When Do You Ovulate After Your Period
Whether you’re planning to become pregnant in the most natural way possible, or experimenting with natural family planning methods, it’s essential that you know exactly when you ovulate after your period.
Miss that tiny window of opportunity and you could face yet another disappointing month without being able to fall pregnant. Or you might misjudge your body’s signals and accidently conceive when you weren’t planning to.
So the big question is, when exactly do you ovulate after your period? And how on earth do you know when you’ve got the date right? Let’s take a look.
What Is Ovulation?
Ovulation is that exciting time when a mature egg is released from one of your ovaries and is pushed down your fallopian tubes, ready to be fertilized by your partner’s sperm. At the same time, the lining of your womb thickens, ready to nourish your fertilized egg. If this doesn’t happen, the lining of your womb and the unfertilized egg will be shed when you have your period.
Once released, this mature egg will only last for around 24 hours before it dies, whilst your partner’s sperm can last for as long as seven days in your vagina, uterus or fallopian tubes. This means you have a fertile window of around 5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation itself in which you can conceive a child. It’s impossible to get pregnant at any other time.
When Does Ovulation Happen?
For the majority of women, ovulation happens once every month, approximately mid-way through their cycle, around 14 days since their last period (LMP).
But in reality, ovulation can happen almost any time from day 11 to day 21. This is because the average length of your cycle might be anywhere between 21 and 35 days.
Let’s not forget that your body isn’t always predictable either. Sometimes you ovulate on a different day just because that’s your body’s natural rhythm that particular month, or you’re under stress or undergoing an emotional upheaval, travelling, or even changing your lifestyle habits.
Because of this natural variation, it becomes much harder to identify exactly which day will be the magic number for you.
How To Accurately Calculate When You Ovulate
Whilst this might sound rather confusing, it really doesn’t need to be. Because there are several easy methods you can use to accurately predict and monitor how long after your period you ovulate.
Step #1: Track Your Periods
Firstly, keep track of your periods for at least six months. You don’t need any kind of fancy equipment to do this, just your favorite calendar and a pen, or even an online calendar. You can also download an app to help but I usually find that simple is best.
On the first day of your period, make a note in your diary. ‘Period Day 1’ is what works for me. Then count 22 days forward and make a rough note of this too so you can best keep track of the length of your cycle. Then when you start to menstruate, you can pinpoint the exact length of your cycle.
Then simply repeat the process. After several cycles, you should start seeing a pattern that is unique to you.
Step #2: Calculate Your Possible Ovulation Days
Once you have worked out your typical cycle length, you can turn your attention to your ovulation dates.
If you’re usually quite regular, you can get a rough idea by taking the length of your usual cycle, subtracting 16 days and then adding four. If your cycle lasts 27 days, so you would do the following:
27-16=11 then…11+4= 15.
Then you can conclude that you are most likely to ovulate on day 15 of your cycle (15 days past LMP).
Obviously this method isn’t fool-proof, so do be careful.
Step #3: Watch For Signs Of Ovulation
The very best way to track when you ovulate after your period is to look at your own body’s patterns. This also allows you to get more ‘in tune’ with the natural rhythm of your body.
You see, each and every month, your body provides you with several excellent signposts that indicate that ovulation is imminent. All you need to do is make the effort to notice them.
These signposts include:
- Twinges or cramps (mittelschmerz): if you’re ovulating, you might experience these sensations in your lower abdomen towards one side.
- A rise in body temperature: you’ll notice a rise of half a degree when you ovulate
- Cervical discharge: your cervix will produce fluid that is sticker and more like egg-white in appearance.
- Cervical position change: your cervix will also become soft, high, open and wet.
- Feeling flirtatious: you are likely to feel more sociable and sexy at this time of the month!
The exact date you ovulate after your period depends entirely on the length and regularity of your cycle, as well as several lifestyle and environmental factors.
However, this doesn’t mean that your ovulation date has to remain a mystery forever!
Invest time in monitoring your cycle, calculate your most-likely ovulation dates and watch your body closely so that you can learn the rhythm of your body.