You are the most fertile when you ovulate. Therefore, when you want to become pregnant it can be beneficial to know your cycle and hence, your ovulation. It’s all about being able to identify the 5-7 days when it is possible to fertilize the egg.
It was previously thought that women ovulated on the 14th day after menstruation. But we have become wiser and we now know that this is not the case for all women. The duration of an average menstrual cycle is 28 days, but the length can differ from woman to woman – and this is perfectly normal!
Typically, an adult woman can have a menstrual cycle length of 21 and up to 35 days, while teenagers can range from 21 to 45 days. Because the length of the menstrual cycle is individual from woman to woman, so is the ovulation. The ovulation can occur from day 11 until day 21 after the start of the last menstrual period. During a 28-day cycle, ovulation typically takes place from day 12-19 after the beginning of the last menstrual period.
If your menstrual cycle is much longer or shorter than 28 days, it is normal for ovulation to occur between day 12-16 before your expected period. But as mentioned before, it can vary a lot when ovulation occurs even for the same person.
There are several tools that help you calculate your ovulation:
An ovulation calculator: Here you simply enter the date of the first day of your last menstruation, as well as the length of your monthly cycle. From here, the ovulation calculator calculates the optimal time for intercourse
An ovulation test: In pharmacies or even in some supermarkets you can buy ovulation tests, which are small strips that indicate when you ovulate. They function in the same way as pregnancy tests. The test measures the concentration of luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine, a hormone whose levels raise 2-3 days before ovulation. It is indicated to take the ovulation tests at the same time of the day when testing. When in your cycle you should start using the ovulation test depends on the length of your cycle. This is explained in the package leaflet of the ovulation test.
Ovulation apps: You can download different apps on your smartphone, like “Clue” app for example, which keeps track of your cycle. A few days before ovulation, you will receive a notification on your phone so you know when it is smart to have intercourse.
Calendar: The old-school way of keeping track of your ovulation is to write in a calendar when your period starts every month. Once you have recorded data for a few months, you will be able to approximate how long your cycle is on average and then calculate an approximate time for your ovulation. This happens about 14 days before the first day of your next period.
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