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Everything you need to know about ovulation

Everything you need to know about ovulation

How do you know if you ovulate?

If you are having periods then this usually means you are ovulating. The first day of full bleeding (not spotting, but a full fresh red flow) is the first day of your cycle, or what is often referred to as Day 1.

No matter how long your cycle is, ovulation will occur around 14 days prior to your period. This is because the hormonal changes that occur following ovulation trigger the next phase of your cycle (the luteal phase).

To calculate approximately when ovulation occurs, take the length of your cycle and subtract 14 days. If you have a 28 day cycle, you will ovulate around Day 14 (28 minus 14). If you have a 35 day cycle, you will ovulate around Day 21 (35 minus 14).

Trying to conceive

If you are trying to conceive, it’s important to know that sperm have a total lifespan in the female reproductive tract of around 72 hours. Although this seems quite long, sperm have a long distance to travel to reach the egg, and after ovulation an egg is only receptive to sperm for about 12-24 hours.

To give yourself the greatest chance of conceiving I recommend having sex regularly at least four days prior to ovulation, until two days post-ovulation.  It’s also important to have more sex in the days before you ovulate so the sperm can be there waiting for when you ovulate and release an egg.

For example, if you have a 28 day cycle (ovulating around Day 14), try to have sex on Days 10, 12, 14 and 16 but particularly between Days 10-16. If you have a 35 day cycle (ovulating around Day 21), try to have sex on Days 17, 19, 21, and 23, but particularly between Days 17-23.

While there are numerous methods used to check if you’re ovulating, such as taking your temperature and testing your saliva, it can be stressful trying to do all of these things and not always very accurate. I recommend simply having regular sex around the time of ovulation calculated using the length of your cycle.

How do you know if you ovulate?

If you are having periods then this usually means you are ovulating. The first day of full bleeding (not spotting, but a full fresh red flow) is the first day of your cycle, or what is often referred to as Day 1.

No matter how long your cycle is, ovulation will occur around 14 days prior to your period. This is because the hormonal changes that occur following ovulation trigger the next phase of your cycle (the luteal phase).

To calculate approximately when ovulation occurs, take the length of your cycle and subtract 14 days. If you have a 28 day cycle, you will ovulate around Day 14 (28 minus 14). If you have a 35 day cycle, you will ovulate around Day 21 (35 minus 14).

Trying to conceive

If you are trying to conceive, it’s important to know that sperm have a total lifespan in the female reproductive tract of around 72 hours. Although this seems quite long, sperm have a long distance to travel to reach the egg, and after ovulation an egg is only receptive to sperm for about 12-24 hours.

To give yourself the greatest chance of conceiving I recommend having sex regularly at least four days prior to ovulation, until two days post-ovulation.  It’s also important to have more sex in the days before you ovulate so the sperm can be there waiting for when you ovulate and release an egg.

For example, if you have a 28 day cycle (ovulating around Day 14), try to have sex on Days 10, 12, 14 and 16 but particularly between Days 10-16. If you have a 35 day cycle (ovulating around Day 21), try to have sex on Days 17, 19, 21, and 23, but particularly between Days 17-23.

While there are numerous methods used to check if you’re ovulating, such as taking your temperature and testing your saliva, it can be stressful trying to do all of these things and not always very accurate. I recommend simply having regular sex around the time of ovulation calculated using the length of your cycle.