Common Ovulation Questions

Ovulation can be somewhat difficult to understand, especially for women who have been previously celibate or on birth control and as a result, never needed to keep track of their natural internal cycle. Some of the most common confusions are discussed below, but if you have a maternity insurance plan, you can also speak to your doctor for further clarification.

How Can I Tell When I Am Ovulating?

Each woman's body is different, but there are a variety of signs which can indicate that you are ovulating. If you take your temperature on a daily basis, you will eventually begin to notice a small spike sometime in between periods; this temperature rise is one sign of ovulation. Your cervical fluids will also change during this time, becoming thick, sticky, and stretchy. Some women describe this fluid as being similar to egg whites. By examining your cervical fluids on a daily basis, you will be able to pinpoint the days on which you ovulate.

Additional Signs of Ovulation


In addition to the signs mentioned above, some women experience a brief pain in their ovaries when an egg is released. This discomfort is referred to as “mittelschmerz,” a German word meaning “middle pain.” Some women also experience an increased sex drive during ovulation, which can be quite convenient if you are trying to become pregnant! As with menstruation, ovulation can cause abdominal bloating and breast tenderness, and in some cases there may even be light spotting after the egg is released.

Is it Possible to Ovulate Without Having a Period?

A woman ovulates every 12-16 days, so if you are not menstruating you will still ovulate – however, a lack of menstruation may make ovulation more difficult to track. Women may stop getting periods for a variety of different reasons, including breastfeeding, perimenopause, and a low body weight. Keep in mind that it is very important to nourish yourself properly when planning to become pregnant; if you are underweight for any reason, speak with a doctor before attempting to conceive.

Could I Have Ovulated During My Period?

This is a very unlikely phenomenon, but in some cases women with extremely irregular cycles may, on occasion, ovulate during menstruation. This is one of the more common ovulation questions, as women who do not wish to become pregnant may be worried about having sex during menstruation; however, such an event would be quite rare. In most cases women who become pregnant after having sex during their periods ovulated only a short while after the cessation of menstruation, when active sperm remained in the womb.

How Many Days Am I Fertile Each Month?

The fertile period of ovulation, when an egg is released into the fallopian tubes and becomes viable, lasts only 12-24 hours. However, sperm can live in the body for up to 3-5 days, so in some cases a woman may be fertile for as much as a week before she actually ovulates. If you wish to become pregnant, it is advisable to engage in intercourse with your partner on a regular basis during the week before and up until you ovulate – but of course, intimacy is always a valuable thing to cultivate between future parents!

If your questions have not been answered above, consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss the finer points of ovulation.

Article on Common Ovulation Questions

How do I calculate when I am ovulating?

Ovulation may be calculated by natural changes in the body, from common estimations, or by mechanical detecting devices. The natural changes of they body allow you to determine when ovulation is occurring by examining your cervical fluid, taking your body temperature, and tracking your periods. The estimated ovulation is recognized to occur anywhere between 11-21 days following the last menstrual period (LMP), or 12-16 days from when you expect the next menstrual period to start.

Does ovulation occur on the 14th day after your period?

Although ovulation can occur on the 14th day of your cycle, it is actually a common misnomer that many people still hold on to. The day of ovulation differs from woman to woman and may even vary from month to month for the same person. Wherever this thinking originated, it is not an accurate way to calculate ovulation.

How many days am I really fertile?

The fertile time of ovulation, the period when an egg is available to be fertilized, only lasts about 12-24 hours. However sperm can live in the body for up to three and even five days making your fertile period about five to seven days total.

Can someone ovulate during their period?

Ovulation during your period is highly unlikely. However, some women have irregular cycles, maybe coming once every 3 months or 2-3 times in one month. It could be possible that these women could experience an odd occurrence of ovulating during a period or what is thought to be a period. The expectation is still that ovulation during a period is unlikely.

Can you ovulate right after your period?

For women that have shorter cycles (i.e. 21 days) and their menstruation occurs for 7 days, it is possible to ovulate right after your period. Ovulation is expected 12 to16 days before your next period begins, which would place your ovulation at days 6-10 of your cycle. In most cases ovulation is going to occur a few days after menstruation; this is normally between 11-19 days from the first day of your menstruation.

Can I get pregnant during my period?

Pregnancy can occur from intercourse that takes place during a period. This is because sperm can live in the body for up to five days, and if a woman ovulates soon after her period, then conception could take place from intercourse that occurred during her period.

Can I ovulate without detecting the stretchy white cervical fluid?

Ovulation can take place even if you do not notice the 'stretchy egg-white' fluid that is expected during ovulation. Each woman may have her own type of cervical fluid, and not all are the same. Ovulation is expected to take place on the day a woman has her most amount of wet fluid.

What does it mean if I have the stretchy cervical fluid on more than one day?

It is possible for some women to have ovulation fluid a few days before ovulation or even a couple of days after. Women should look for the 12-24 hour period that they have the greatest amount of wet fluid as the time that an egg is available for fertilization, although sex that happens on the few days before this may achieve pregnancy.

What are the signs of ovulation?

The signs of ovulation may be any of the following, although some women may only notice one or two of these:
• Change in cervical fluid
• Change in cervical position and cervical firmness
• Brief twinge of pain or dull ache that is felt on one side of the abdomen
• Light spotting
• Increase in sex drive
• Elevated level of the luteinizing hormone which can be detected on a test
• Body temperature chart that shows a consistent change
• Breast tenderness
• Abdominal bloating
• Heightened sense of vision, smell or taste

Can you ovulate more than once during a cycle?

You cannot ovulate more than once during your cycle, this means you cannot get pregnant more than once during a cycle. Multiple ovulation may occur when two or more eggs are released in a single cycle. However, both eggs are released during one 24 hour period and are responsible for the birth of fraternal twins. This occurs in less than 10% of all cycles but does not result in that many twins.

Can you ovulate without having a period?

Since a woman releases an egg 12-16 days before her expected period, it is possible for women to get pregnant without having periods. Women who are not menstruating due to a certain condition (i.e. ...low body weight, breastfeeding, perimenopause) risk the chance of ovulating at any point. For those who want to conceive, the lack of periods could make it more difficult to know the timing of ovulation if you are not charting temperature and cervical fluid changes. But if you are not having periods and wanting to prevent pregnancy, a form of contraception should be used since there is no way to know when ovulation will occur.

Can I have a period and still not have ovulated?

Having a period does not necessarily mean that ovulation has taken place. Some women may have what is called an anovulatory cycle, (meaning no ovulation) and can experience some bleeding which is mistaken for a period, but it is actually not a true period. This bleeding is caused by either a buildup in the uterine lining that can no longer sustain itself or by an estrogen level drop. The main way to decipher if ovulation is in fact taking place is by tracking the body temperature.