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How Do I Determine My Ovulation Date?

Most women ovulate about 14 days before the expected start of the next menstruation.
Recording body temperature daily may help a woman keep track of ovulation cycles.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
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  • Last Modified Date: 21 March 2014
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Though many couples will be able to conceive by simply having sex on a regular basis, those with fertility problems or who have had issues trying to conceive should begin by tracking ovulation. There are a few different methods to determine your ovulation date, some of which are more accurate than others. It may take a few months of tracking your menstrual cycles before a clear idea of your ovulation date begins to emerge, though if your monthly cycle is fairly regular, it is much easier.

One of the simplest ways to discover your ovulation date is to count backwards two weeks from the day you expect your period to start. For this to work, you need to know how long your cycles are; some women may have a 28-day cycle, while others have shorter or longer cycles. This is more effective than counting up 14 days from the start of your period, since everyone's cycle is a different length, and not everyone ovulates on the 14th day. A woman can also predict her ovulation date by observing the consistency of the cervical mucus, which will change into an egg-white consistency around the time of ovulation.

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Another common method is the basal body temperature method. To determine your ovulation date this way, it is necessary to purchase a basal body thermometer, and take your temperature every day when you wake up, before even getting out of bed. Keep a chart listing your temperature, which should remain relatively the same for most of the month.

Your body temperature will then rise abruptly, by up to approximately 0.4 to 0.8 degrees, immediately after ovulation. It will remain at that higher temperature until your period, when it will drop back down. Tracking basal body temperature for a few months will allow you to see at what point in the month you ovulate, or even if you ovulate at all. Additionally, if conception has taken place, the temperature will remain higher, which can be the first indication of pregnancy.

In addition to these methods, ovulation testing strips and other types of fertility monitors can be found in drugstores. These predict ovulation through a daily urine test that tracks the level of hormones in the body. For this method to work, it is best to have a general idea of when you expect to start ovulating, because it is necessary to take the tests over the span of a few days.

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Discuss this Article

anon318290
Post 10

We've been married four months and I am not pregnant yet. My regular period is about the seventh day of the month. I need some ideas on how I can become pregnant and what is my fertility date?

starrynight
Post 9

@SZapper - I think some people are just too lazy to take their temperature every day in the morning. But just imagine how much more work it is to raise a child!

Honestly though, I think natural family planning kind of stinks as a contraceptive method. I know some people use it because they have a religious objection to birth control. But other than that, I would say just go on the pill or something. It's too easy to mess this method up!

Now if you're looking to get your ovulation date to try to get pregnant, that's a whole other story.

SZapper
Post 8

@Mykol - That's cool that your cousin takes the time to take her body temperature to determine her ovulation date.

I really think it's important to use a method that is specific if you're tracking ovulation to try not to get pregnant. I feel like the whole "counting the days on the calendar" thing. Every woman is different, so I don't think that method will work for everyone.

In fact, I know it doesn't. I had a friend who used this as her birth control method, but she just counted the days on the calendar and refrained from intercourse on days she thought she was ovulating. Anyway, she ended up pregnant shortly after starting that method of birth control. I wasn't surprised!

runner101
Post 7

I had two friends trying at about the same time to get pregnant, and one ended up going on fertility drugs because she had always had an irregular period so her gynecologist had warned her that she might have to have some "help" in becoming pregnant.

However, my other friend was also having a difficult time getting pregnant and it was then that I learned all about how to find an ovulation date (as she would vent about trying to find it during our girl chats).

I knew nothing about getting pregnant so this was all news to me. But I had to share what my friend shared with me - she became pregnant really quick when she found her pregnancy ovulation date with a digital (aka expensive) ovulation test.

What happened was that she had tried less expensive options and never received a clear ovulation date, but she did with the digital ovulation test and found that her ovulation date was no where near the fourteen day rule, her ovulation date was not far in front of her period actually!

So maybe if you are just beginning to have difficulty getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about a digital ovulation test?

Mykol
Post 6

Determining your ovulation date can be important whether you are trying to conceive or trying to avoid getting pregnant.

My cousin has used keeping track of her ovulation date as a means of birth control for many years. She has to use a basal thermometer to take her temperature every morning before she gets out of bed.

She keeps track of this all month long by writing it down on a chart. She said it is really easy once you get the hang of it. Since there are also other body changes that go along with the temperature changes, she always knows when she is ovulating.

It also makes her much more aware of how her body works and when things aren't right. She has planned all four of her kids using this method for many years.

andee
Post 5

For me the easiest way to find my ovulation date is to use an online calender. There are several good websites available where you can input your information and it will pinpoint your ovulation date.

It keeps track of your history so you know when your last period was and how many days until your next ovulation date.

This is so much easier for me than trying to remember to write it down and keep track of the counting myself.

Many of the sites also have several other features where you can include notes and other items of information that might be helpful.

ElizaBennett
Post 4

@Mae28 - An ovulation calendar is only going to be as accurate as your cycles are regular. When you say "miscalculated," it sounds like you haven't tried taking your basal body temperature or using an OPK (ovulation predictor kit). These can help you know for sure whether you have ovulated and whether you have timed intercourse correctly. You can find a lot of information by looking up the Fertility Awareness Method.

Learning about the Fertility Awareness Method will also teach you two new indicators for ovulation: your cervical fluid and your cervical position. These signs taken together can help you find out your ovulation date pretty accurately!

Don't despair. A lot of people take longer than a year to get pregnant for whatever reason; low fertility or slow fertility is not the same as none! And there may be easy fixes. Some women find that dietary adjustments (see the Newsweek Fertility Diet) or sleeping in a totally dark room help their cycles. Clomid works for a lot of women, but I would make it a last resort because it's kind of a gateway fertility drug--it starts you down that road. And some women find taking cough syrup helps if their cervical fluid isn't the right consistency for conception (ask your doctor).

Good luck with your baby dreams!

Mae82
Post 3

Does anyone know how accurate a ovulation date calculator really is? I have been following my ovulation days closely for a year now and haven't had any luck getting pregnant. I am wondering I am doing something wrong.

I have read everything about how to check my ovulation date but I haven't seen anything yet that tells me what I could be doing wrong. I am really hoping that there isn't something wrong with me. Perhaps I just miscalculated or something.

Has anyone here ever struggled to get pregnant even though their ovulation calendars said that things were good to go?

Sara007
Post 2

If you want to really be accurate about how to check your ovulation cycle you should download one of the apps on your smartphone that fine the ovulation date for you. These apps just ask you for details on your period and keep track of everything for you.

I had a bit of trouble getting pregnant the first time and knowing my date of ovulation really helped things along. I won't say it happened instantly, but as long as you are consistently in the same window things should work out OK. I would start with one of the free apps if you are unsure it will work for you.

seag47
Post 1

Tracking an ovulation date sounds exhausting! I am glad I don’t want to have kids.

I have heard so much about ovulation that I have been curious about how to determine when it is happening. It sounds like counting backwards two weeks would be the easiest method.

However, I always know when my period will start because of the pill. Obviously, women wanting to have children aren’t on the pill, so their cycles may be harder to predict. This is probably why there are several ways to track ovulation.

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