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How to Know When You Are Ovulating

 

Whether you're trying to ensure that you get pregnant or trying to limit your chances for getting pregnant, it helps if you understand how to know when you are ovulating. The ovulation schedule that a woman's body experiences will mean that she is more likely to get pregnant at certain times in her menstrual cycle than at other times. While you can't be sure of when you're ovulating without the help of a doctor and some special tests, you can nonetheless work to find more or less likely times based on some common sense rules.

Get a Calendar to Keep Track

In order to keep best track of your own menstrual cycle, you'll need a calendar. A small personal calendar is fine, as you'll only need to mark certain days. Having a calendar is much better and more accurate than traditional rules, which generally state that two weeks before or two weeks after a period is when a woman is most likely to be ovulating.

Determine Your Cycle Length

One of the most important factors that you'll need to know in order to have a good sense of when you're ovulating is the length of each of your menstrual cycles. While the average menstrual cycle length for women is approximately 28 days, be aware of the fact that it's likely that you'll deviate from this somewhat. On your calendar, make a mark on the day in which you experience the first menstrual bleeding. Note that this is day number "1" on the calendar. Continue throughout the month by marking each day with a subsequent number. Make another special note when you experience the first day of menstrual bleeding for your next period. The number of days in between is the length of the cycle.

Determine the Estimated Ovulation Period

Knowing the length of your cycle, you can estimate when you'll ovulate to within a few days. Generally, women will ovulate about 14 days prior to when their periods begin. Make marks on the calendar for when you suspect that 14 day mark will be. Beware, however, that this is only an estimation.

Observe Cervical Mucous

One other way of informing your knowledge of your menstrual cycle and ovulation is to check your cervical mucous. This can be accomplished by inserting a finger into your vagina and taking note of the consistency of the mucous around the cervix. Immediately after a menstruation, the mucous will be light and basically nonexistent. Later on, the mucous will be thick and sticky, and this is not an indicator of ovulation either. When the mucous is white and slightly stretchy, that is the time at which ovulation is imminent. During this time, you should be able to stretch the mucous between two fingers without it breaking apart. During this short window, you are most likely to be ovulating.

In order to be entirely sure of your ovulation, you'll need to check with a doctor.

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