Three Ways to Tell When You’re Ovulating

Authors: Mayo Clinic
Date: August 08, 2014

Do you know how to tell when you’re ovulating? You probably know that ovulation is what happens when one of your ovaries releases an egg; it’s what has to happen for you to be able to get pregnant. Timing sex around the days when you’re most fertile (during and preceding ovulation) can help increase your chances of getting pregnant.

So, how can you tell?

Keep count – Women have been tracking their menstrual cycles by counting days for millennia, but unfortunately not always with the best results. While this method can be helpful to women whose menstrual cycles are extremely regular and predictable, it isn’t for everyone. And, it isn’t always the most accurate way to tell if you’re ovulating, as it relies on a fair amount of guesswork and assumptions. That said, if you’re one of the lucky few with a highly predictable menstrual cycle then this method might work for you.

On a calendar, count backwards 12 days from the first day that you expect your next period to arrive, and mark this date.

Count back 4 more days, and mark this date, too.

This 5-day window is likely to be when you are ovulating, your most fertile time.

Need help calculating? Try our Ovulation Calculator

Check yourself – Ever notice how sometimes things down there can get a little sticky? That’s Mother Nature’s way of getting your attention, to help you take note of your body’s changes. Women have long observed the changes in their cervical mucus in order to determine where they are in their menstrual cycles. But if we’re totally honest, this method isn’t for everyone. And we wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to skip getting up-close-and-personal with your bodily fluids. If you’re curious, however, here’s what the changes in your cervical mucus can tell you:

  • You shouldn’t see any noticeable secretions for 3 to 4 days after you finish your period
  • For the next 3 to 5 days, you will likely notice some cloudy, sticky mucus in the lining of your underwear
  • The 3 to 4 days that follow will produce more secretions, that are clearer and wetter than before–this is the time just before ovulation*

Test it — The FIRST RESPONSE™ 7 Day Pregnancy Planning Kit can detect the hormone surge in your body and help you pinpoint a 48-hour window when you are at your most fertile1.

  • Your body will release a surge of the luteinising hormone – often referred to as the LH surge – when you are fertile
  • The test will detect this hormone surge in your urine and identify your most fertile time
  • The kit contains 7 test sticks

You can read more about FIRST RESPONSE™ Ovulation Prediction Tests, which come as part of the FIRST RESPONSE™ 7 Day Pregnancy Planning Kit here

*Source: Mayo Clinic
1 98% accurate in detecting the LH surge in laboratory studies