Woman with pregnancy test min
Preparing for Pregnancy

How to know when you're ovulating

If you and your partner are planning to have a baby, tracking your ovulation day can make getting pregnant a lot easier!

In fact, despite what some may think, a woman can only get pregnant around her ovulation day as she releases a single egg per cycle, granting a brief opportunity for fertilization.

In light of this, if you’re serious about getting pregnant, instead of trying to guess when you’re fertile every month, you can track the days of your cycle and find the best time to have sex to get pregnant.

What is ovulation?

Ovulation is when an egg is released from a woman’s ovaries, travels down the fallopian tubes and into the uterus where it waits to be fertilized for about 12-48 hours. The days around ovulation are the only days that a woman can get pregnant every month, adding up to be about 6 day fertile window (5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation).

Why should I track my cycle?

There are a lot of great reasons to track your cycle that go above and beyond getting pregnant. Keeping an eye on your symptoms and your body throughout your cycle can help you live a healthier lifestyle too. You can anticipate PMS symptoms to treat them before they arrive and know when your period is coming to avoid unwanted surprises. Also, you can plan date nights and vacations on days without your period to avoid the hassle!

Tracking ovulation with ‘Cycles’

One of the easiest ways to predict your ovulation day is by using a menstrual cycle tracking app like Cycles. A menstrual cycle app helps you figure out your ovulation day by determining the phases of your menstrual cycle by using the first day of your period (aka day 1). Ovulation generally occurs between days 10-16 on average, with day 14 being the most common in a cycle that is about 28 days long.

Getting the timing right

Having unprotected sex 1-3 days before you ovulate and on the day of ovulation is the best time if you want to get pregnant. Sperm can only survive in the uterus for approximately 5 days, so in order for them to be alive on the day you ovulate, you must be sure to have sex close to the day of ovulation.

The Physical signs of Ovulation

There are a number of other methods to track ovulation including physical signs. For example, you may notice wetter, clearer or more slippery mucus (resembling egg whites) around the time of ovulation. More symptoms of ovulation include:

  • Increased sex drive
  • Slightly higher body temperature
  • Breast tenderness and mild bloating
  • Some women notice a heightened sense of smell
  • Changes in the cervix, more open and softer