How Do I Know If I Ovulated?

Getting Pregnant

There are two essentials to being able to get pregnant - one is that you need to be ovulating (i.e. releasing an egg) and the second is that you need to be having sex around the time that you are ovulating. For this reason it is pretty important to not only know when you are ovulating, but also if you have ovulated at all.

How To Tell if You Ovulated

There are a couple of ways to tell if you ovulated and some things that might give you an indication that you ovulated.

The scientific way to test this is to go for blood tests. This particular blood test is carried out on day 21 of your cycle and it measures the levels of progesterone in your system. However, if your doctor does this test for you then you do need to make sure he knows how long your cycles are. The idea is to do the test on day 21 as this in theory is a week after you should have ovulated. However, if you have much longer cycles than 28 days, it may well be that day 21 is too close to your ovulation date to get an accurate test of the progesterone level (for example if you ovulate on day 19 of your cycle). Progesterone increases in the second half of your cycle and a certain level of it is required to sustain a pregnancy.

Another way that you can tell if you ovulated is if you are taking your temperature every morning. Tracking your temperature is a good way to keep track of what is happening in your cycle and can pinpoint ovulation for you. Once ovulation has occurred you will experience a shift in temperatures upwards, and this will last for most of the rest of your cycle. There are a few websites that allow you to track your daily temperatures and will give you directions as to how to do this and Fertility Friend is one of the most popular.

By tracking your temperature using something like Fertility Friend you can see if you have an anovulatory cycle (no egg is produced) or an ovulatory one. All you need to do is to enter your temperatures and they will tell you the rest. They also have a mobile app to enter temperatures into and to analyse your cycle.

Example of a Chart Where Ovulation Did Not Occur

The above chart is an example of an anovulatory cycle where there is no marked temperature shift in the middle of the cycle.
The above chart is an example of an anovulatory cycle where there is no marked temperature shift in the middle of the cycle.

Example of an Ovulatory Chart

The above chart confirms that ovulation has occurred with the red crossed lines. note there is a shift in temperatures from the first part of the cycle to the second.
The above chart confirms that ovulation has occurred with the red crossed lines. note there is a shift in temperatures from the first part of the cycle to the second.

Other Methods to Detect Ovulation

There are other things that you can use to detect ovulation - just before you ovulate there will be a surge in the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) - this can be measured by ovulation detector strips and monitors. However, even if you get a positive test for the LH hormone you will not necessarily ovulate - you will need to confirm this with a shift in your temperature.

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