How Can You Tell If You Are Ovulating?

By Jenny H. | Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Hormones control your menstrual cycle

On average, a woman ovulates once a month and bleeds every 28 days. This is a clear sign that she is not pregnant.

It is your hormones that determine when you ovulate, because they control your menstrual cycle. Once an egg is released by the ovary it remains in a fertilizable state for just 24 hours, so your fertile window is determined by the life span of your partner's sperm. How can you find out when you're ovulating? Read on to find out more.

How Can I Test to See If I Am Ovulating?

Unfortunately, your cycle can change each month so it's not possible to accurately pinpoint your ovulation date every time. This can make conception difficult for some couples. Fortunately, there are physical signs that can help you determine when ovulation is happening, and tests you can take to confirm it.

Physical signs of ovulation

  • Breast tenderness
  • Discomfort in the abdomen
  • Increase of cervical mucus (vaginal discharge) that usually takes on a wetter, thinner, and clearer consistency like egg-white.
  • Slight increase in temperature

Tests you can take

Ovulation predictor kit

Ovulation predictor kit

This simple urine test will look at the levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) that is in your system. This hormone presents itself before ovulation and is the one that causes the egg to be released from the follicle. When the test picks up the surge in the LH hormone it will give a positive result; it can pinpoint your date of ovulation 12 to 24 hours in advance. Your most fertile period will be over the course of the next three days.

Saliva test

This will test for the amount of estrogen in your system. Your saliva will be studied under an eyepiece and the levels of estrogen can be recorded. If a crystal pattern is present then this represents a sudden increase in estrogen which happens just prior to ovulation, which suggests that you are reaching peak fertility.


Be aware that ovulation kits do not always guarantee you the correct ovulation date, but they can be used as a guide. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully, or visit your doctor for a test if you are unsure about doing a home-test. It is important you don't become stressed when you are trying to conceive, as cortisol (the stress hormone) saps the progesterone necessary for conception. For more information on the hormones that govern your menstrual cycle and pregnancy follow the links below.

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