 months ago

      My last period 30th october.my cycle is 30days.how will calculate my ovulation day.pls tell me.im try to second baby

    • profile image

      Pulane 

      3 months ago

      I still don't understand how it works because my last day in period was 31st October so my circle is 22days so i wanted to know when will i ovulate and my fertile days

    • profile image

      Mj 

      3 months ago

      I saw my period on the 21st of October and ended on the 25th of October and I had unprotected sex on 10th of November is there any chance of getting pregnant pls I need an answer

    • profile image

      amanda 

      3 months ago

      hi im monitoring my cycle since Sept.

      i got my period the 19 September ended the 24th September

      then i got my period the 8th Oct. to the 13th Oct. meaning there was a 14 day difference

      then the 30th of Oct. i started bleeding again and it ended the 3 Nov.

      so thats a 17 day difference

      when do i ovulate if this is the case ?

    • profile image

      Ud 

      3 months ago

      My last period was on 11october pls when can i meet my husband for a baby boy

    • profile image

      adeola 

      3 months ago

      I had my period on the 9th of last month ,now it 12th of Nov I haven't had my period.

    • profile image

      Omotolani 

      3 months ago

      I had my period on 30 of september to 4Oct and came back on 25Oct to28Oct and i had an unprotected sex on the 8November is there possibility for me to conceive

    • profile image

      joy ig 

      3 months ago

      I have. try to get pregnant during my ovulation for some money now but no way

    • profile image

      Loretta 

      3 months ago

      Please I was expecting my menses on the 5th but it didn't come... I haven't had sex throughout .... But on the 8th I had unprotected sex and took a EC .... I'm confused... Can I get pregnant??

    • profile image

      EVERLYNE CHEPNGETICH 

      3 months ago

      MY MENSES BEGAN YESTERDAY 7TH NOVEMBER SO WHEN IS MY OVULATION

    • profile image

      Moon_rock 

      3 months ago

      If I only get 4 days do I ovulate after my period.

    • profile image

      Adwoa 

      3 months ago

      please my menses stopped on the 2nd November , when will I get pregnant.

    • profile image

      fr 

      3 months ago

      My wife period started 29 of Oct and finished on the 1st of November. When is likely be her ovulation day ighoese2016@gmail.com

    • profile image

      Edikan 

      3 months ago

      I had my menstruation on the first and t is ending on the fifth when is my ovulation

    • profile image

      Ann 

      3 months ago

      I am on my period 31 when is my ovulation pls help me

    • profile image

      Sandy 

      3 months ago

      I had my period on the 26th ended on the 30th when is my ovulation day’s

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Salo 

      3 months ago

      I had my menstration on 28 October and finished 3 November .please how do I calculate and get pregnant because my danger period is from 16 to 28 of every mouth and had sex during that periods but still am menstruating please help me

    • profile image

      Mercy 

      3 months ago

      Thank u very much

    • profile image

      Excellent 

      3 months ago

      I saw my period on the 9th-13th of Oct,and I had an unprotected sex with my man on the 21th of Oct... could I be pregnant????

    • profile image

      opeyemiadelowo 

      3 months ago

      Good evening... Please help me to calculate my ovulation day for October ,November and December ... My last period started on 23rd of October and ended on 25th in a 25 day cycle. Thanks

    • profile image

      Nana Ama 

      3 months ago

      I had sex on the 13th of October n had sex on d 18th n 19th of October can I get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Sandra 

      3 months ago

      I had my menstruation on September 30and ended on 4 October when is my next period

    • profile image

      Nonye Hope 

      3 months ago

      I saw my period on 20th, ended on 23th when is my ovulation coming up

    • profile image

      Hope 

      3 months ago

      I saw my period on 20th this month, and it ended on 23 wen I mine seeing ovulation period.

    • profile image

      Melissa 

      4 months ago

      I start period was oct 7 and I end period oct 20 how long can I convince get pregnant ?

    • profile image

      Blesing 

      4 months ago

      I saw my period on the 10the and it ended on the 14th. I had sex on the 21th. Can I get pregnant?

    • profile image

      Chessnee 

      4 months ago

      Hannah,

      Your ovulation period should be from October 14th thru the 18th. But remember, there's still a small chance to get pregnant 5days before it starts so, technically, you had a chance of getting pregnant anytime between the 9th to the 18th.

      I hope that helps you out

    • profile image

      Charity 

      4 months ago

      I see my period on 11th OCTOBER and the last day was 14th and I had sex on 17th pls help me. I don't know if am pergant,and when is I expected to ovulate.

    • profile image

      rose 

      4 months ago

      I got my period on 13oct n stop on 15thoct.so which day I'm fertile plz 4aboy plz.

    • profile image

      Stella 

      4 months ago

      i see my period on the 13 of October so when am my ovulating?

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