Signs of ovulation

We explain the signs of ovulation to look for if you are trying to get pregnant.
'Officially' the best way to make a baby is by having regular (several times a week) sex throughout your menstrual cycle. Having said this, you are at your most fertile during the days leading up to ovulation as it is only once an egg is released that conception is possible (provided healthy sperm is present too!). You can maximise your chances of conceiving by learning to spot your body's signs of ovulation; this will enable you to time intercourse with your peak fertility so that there is plenty of sperm available to fertilise the egg each time you ovulate. We explain the signs to look for.....

Cycle Length

The most basic way to identify your time of peak fertility is by establishing the average length of your menstrual cycle. This can be used to predict ovulation as, for most women, the luteal phase (the time between ovulation and menstruation) tends to be fairly consistent in duration from month to month, generally lasting between 13 - 15 days. Therefore by monitoring your cycle over several months you should be able to estimate the week during which ovulation is most likely to occur and consequently, you are most likely to conceive. While cycle length on its own this isn't an entirely reliable method for predicting ovulation, it can be a useful guide when used in conjunction with other predictive methods.


After you ovulate the elevated levels of progesterone in your body cause your temperature to rise. This increase is only very slight (approx 0.4deg) however by charting your BBT (basal body temperature) daily throughout your cycle you will be able to identify when exactly this increase, and therefore ovulation, occurred. While this is a retrospective sign of fertility, indicating when you have previously ovulated rather than predicting when you will, BBT can be incredibly helpful in establishing the most fertile phase of your cycle and also provides a very accurate estimate of the date of conception when you do fall pregnant.

Cervical Position

The position of your cervix (the part of the female reproductive system that separates the uterus from the vagina) changes throughout your menstrual cycle and can be a useful indicator of fertility. At the start of your cycle the cervix will feel firm to the touch (similar to the end of a nose), sit low in the vaginal canal and will be almost closed. As fertility increases throughout your cycle the cervix will begin to adopt a higher, more open position and will feel softer to the touch (more like the feel of your lips) - this peaks during ovulation and then returns to its low closed position, later on in your cycle.

Cervical Mucous

Cervical secretions also alter in line with fertility, being minimal at the start and end of the menstrual cycle, and abundant and egg-white-like (clear and stretchy) at ovulation. Charting the quantity, consistency and appearance of your cervical mucous can really help you to predict when you are at your most fertile and consequently most likely to conceive. Although gaging your fertility using cervical mucous or position can seem a little awkward at first, once you become used to the fertility patterns of your body its much easier to interpret these signs of ovulation.


Some women experience lower abdominal cramps or twinges just prior to ovulation, these tend to be focused on one side and may last anything from a few minutes to several hours. Tender breasts are sometimes experienced too and can be another useful indicator of the time at which you're most likely to conceive. It can be helpful to note down symptoms like this throughout your cycle as they will all help in building up a picture of your fertility.

Increased well being

Many women experience an increase in libido during the most fertile phase of their menstrual cycle, you may also notice that you feel more attractive and confident and have a greater feeling of well being at this time. When you think about it, in reproductive terms it really makes sense that you are going to feel most like 'mating' while you are at your most fertile and although this is not experienced by everyone, it can be used as a secondary indicator of fertility.

Luteinising hormone

If you find it difficult to monitor the natural fluctuations of your menstrual cycle it can be worth trying an ovulation kit. Although these come at a cost they are one of the most reliable means of predicting fertility as they measure levels of LH (luteinising hormone) in your body. This is possibly the most important sign of ovulation as it is responsible for stimulating ovarian egg release itself. Fertility-indicating LH surges can be detected up to 2 days prior to ovulation giving you plenty of warning as to when you are most likely to conceive.

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am having pain in stomach moving from one side to the other side and the stomach is hotting me. i want to get pregnant and i have been having sex at the right time. i want to know why the pain?
by urasky 20th Jun 2013, 3:06pm
I have spent numerous hours over the last 3 years reading articles and posts on every aspect of trying to conceive, and I have found it incredibly helpful, so this is my first post and is my advice for those wanting to get pregnant. Have sex at the right time, find out when your egg is likely to be released and have intercourse during this time. I recommend buying urine ovulation tests that will tell you when your egg is likely to be released, that day plus the day before and after is the best time to have sex. There are alternative methods to predicting ovulation, but I found them harder to get reliable results. When you've had sex, stay on your back or at least with your pelvic bones raised at an angle to help not hinder the sperms journey, don't get up for at least 20 minutes, all night if possible. When you use the ovulation test sticks, remember that until the test line is as dark as the control line it is not positive, when it's positive you will ovulate 12-48 hours later. With my first child I got pregnant first time having sex the night I'd got a positive ovulation test result, this time it wasn't so quick, though until last month I don't think we had sex on the optimum night, as I was getting confused by lines that were nearly positive and by having 2 positive tests in a row, last month I had sex on the night of the second positive result, and I think I might be pregnant, my period is still 4 days away but I had a faint line on the pregnancy test this morning. Which I'm thrilled about, however I'm a little worried about the amount of alcohol I've consumed between Christmas & New Year, I know the general advice is not to worry, but it was probably about 40 units. Good luck to everyone trying to get pregnant. X
by Tate 5th Jan 2011, 9:32am
Hi to all...

