Ovulation Calculator

Eager to have a baby? Get ready to know the ins and outs of your menstrual cycle. Understanding the intimate details of your monthly cycle can help you figure out your natural ovulation calendar, and with that blueprint in hand, youll be able plan to have sex on the days you are most fertileand hopefully lead to a big fat positive sign that much sooner.

If you happen to have irregular periods, or just want to know more about how to calculate ovulation, there are several other ways to pinpoint when youre most fertile.

How to calculate ovulationTracking menstrual cyclesOvulation kitsSigns of ovulationTracking Basal body temperature

Barring fertility procedures, sex is obviously essential when youre trying to conceive. But theres a bit of science and math involved too. Not up for crunching numbers by hand? An online ovulation calculator is a quick and easy way to figure out the days on which youre most likely to conceive. Simply plug in the first day of your last menstruation and your average cycle length into The Bump ovulation calculator above. Itll create an ovulation calendar marking your estimated ovulation date in green and other top fertility times in a lighter shade. Now its up to you and your partner to have sex on days designated by the fertility calculator. But that doesnt mean you have to have sex every single day during your fertility window to conceivesince sperm can live in your body for up to three to five days, having sex every other day, or even every third say, is perfectly sufficient.

Of course, you can use other methods to calculate ovulation as well. Keep reading to learn how to put together an ovulation calendar.

You may have heard that ovulation happens on day 14 of your monthly cycle and that normal cycles are 28 daysbut thats actually not true for most women. (In fact, one study found that only 13 percent of women had 28-day menstrual cycles.) The average menstrual cycle for most women is between 21 and 35 days, and ovulation usually occurs 14 days (give or take a day) before you get your next period again. This means the exact day that ovulation takes place depends on your unique cycle length. Keep a menstrual calendar for at least three months to get a good sense of your cycle length, then mark the first day of your next period and count 14 days backward to calculate ovulation by hand.

Once the egg is released, it has 12 to 24 hours to be fertilized before its no longer viablebut you dont have to have sex on the precise day of ovulation in order to get pregnant. In fact, youre fertile for six days: the five days leading up to ovulation and the day you ovulate. Within that window, youre most fertile during the two to three days before ovulation and the day of ovulation itself. Thats because while your egg only lasts for a day, sperm can live inside your body for three to five daysso it's possible to have sex before you ovulate and still conceive a few days later.

An ovulation kit is another easy, accurate way to put together an ovulation calendar. An over-the-counter ovulation tracker tests your urine to detect specific hormones that your body produces in the lead up to ovulation. For example, while the luteinizing hormone (LH) is always present in your urine, the levels spike 24 to 48 hours before ovulation. (This LH surge is what actually triggers ovulation.)

The instructions in your ovulation kit will direct you when in your cycle to begin testing. Much like an at-home pregnancy test, youll pee on a stick and wait for the results. The ovulation tracker will then indicate whether youve reached a high fertility or peak fertility day. When used correctly, ovulation kits are said to be about 99 percent accurate in detecting the LH surge that happens before ovulation, and therefore can serve as a reliable ovulation calculator. When you get the positive sign that your LH surge is happening, the best times to have intercourse are that day and the following two days. Note, though, that the test cant confirm whether ovulation actually occurs a day or two later. It is possible for women to have the LH surge and then not release an egg.

An ovulation calculator and ovulation calendar based solely on your menstrual cycle or an over-the-counter ovulation kit arent your only indicators of when youre most fertile. Your body actually gives off ovulation symptoms, which serves the same purpose as an ovulation tracker. Here are a few signs to keep a lookout for:

Keep in mind that these symptoms are different for each woman; some women may notice all of them and others may notice only a few or none of them.

Keeping track of your Basal body temperatureaka your morning body temp before you get out of bedis yet another way you can pinpoint your ovulation calendar. After the egg is released, your Basal body temperature rises by about half a degree. (Because the change in body temperature is so slight, youll need to pick up a special thermometer.) Keep in mind, though, that the change in temperature happens 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, so its not a sign that the egg is about to be released, but a sign that ovulation already occurred. If your cycle is regular, tracking your Basal body temperature for a few months will clue you into when in your cycle you ovulate. In that way, it can be a useful ovulation calculator.

Whatever method you use to put together an ovulation calendaran online ovulation calculator, an ovulation kit, your bodys signs of ovulation or detecting a rise in your Basal body temperatureThe Bump is here to help you on your journey from conception to growing your family.

Medical content was reviewed August 2020 by Temeka Zore, MD, a board-certified ob-gyn and reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Spring Fertility in San Francisco.

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Ovulation Calculator

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