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How do I Determine my Ovulation Days?

Article Details
  • Written By: Margo Upson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Knowing when you ovulate makes it easier to time intercourse and improve your chances of achieving a pregnancy. It can also help you avoid an unwanted pregnancy. Although ovulation only lasts one day, sometimes less, a woman is fertile for a few days before and after the day she ovulates. To determine your ovulation days, you need to know how the menstruation cycle works and know the signs of ovulation.

Your ovulation days occur 14 days before menstruation, but it can be anywhere from 10 to 20 days, if not more, after your previous menstruation. This makes ovulation days hard to pinpoint by just looking at the time of menstruation. The idea that ovulation takes place on the 14th day of your cycle isn't true for most people.

To determine your ovulation days, you need to begin charting your monthly cycle. This is done with a basal body temperature thermometer and a fertility chart. Every morning, before you get out of bed, take your temperature and then plot the number onto the chart. Although your morning temperature will vary a little each day, you will see a big jump the day after you ovulate. After a month or two, you will begin to notice a pattern, and should be able to predict your date of ovulation before it happens.

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There are ways to watch for ovulation without needing to chart for a few consecutive months. The first is through looking at your cervical fluid. Right before and during ovulation, when you are the most fertile, your cervical fluid will be thin, stretchy, and clear, like egg white.

Another sign to watch for is your cervix growing soft and opening. To check this, wash your hands carefully, and then insert one or two fingers into your vagina. At the top, you should feel a small raised area. During non-fertile times, it will feel firm, like the tip of your nose. During ovulation, the cervix begins to soften and open up, and will feel notably different.

There are also tests that can help you to determine your ovulation days. Ovulation tests measure the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine stream. An LH surge is an indication of ovulation. Estrogen also surges right before and during ovulation. Special tiny microscopes, which magnify crystals in dried saliva, can help you to use this method of establishing your fertility days.

To get pregnant, time intercourse for during your ovulation days. This is when sperm has the best chance of fertilizing the egg. To avoid a pregnancy, avoid unprotected intercourse during the six days before and four days after the day you ovulate. Although this is not a fail-proof method without knowing more about how fertility charting works, and it will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections, monitoring your fertility to learn your ovulation days is the most recommended way to achieve a pregnancy.

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