I am from gujarat. I am eagerly waiting for a baby boy. We have already started a try. This time we want to have a boy. Can anyone suggest me the ways through which I conceive a baby boy? I have heard a lot about Dr. Shettles method. Unfortunately, i can't find his book in gujarat. Do any of you have the book??? Or suggest some other techniques please...
by Shreeji 24th Dec 2010, 8:45am
Hey, first of I am a mother of one. I have an abnormal period which comes whenever it please. I just recently got my period last month for 5days from nov 18 til nov 22. I have intercourse da same day my period ended and the next day. On the 6 of dec negative pt shows but the 7th until today I have tender breasts and no cramps. Am I ovulating at this point cus I had sex on the 9th and 10th of December. So my question is, am I ovulating at this point or should I wait until expected period for pt results? Btw, didn't know I was pregnant with my daughter until I was 3months. So I was just being curious
by sooinsane 13th Dec 2010, 8:47am
Hi All,
I'm new to the site but just needed to have a bit of a yap. My husband and I have been through an awful lot in the last couple of years. He has 2 beautiful boys from a previous marriage. I get on with them very well and love them unconditionally, although it's not enough for me. I need a baby of my own. So in August 2010 my dear husband had a very expensive (we had to pay privately) vasectomy reversal, 8 years after the initial vas. The chances aren't the best, but it's worth a shot! We have been trying for a baby since September and had a few tears over disappointing periods, but we are confident that our time, money and effort will pay off, and we will hopefully one day be adding to our family. Although we've not been successful as yet, I would urge everyone to keep trying, stop fretting and relax! Make sure you are getting the best diet, don't drink or smoke, and have lots of frisky fun! If you want to have a baby, you will have one! You just need to think positive and try not to put too much pressure on yourself! I wish the best of luck to everyone here, and hope 2011 will be a successful, and productive year! xxx
by Looglepot 13th Dec 2010, 8:44am
hi iv got a son witch was conceived threw ivf treatment. recently iv just discovered that i am now overlating so my body has finally started working i fell pregnant in june which is how i discovered i could conceive but unfortunately i miscarried at 6 weeks. i was wondering if anyone could help me discover wen i could overlate my periods are every35days.x
by lisajd123 29th Nov 2010, 8:54am
Is it possible for a woman who doesn't see her menstruation to conceive?
by sipho 14th Oct 2010, 12:34pm
I am a PCOS sufferer and I am trying to conceive my second child naturally, as my periods are irregular usually every 6- 8 weeks in between cycles, I was wondering which would be the most suitable option for monitoring my ovulation? ovulation kits?
by kellymartine 11th Oct 2010, 9:08am
iv been trying to concive for 5 months now but finding it hard as my cycles are always different each month so i fiind it hard to work out when im ovulating il tryed all sorts like eating foods i now that will help like stewberrys n stuff n iv been talkin tablets with all the right vitimins and folic acid in and nothing seems to work any ideas ???
by loisa 18th Aug 2010, 9:28am
I was married 3months ago, was a virgin before that. My wedding fell in mid-cycle and I thought I would conceive immediately but that didnt happen. I know it's too early to worry but the other day a colleague of mine did an ultrasound scan and found a small fibroid in my uterus. I'm trying not to be bothered but every month I see my period I cant help feeling a bit depressed. I still hope and believe God I'll conceive soon. I just needed to vent. Good luck everyone!
by ceezee 16th Aug 2010, 5:13pm
i have been trying to get preg for two years now, but right now i'm on clomid and this is the third month. i hope i will get pregnant this month. i am 29yrs
by yolie0110 12th Aug 2010, 10:40am
me and my parter have been trying to conceive for nearly 10 years i fell pregnant in 2005 but lost the baby before i was 12 wks because i developed severe hypermisis and as i am diabetic i was so sick and my baby did not grow past 7 wks i do not have regular periods as i have polycystic ovarian syndrome so i have no idea as to when i am ovulating i am getting very annoyed and frustrated about not being able to conceive when everyone around me seems to be able to get pregnant at the drop of a hat any tips would be greatly appreciated
by taylorzoralewis 12th Aug 2010, 10:14am
I only recently came off the pill in April after 16 years. I am now on my third period and obviously slightly gutted :-( Just wondered if anyone else had been in the same position as me as this time round the first couple of days were very painful & have made me feel extremley low to the point that I have ended up in tears! I'm assuming that this is the norm but frustrated as each time has been a different cycle length & am finding it hard to know when I could conceive, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :-)
by Allsorts 12th Aug 2010, 9:43am
Ive been on the pill (standard ) for circa 10 years followed by circa 4 years cerezette (minipill) ive now stopped taking the pill aged 36 as id like to conceive and am wondering what is a 'normal ' length of time before getting a normal period? im worried because I haven't yet had a period for the 6 weeks since i came off the pill and im not sure when this is likey to happen? any ideas ?
by Bet1 11th Jun 2010, 5:32pm
i finished my period on thursday just past and started iit on the tuesday. exactly a week later i had unprotected sex three times in one night, what are my chances of being pregnant, help?x
by Emmaanderson 18th May 2010, 5:37pm
I have inrregular periods and have been trying to concive for over 2 years. I never know when my periods are coming so no idea when i'm ovulating as my cycle is different ever time. Thanks for the tips hopefully they are helpful. good luck to everyone trying!
by mrslockhart103 18th May 2010, 5:36pm
what if you dont get a LH surge does it mean infertile .I do get all the other signs of ov and have been regular for the past 6 years at least one thing seems normal thank yoiu
by henry123 18th May 2010, 5:17pm
Hello to all, Im new to the site as well! Im excited to share and listen to you as well. Well my issue is this: I already have a 10 year old child... conceived and delivered normally. But Ive been trying for about 7 years trying to conceie. I done some of the HR and ovulation enducing techniques through my doctor, but now my insurance situation has changed so Im not seeing the OB/Gyn as before. So I tried the ovulation testing sticks and I had two days register that showed ovulation. So my question now i this.... can I trust the test to be accurate? And does ovulating mean i can conceive or can I still have other issues? I had the dye test that shows that tubes arent blocked, so now what?

