The short answer to this question is that most women ovulate for one day, or about 30 hours, of their cycle. This is an average time, of course, and most women may be just a little bit longer or a little bit shorter, depending on how their body tends to work. Usually, however, it’s right around one day.
It’s important to understand how long you ovulate, of course, because ovulation is key to conception. While you only ovulate for a day, the time that you’re fertile can be as long as 5 or six days, depending on a variety of factors.
After you’ve had sex, and once the sperm are in your body, they may be able to live as long as an additional five days. While you probably don’t actually ovulate until the 14th day of your cycle, you’re fertile for a few days prior to that. You may become pregnant as early as the 9th day of your cycle.
Obviously, then, it becomes important to know not only how long you ovulate but when you ovulate. There are a number of different techniques to use to track your monthly cycle, and some methods work better than others for some women.
Here are some common methods women use to know when they are ovulating:
- Tracking Basal Body Temperature. Usually, right after ovulation occurs, you will experience a spike in your basal body temperature. This can, over the course of several months, help you to know when exactly it is during your cycle that you’re likely to ovulate.
- Charting cervical mucus. Cervical mucus is a substance produced by your body that helps to carry the sperm to it’s destination. Around the time you ovulate, it will be plentiful and it will have an appearance similar to the white of an egg (which is why it’s referred to as “egg white cervical mucus.”)
- Using an Ovulation Predictor Kit. These kits, which are available at this website and other places, help you to be able to predict when it is that you’re going to ovulate.
The more armed you are with knowledge about your own body and it’s cycles, the more likely you are to having success in trying to conceive.