How to Find Your Ovulation Window

How to Find Your Ovulation Window

07 February 2023

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Uma Lerner

You’re having sex and the condom breaks– you panic. You know that a baby definitely isn’t the plan right now, so you want to be 100% sure that you’re not pregnant. 

A lot of Aavia members have questions about their ovulation window and want to know when they can get pregnant. The good news is that you can’t get pregnant every day of your hormone cycle, and we’re here to put your mind at ease <3

What is ovulation?

Every hormone cycle, your body prepares for a possible pregnancy by releasing a mature egg from your ovaries into your fallopian tube. The release of this egg is called ovulation.

This egg can be fertilized by a sperm if you are not on birth control and have sex without a condom during this time. Because sperm can live within the body for up to five days, it’s possible for this sperm to fertilize an egg, even if you avoid having sex the day of ovulation. A fertilized egg will travel from the fallopian tubes to the uterus, attach to the lining of the uterus, and develop into a baby.

Fortunately, the ovulation window when you can get pregnant is only a small part of your overall hormone cycle! If you are not on birth control, experts advise using protection or avoiding sex in the five days before ovulation, the day of ovulation, and the day after ovulation to avoid pregnancy.

When in my hormone cycle do I ovulate?

Ovulation is what divides your follicular and luteal phases. If you have regular periods, ovulation generally occurs 14 days before the first day of your next period. 

During the follicular phase– the first 14 to 21 days of your hormone cycle– your levels of estrogen and luteinizing hormone are increased to help the ovaries release an egg. The follicular phase ends with ovulation.

The luteal phase starts just after ovulation, when progesterone levels rise and estrogen levels drop to help your uterus shed its lining if you don’t get pregnant!

How can I tell that I am ovulating? 

With a little practice, you can learn your body’s cues to find out when you are ovulating.

  • Cycle tracking: If you have very, very regular periods, it can be easy to figure out when you are ovulating. With regular periods on a roughly 28-day cycle, simply count backward 14 days from the first day of your next period– the two or three days before that day are when you are most likely to get pregnant. However, if you have a longer or shorter cycle or an irregular cycle from a condition like PCOS, it can be harder to rely on cycle tracking alone. Tracking your period for several cycles, plus looking for other signs of ovulation can help you figure out your body’s patterns.
  • Discharge: Ever notice how your release changes through your hormone cycle? During ovulation, your discharge looks like egg whites– wet, clear, and slippery. Tracking the changes to your discharge can help you detect when you are ovulating.
  • Body temperature: Many people who track their fertility without using hormonal birth control use their basal body temperature to detect ovulation. To do this, you need to use a special thermometer to measure your body’s temperature the moment you wake up. Your body temperature will be slightly higher during ovulation.
  • Ovulation tests: It’s possible to buy tests that can detect ovulation by detecting higher levels of luteinizing hormone in your pee. They look like pregnancy tests and can be over 80% effective in detecting ovulation!

DISCLAIMER: Tracking your ovulation has a higher rate of unintended pregnancies than hormonal birth control and requires a commitment to tracking your body’s changes every single day. However, for people who can’t (or don’t want to) take hormonal birth control, tracking your ovulation– plus using barrier protection methods like condoms– can help reduce the risk of pregnancy!


Do I ovulate on birth control?

Nope! As long as you take your birth control correctly (or you have a long-lasting form of birth control like the implant or IUD), the hormones in your birth control will prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation, thinning the cervical mucus, and thickening the cervical mucus, giving you triple protection against getting pregnant!

I had unprotected sex. What can I do to prevent pregnancy?

If you’ve had unprotected sex and want to minimize the risk of pregnancy, emergency contraception (aka the morning-after pill) prevents ovulation from happening in the first place! The morning-after pill uses a hormone called levonorgestrel to delay ovulation. It’s most effective within 72 hours of unprotected sex, so it’s best to take it as soon as possible.

You can buy the morning-after pill in pharmacies and stores like Walmart and Target, as well as some health clinics like Planned Parenthood if you call ahead! There’s no age requirement to buy it in the store, but your doctor might be able to help you get it for free if you have insurance or Medicaid!


Download the Aavia app to join hundreds of others for community support and care — no questions are off limits. #NOBABIES4ME :)
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