by MzBob 14th May 2010, 5:39pm
I am a 25 yr old young lady trying for the last 2 yrs to concieve, but my problem is i have an irregular cycle and i try tracking ovalutaion but it sometimes feel hard or seems hard i think im pregnant but i did a test and it prove negative. What next should i do to concieve.
by Azariah 14th May 2010, 5:33pm
I came off the pill in Dec 2009. I had a period in Feb 2010 and it lasted 5 days then had a period exactly 28 days later so im assuming. I am in the middle of my most fertile week so fingers crossed everyone. If it doesnt happen this month we will keep trying. I already have a 17 year old daughter and I knew i was pregnant with her after being a week late on my period. good luck everyone
by michmunch 14th May 2010, 5:26pm
I've never posted any comments before but have just been reading some of your stories and want to say dont give up hope. We were trying to conceive for about 8 1/2 years and were preparing ourselves that it was never going to happen. Everyone around us seemed to be pregnant which did'nt make it any easier but after 5 ivf and lots of iui's later we gave birth to our beautiful baby daughter Ruby in Dec 09. Life is the best its ever been and we hope it happens to you too. Good luck x
by mum2Ru 14th May 2010, 4:27pm
hi could anybody help me plz? i have been taking clomid for 3months. my cycle goes as long as 70-80 days!!! am i still ovulating??? i have been trying to conceive naturally for 3years but still .no luck.
by munzy 14th May 2010, 4:11pm
Hi all pretty much new to the site and i've been trying for over 6yrs 3 faild IVF but i still haven't lost hope I do still try to count my ovulation days and I know I will receive my little Angel soon so have faith becky, but it does seem everyone around is having little ones the only thing to remember is when its your turn you will have the biggest smile on your face. good luck...
by lorriex 28th Jan 2010, 9:18am
Hi beckylouise, hang in there. I am in exactly the same boat as you. We've been trying for about 9 months. I have got 2 work colleagues both due within a month of each other. The talk at work is about nothing but babies and I've lost track of the number of times they have told me I need to get on with starting a family myself. Keep your chin up, enjoy your friends pregnancy and give her lots of support and look forward to all the cast offs she will be able to give you when it's your turn.
by SalisburyDO 27th Jan 2010, 9:38am
hi every one, me and my partner have being trying to concieve for 6 months now - when we first started trying i made a promise to my self no to be dissopointed if i dont miss my period and to let nature take its course - just recently friends of ours told us there expecting she stopped her contraception and with in a month she fell on - as much as im happy for them , im finding it very difficult , when she told me i felt a knot tie in my belly and i just wanted to cry- infact when i hear about how long its took friends to fall on ( which is happening withing a few month of trying) it really makes me think were im going wrong - its actually starting to get to me now , iv just started my period again and now im startin to feel dissopointed ! any advice ... thanks
by beckylouise123 5th Jan 2010, 3:52pm
to be honest people i think we should let nature take its course,it will happen when ur least expecting it xxx
by leannem449 30th Nov 2009, 11:13am
Hello everyone i just want to say a few things after going on many, many web sites asking lots of questions and never getting answered to my questions i noticed this is very common. I am also trying for a baby and having my period late i also got the ovulation kit and god knows how many preg test but still not pregnant. After 5 months i have cut down looking things up and stoped asking my questions. Anyway just want to say some times we look for things that are not there and sometimes we get ourselfs worked up so much. If you feel your pregnant enjoy it and in a few weeks take a test if its neg get doc apointment just to clarify this if still neg but you still feel pregnant wait a few more weeks get another test and i can assure you, you will know by then in the mean time just get on with you life as normal and keep your fingers crossed like i am doing. x baby dust to you all.x
by GayleH 18th Nov 2009, 9:28am
