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Ovulation – Understanding Ovulation Cycles to Plan Pregnancy

Infertility, Menstruation
Ovulation – Understanding Ovulation Cycles to Plan Pregnancy

Knowing your menstrual cycle and planning your pregnancy in advance isn’t any rocket science. It is simple once you have a good understanding of your cycle that will come in handy to improve your chances of having a baby. At the same time, ovulation is an important topic that every woman must know about. Ask a woman with PCOD and you will know its significance.

Clinically, the term ovulation refers to “a part of the female ovulation cycle whereby a mature ovarian follicle (part of the ovary) discharges an egg.” It is during this process that the egg travels down the fallopian tube and gets fertilized with the sperm.

Predicting ovulation is pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it and for that, you will need to understand what goes inside your body to start the ovulation cycles.


Know Your Menstrual Cycle

This may get a bit technical here but you will need to know what is happening in your body during the menstrual cycle to use it to your advantage.

The menstrual cycle is determined by the release of hormones at different times of the cycle. Generally, one whole menstrual cycle can be split into three phases: Follicular Phase, Ovulation Phase, and the Luteal Phase.


When Is Ovulation In The Menstrual Cycle?


The follicular phase begins with the Day 1 of the menstrual cycle during which the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSA) helps to mature the follicles that contain the eggs.  When the egg inside the follicle becomes matured, there is an increase in the Luteinising Hormone (LH) which helps to release the mature egg from the follicle and it travels to the fallopian tubes. This period is Ovulation. The egg can live for about 12 to 24 hours.

The last phase, luteal phase is the time the egg can be fertilized to form an embryo. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg disintegrates and the tissues from the lining in the uterus shed as menstrual bleeding. This last phase happens for about 3 to 7 days.


When Is The Best Time To Conceive?


When Is Ovulation In The Menstrual Cycle?


By predicting ovulation, you will know when the time is right for you to conceive. The best possible time to get pregnant is obviously the time when the egg is matured and ready for fertilization, which is about five days before your ovulation to the day of ovulation. Since the lifetime of a sperm is five days, if you have intercourse six or more days before ovulation, there won’t be any possibility of getting pregnant.


The probability of getting pregnant three days before ovulation is 27% to 33%.  12-24 hours after you have ovulated, there is no chance of getting pregnant during that cycle and you will have to wait for the next menstrual cycle to try again.

Click here to know your ovulation date

How To Calculate Menstrual Cycle And Ovulation?

Ovulation generally happens 14 days before your next expected period. A women might have her period cycle of 30 days, 28 days or 26 days. It is different for all.

For example, if you have a 30day cycle, your ovulation will be around day 16. The best possible days to conceive will be three to five days before ovulation. Hence, day 11 to day 16 will be the right period to try for a baby among which day 14 to day 16 have the highest probability.

One important thing to note is that when you calculate your ovulation period, start from the first day you got the period to the day before the next cycle starts.


To break it down for you,

Subtract 14 from the number of days in your cycle.

This is your day of ovulation.

2 days before ovulation to the time of ovulation is the best possible window.

You can also start trying to conceive two days before this window too.

You can use any online ovulation calculator to predict easily.



When Is Ovulation In The Menstrual Cycle?

Image courtesy: WebMD



For example, if the first day of your last period is 4th July 2018, then 16th to 20th July is the best possible fertile window.

It is best recommended to have intercourse every two to three days before and around the predicted time of ovulation for maximizing the probability of pregnancy.


Signs of Ovulation

During ovulation, your vaginal mucus will be clear and slippery denoting the best time to conceive. If you are looking for concrete predictions, there are a few tests that you can do at your home to check when you’re ovulating.

  • Using a thermometer – After ovulation, a hormone is produced which lines the uterus for pregnancy. This hormone increases the body temperature. Hence checking and charting your body temperature daily around the predicted times of your ovulation will be a better way to check if you’re ovulating. It means that you only have at the maximum of 12 to 24 hours to get pregnant after which you will have to wait for the next cycle. You can easily get a thermometer at any drugstore and use it to check.
  • Using an ovulation kit – As we saw earlier that there will be a spike in the LH before ovulation, you can get a home ovulation kit and start measuring the amount of LH in your urine a few days before your predicted day of ovulation. When the test is positive, a day or two after the test will be the best time to try for pregnancy. You can get an ovulation kit online or from the drug stores.


What is Ovulation Kit And How To Use Ovulation Kit?

  1. An ovulation kit is a small self-help urine test, that can be done at home to predict your best fertile days for conception. There are various types of ovulation kits available from different manufacturers like – Urine based, Fertility monitors(electrical) and saliva tests.
  2. Important to mention here is that ovulation kit is not 100 % accurate. However, many ovulation brands guarantee 99% accuracy.
  3. Ovulation test detects a rise in the luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine, which happens before an egg is released. The rise of LH hormone is a positive indication to have sex to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
  4. Follow the instructions mentioned in each to get most accurate results.


The basic technique is to have a calendar and mark out the day of ovulation and the window of maximum probability for easily predicting ovulation. It will be much easier to keep track of it along with the basal body temperatures too.

When to use ovulation kits?

The best time to use ovulation kits is few days before your ovulation i.e., midway of your menstrual cycle. (Few days here and there)

Can ovulation kit detect pregnancy or will ovulation test be positive if pregnant?

Ovulation kit is to detect LH Levels and not HCG. Hence, an ovulation kit might not accurately detect pregnancy. Better to use home pregnancy test.


Every couple needs to know about the woman’s ovulation cycle and have knowledge about the biological factors contributing to pregnancy to plan it the right way.

What is your best way to find out about ovulation days? Do let us know. Write your Best Way here.

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