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How to Know When You Ovulate

When you’re in the process of trying to conceive, you likely want to use all of the possible tools that you can in order to get the timing right and increase your chances of success. One of the most important parts of that process is figuring out when it is that you ovulate. Fortunately, there are a number of natural signs that let you know ovulation is about to take place or is taking place. By understanding these signs, you can better time your attempts at conception.

There are some symptoms that a relatively small percentage of women have that let them know they’re about to ovulate. Some women experience lower abdominal pain. Some have breast tenderness. Some have an increased sex drive. If you experience some of these symptoms during the middle of your monthly cycle, it’s possible you’re ovulating. However, these signs aren’t necessarily the most reliable.

Observing changes in cervical mucus is perhaps the most reliable way to find out when you ovulate.  Just before you ovulate and during ovulation, your cervical mucus will increase in volume.  In addition to the increased volume, your cervical mucus will generally change in color and consistency.  Your cervical mucus at this time will usually become almost transparent in color.  Your cervical mucus will also become thicker and somewhat slippery.  In many ways, your cervical mucus just before and during ovulation will resemble the uncooked white of an egg.  For this reason, it is often called “egg-white cervical mucus.”

In addition to observing changes in cervical mucus, charting your Basal Body Temperature can help you to find out when you ovulate.  Just after ovulation, your Basal Body Temperature will noticeably increase.  While this doesn’t predict ovulation ahead of time, charting Basal Body Temperature for a few cycles can reliably tell you when during your cycle you are going to ovulate.

Ultimately, being able to conceive may require a variety of steps, all designed to help you plan when the best time to conceive might be.


Last modified: February 10, 2013


The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.