i had a miscarriage at 12 weeks about 4 months ago,my periods have become irregular and me and my partner are desperately trying for anuva baby but havent fallen pregnant yet.what do i do?
by kay31 12th Nov 2009, 9:35am
i just want to know, i've been on the coil for three years. justa few weeks after getting with my partner , i began to feel bloated, nueasus, nothing couldn't fit around the waist area, i havnt put on any weight, sleeping became uncomfortable and i feel like when i was pregnant with my first 2 kids tummy feel sore easily filled after eating. am i being paranoid or is this a bad case of wind , PLEASE need to know
by simplyme 23rd Sep 2009, 9:14am
After the luteinising hormone has been detected, can one make love on the next day i.e the 3rd day since the LH is usually detected for 2 days if one is looking for a chance of having a baby boy or how long does it takes for ovulation to occur. Please anyone with advice or experience should please advice me. Tanx.
by agap 10th Jun 2009, 10:02am
by ShareenElliisBabyx 8th Jun 2009, 9:57am
i missed my period for 4days, but started bleeding after a severe pain. am i stii pregnant?
by leilda1111 1st Jun 2009, 9:10am
Been trying to get pregnant for 5 months. Using ovulation kit - the stick was indicating a second line and the line was becoming darker. As with previous months I've assumed that the line will indicate a positive result and that I will be ovulating tomorrow, but when I've just did the test the line is now faint? Does this mean that my ovulating period is at its end and that I'm actually ovulating today? We're trying for a boy and I don't want to "skip" this month.
by Zoetig 20th May 2009, 9:18am
I stopped the pill in dec 09 and i only started my period after 5 months (which was this morning). I was so happy, i was beginning to worry that i would never be able to have children. I just hope that me getting my period this morning means that i will be able to get pregnant soon. By the way girls... the pill messes up your hormones and i read that it could take up to 2 years for your period to come back and to start ovulating again. It is very scary and i will never ever go back on the pill. It looks like using a condom is the best choice as it is the only one that doesnt mess with your hormones. If you haven't had your period for more than 6 months, it's called post-pill amenorrhea. If you think you have that, the best thing to do is to see a gynae so they can do some tests and maybe give you a fertility drug such as Clomid or Ferti-boost. Good luck ladies! xx
by Laumatt 15th May 2009, 9:26am
hi all, im just after some advice, iv been using ovulation sticks for the past 3 weeks, im showing no signs ov ovulating, all tests are negative, does this mean i havnt ovulated this month? im due my period in a week!
by mummyof3boys 14th May 2009, 9:45am
I stoppd takin the pill Nov.08' I have been trying to conceive ever since my dr said it will take a couple of mnths for the body to get back to its normal. The last two weeks of Dec.and the beginning weeks of Jan. i tried again, all i got was a missed period. The beginning of Feb. i got my period for the rest of the month i tried again, missed period. Meanwhile March came in i still was trying but got my period on the 28th when i normally do! Now here we are April still trying and now no period. We have just entered May and i decided to take a Preg.Test it came back Neg. is it to early to tell if i am or not. Also i normally dont get sensitive nipples...that has been happening for the past 5days. When i shwr and water hits them they hurt!! Its rare bcuz when im going to get my period it hardly hurts but this time around is bad! What do you guys think...
by LOLA909 6th May 2009, 9:20am
i came off the pill in september o8 and ive been trying to conceive. my last period was 2nd march sill havent had a period. I did a test this afternoon it showed negotive can i still be pegnant or not.
by flowerpotttt 20th Apr 2009, 9:37am
My name is annet and at the begining of feb, i hard a miscarriage. Then this month of match i thought i hard concived but this month on the 14th i had my periods, am reallydesparate to have ababy can you please help me out of this.
by annettie 19th Mar 2009, 9:36am
what is ovulation kit?
by hiralkirtan 10th Mar 2009, 8:50am
