Ovulation is the time of the month when you are fertile and could become pregnant through intercourse. This is your best chance to get pregnant each month.
Scientifically speaking, it is when an egg is released from your ovary and makes its way down the fallopian tubes into the uterus.
Sometimes your ovaries release more than one egg. Contrary to popular belief, your ovaries do not alternate. The release of an egg by which ovary is entirely arbitrary.
When you are trying to get pregnant, taking advantage of ovulation takes on keen importance. The biggest problem is that your ovulation period is not stagnant. That is, one month it may occur dead center of your cycle and the next month it may off several days either way.
Your best shot at achieving pregnancy is by having sex one to two days prior to ovulation through roughly 24 hours afterward.
Many women combat this by counting backwards from the expected date of their period about 15 days. Then they ensure that they are having sex every other day from about six days prior to then. Since there is so much variance in ovulation dates from month to month, this gives you good odds at getting pregnant.
A more accurate way to determine your ovulation date is to buy an ovulation predictor kit. It works similarly to a pregnancy test, except you pee on the stick to see if you are ovulating or not. You would use the same counting backward from your anticipated period date method plus six days, and begin peeing on a stick a day until the kit tells you that are indeed ovulating.
Many women swear by being in tune with the changes in their bodies at ovulation. Specifically, cervical mucus can indicate ovulation. Your cervical mucus will be at roughly the consistency of an egg white: clear, stretchy and slippery. How can you check your cervical mucus? You will need to insert your fingers into your body and pull out some mucus. You will know you are about to ovulate when the mucus can stretch between your fingers roughly three inches (8cm) or so.
If you check your mucus and discover you are about to ovulate, then you will want to ensure you and your partner have intercourse over the course of the next few days.
Alternatively, use our ovulation calculator - it will estimate your ovulation date based on the length of your normal cycle.