How to know when your ovulating
6 Mar 2023

How To Know When You Are Ovulating

2 mins to read
Tracking your menstrual cycle and looking out for key physical symptoms will clue you in to when you are ovulating. Apps, monitors and testing kits can help too.

As you might already know, when it comes to getting pregnant, it’s having sex on the days that you’re most fertile each month – otherwise known as your ‘fertile window’ – that’ll significantly improve your chances. That’s because of a little something called ovulation, which is the phase of your menstrual cycle where an egg is released from one of your ovaries.

Ways To Know You're Ovulating

So how exactly do you know when you’re ovulating? Great news. It turns out there’s more – a lot more! – than one way to work it out, including the handful of suggestions below.

Track your menstrual cycles.

For most women, ovulation occurs roughly 14 days before another period starts. So, once you know the average length of your cycle – which starts on the first day of your period and ends the day before your next period begins – you’ll know roughly when you’re due to ovulate each month by counting back 14 days from the last day. For example, if your cycle is usually 28 days, you’ll typically ovulate around day 14. You can track your cycle on a chart, in your diary, or by using a period-tracker app on your phone.

Take your temperature.

Immediately after ovulation, hormonal changes cause your basal temperature to rise ever so slightly, by about half a degree Celsius. By taking and charting your temperature each day before you jump out of bed, using a special basal body temperature thermometer for accuracy, you should be able to see when this temperature rise occurs. But it’s important to note that this doesn’t predict ovulation – it indicates it’s already taken place. And given an egg can’t be fertilised after 24 hours post-ovulation, it may be tricky to get the timing right by relying on this method alone.

Know your ovulation symptoms.

Some women notice abdominal pain when they ovulate and may even experience premenstrual-like symptoms. But one of the best signs to watch out for is a change in the consistency of your cervical mucus. A few days before you ovulate, you may notice that it becomes clear and slippery – a little bit like raw egg white. When this happens it’s the best time to have sex, because this type of mucus allows sperm to travel more easily[NB6].

Use an ovulation predictor kit.

There are a few different types of these that you can buy over the counter, and most work by measuring the level of a key reproductive hormone called luteinising hormone (LH) in your urine. Your LH levels will typically rise about 24 to 36 hours before you ovulate, so, to be effective, it’s a good idea to start using an ovulation kit three-or-so days before you’ve estimated ovulation will occur, using the cycle-tracking method suggested above.

Try a fertility monitor.

There’s a variety of these electronic devices on the market, too, and while they all work slightly differently, the end goal is the same – they’re designed to help you know when you’ll ovulate and therefore when you’re most fertile each cycle. Measuring and monitoring anything from hormones in the urine to vaginal fluids, saliva and basal temperature – and often a combination of those things – many fertility monitors also sync with an app on your phone or tablet for ease of use.

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