Ovulation occurs when an egg is released into your fallopian tubes. Eggs remain viable after ovulation for about twenty four hours. Many women want to know when they ovulate so they get pregnant or so they can avoid pregnancy.
- Calendar Method. To predict a range of ovulation using the calendar method, you will need to keep track of your cycle for at least three months and preferably six. Note on your calendar the day you start your period and the day you end it. The length of your cycle goes from the first day of your period until the day before your next period begins.
- Find your shortest cycle and count of the number of days in it. Subtract 18 from that number. Add the difference to the first day of your next period. This will give you the first day you might be fertile. For example, if your shortest cycle is 29 days long, you subtract 18 from it to get 11. If your next period starts on August 11th, add 11 days onto it to get 22. Therefore, the first day you might be fertile is August 22.
- Next, count the number of days in your longest cycle and subtract 11. Add that difference to the first day of your next period. This is the last day you're likely to be fertile. For example, if your longest cycle is 31 days long, you subtract 11 from it to get 20.
- As we continue the August 11th example, add 20 days onto it to find the last day of likely fertility. The last day you will be fertile is August 31. Therefore, your upcoming range of ovulation is August 22-August 31.
- Cervical Mucus. As weird as it may be, the cervix mucus that leaks through your vagina can tell you when you ovulate. When you finish your period, you should notice very light mucus or none at all. As you get closer to the middle of your cycle, the mucus should become thicker and creamy. When you ovulate, your mucus will become runnier, clear and wet, resembling egg white. After you ovulate, your cervical mucus will change again to become thicker and creamier. You can check your cervical mucus by noticing it on your underwear, on the tissue when you wipe or in the toilet after urinating.
- Mittelschmerz. These are small bursts of pain or cramping on the side of abdomen. About twenty percent of women experience this. It can last for a few moments or a few hours. No one is sure what causes this, but it is believed to be caused by irritation of the ovary when it releases an egg.
- Basal Body Temperature Increase. When most women ovulate, their basal body temperature increases 0.4-0.8 degrees Fahrenheit. To determine your basal body temperature you will need a basal body temperature thermometer. If you are using this method to predict ovulation, it is best if you take your temperature every morning for at least one cycle and preferably three. Your body temperature will remain elevated until after your menstrual cycle.