When trying to conceive or simply trying to learn about your own cycle, there are a few easy things you can do to determine when you may be ovulating. This way you will know when to have sex if you are trying to get pregnant, or abstain from unprotected sex if you are not trying to get pregnant. This article does not condone unprotected sex, but refers to it in the circumstance of trusting partners trying to conceive a baby.
Take your temperature every morning before getting out of bed. This is often referred to as taking your basal body temperature. The theory behind this is this. During your menstrual cycle, your body temperature varies during the different times in your cycle. What generally happens around the time of ovulation is that first, there may be a dip in your temperature the day before or the day of ovulation. Then, after ovulation has occurred, your temperature should rise about three tenths of a degree. The temperature will stay at this level or rise even higher until just before your next period is due. At that time, your temperature will drop and your period should arrive in the next day or two. This is, of course, unless you have become pregnant during this cycle. If you generally have a regular cycle, and your temperature has stayed at the high level for more than 16 days, there is a good possibility that you are pregnant.
Check your cervical mucous daily. Cervical mucous is the discharge you get. You may have never noticed it before or just have never thought about it. Your cervical mucous also varies throughout your cycle. First you have your period, then you have little or no discharge for a bit, then around the time of ovulation, the discharge will start to feel more wet when you wipe. It will get more slippery. Then at the most fertile time of your cycle (generally in the days leading up to ovulation), you will be getting a discharge that is similar in consistency to egg whites. In fact, this type of discharge is referred to as egg white cervical mucous. This mucous will be present for a few hours to a few days, after which it is most likely that you have ovulated. Your cervical mucous/discharge will dry up for about a week, or be pasty. Then, as your cycle nears its end, you will either have the pasty discharge or none at all. Then when your period arrives, that begins the next cycle.
In conjunction with the prior pointers, get yourself an ovulation test. These tests come in various forms. There are expensive kits that you can get at any drug store. They can cost up to and over one hundred dollars! There are also ovulation test strips that can be purchased online. Do an Internet search for 'ovulation test strips' and you should find sites that provide very good deals on these strips. Compare the first two sites and find the packages that will suit you the best. The tests, kits and strips work like this. There is a hormone released in your body to stimulate your ovaries to release mature eggs. This hormone is called Luteinizing Hormone (LH). The hormone peaks around 12 to 48 hours before ovulation. The strips/tests work by detecting the levels of LH in your urine. When the levels surge and peak, the test will be at its darkest and you can assure yourself that you will ovulate within the next 12 to 48 hours. Don't forget, if you purchase your tests online, they may not come with instructions so all you have to do is refer back to the website they were purchased from and they post their instructions there.
So, take your temperature every morning and write it down, keep an eye on your cervical mucous, and get yourself some ovulation test strips. These three things together will allow you to conclusively determine when you are going to ovulate.