i came off the pill 10 months ago took my body ages to get a period. They do come but i just dont know when they are quite irregular and they only last 3 days so trying to calculate my fertile time is hard and im starting to think something is wrong with one of us? Help please?! I know everyones different but be prepared this may take some time!
by blondie78 23rd Feb 2009, 1:08pm
i have currently just took my last pill sunday to hope to concieve. how long does it take for your periods to come back? is it later/earlier? were hoping to catch in may so need two regular months!! anyone got any advice x x
by coylejo 17th Feb 2009, 9:51am
ok that works for me
by dogooder 16th Jan 2009, 9:44am
i have a problems i had my first child he now 7 months and i am trying to have my second child, well i had my period last year the 2 of december and it last for 13 days mow it hard to find out when i ovluation, which now i have now see my period, i take 4 pregnant test and it came back negative, i am worried that sometime wrong with me
by karrell 16th Jan 2009, 9:44am
i lost my baby at 7 weeks pregnant, i was devastated, i had to go back for a scan to see if everythin had come away, wen i went back they said ther was another baby, only to discover that i was havin twins, but had both died, they left me for 7 weeks but stil baby no2 hadnt come away. i had a evacuation of the womb just over 2 weeks ago, but want to try already. is it too soon for my body as i havent had a period and dont know when im ovulating. can anyone help me
by babybraddick 14th Jan 2009, 8:38am
i took a test but the doctor said i should have waited tel after i get my period but if its negative now is it gone be the same if i do miss my period cause i have missed it before
by mzricko 14th Jan 2009, 8:38am
when is a good time to fall pregnent before or after my piriod
by Khosie 8th Jan 2009, 9:39am
My period is regular and i do ovulate, i even bought some things to make sure iam but having used the depo injection i just do not know. Guys do you think its stopping me from having my baby i have one beautiful baby boy and i really want another baby anyone with similar experience.
by Live2Love80 5th Jan 2009, 9:29am
babyphtaz im sorry to hear of your loss x i had a lil boy jan 7th 2008 but he died shortly after birth so me an my partner are gonna try again now we have the all clear x
by ladyp 5th Jan 2009, 9:29am
babyphatz, sorry you have had a lose but your doing well to have something else so exciting to look forward to. Dont worry, enjoy your honeymoon, you never know what may happen???????
by kezlou30 16th Dec 2008, 9:04am
I got pregnant in Sept, but sadly miscarried and we are still trying to concieve tho...Im getting married in June 2009, so now Im just pretty much fucused on my wedding and getting everything ready!
by babyphatz 25th Nov 2008, 8:53am
was on depro for 4yrs. had last injection in march. cycles did not return for 5months. have been ttc, had a bio-chemical pregnancy 2months ago. have been using clearblue ovulation kits, which never showed when i was ovulating. am currently taking agnus castus to help follicle stimulation & have since brought ovulation kits from a internet website, which show i am ovulating so will keep ttc & hope something happens soon.
by lisa1830 12th Nov 2008, 9:23am
i have been using Clear Blue ovulation test kits, they didnt ever detect that I was ovulating. I have an appointment in ten mins that I bokked with my doctor to start taking Clomid to make me ovulate! I dont need it now Im going anyway but to tell her Im pregnant!!! How did that happen? Just goes to show you cannot trust the ovulation tests!!!!!
by Noney 28th Oct 2008, 9:22am
ive been trying to get pregnant for 10 months now. used to be on depo jab stopped it last octoberstill no joy.i have got periods again finally but dont know when im ovulating. bought ovulation tests last month but showed i wasnt and my husband are having sex every 3 days now to see if that works .
by 110673 20th Oct 2008, 11:02am
that happened to me when i was pregnant and i lost it, go get checked out just to be sure. take care
by grace83 22nd May 2008, 9:04am
i am about 5 weeks pregnant and had spotting for two days but only and hour at a time, a few days later i then started to bleed heavily forat least 3 days but didnt have ne clotting just slight pain in my lower tummy not as bad as a period pain tho am i miscarrying?
by chlo 19th May 2008, 10:08am