I’m trying to get pregnant. How do I know if I am ovulating?
Generally, your best chance of getting pregnant is during a very few days before you ovulate and a day or so afterwards – but check with your doctor about your individual situation.
You can calculate ovulation from the start date of your last period, or you can buy an over-the-counter ovulation test at a pharmacy.
You can’t get pregnant if you’re not ovulating (releasing an egg, ready to be fertilised by any lurking sperm). Almost all women who have periods on a regular 26- to 35-day cycle will be ovulating. Most ovulation tests are performed about 12 days after the last period began, but that will only confirm the ovulation of a woman who has a 28-day cycle. Tell your doctor how your period usually behaves – irregular and unpredictable, or exactly every 32 days – whatever it is. This can help them pinpoint when you’re likely to ovulate, and which days in your cycle you can concentrate your bonkery (all right, sex) so as to maximise the chances of conception. Most women don’t bother with an ovulation test unless they’ve already had a delay or trouble conceiving.
There’s much more on conception and fertility in the book Up the Duff: The Real Guide to Pregnancy.