Most women ovulate between 12 and 14 days before their period. This is an average, so it could be a few days sooner or later than this. If you have a 28-day cycle, you will probably ovulate in the middle of your cycle. If you have a 22-day cycle, you could ovulate just a few days after your period.
If you have regular periods then it is fairly easy to work out when you are likely to be ovulating. If your periods are irregular, it’s not as easy to tell when you’re at your most fertile. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it may help if you keep a record of when you have your periods for a few months.
The luteal phase is the time between ovulation and the first day of your period. If you track ovulation using a body basal temperature chart, or with ovulation predictor kits, you may know how long your luteal phase is.
The average luteal phase is 12 to 14 days, but anything between 10 and 16 days is considered normal. If you chart your cycles and notice a luteal phases of less than 10 days, mention this to your doctor.
Tracking Your Fertile Period
One way to determine your individual fertile period is to keep a record of your menstrual cycle (for eight or more months, if possible). Select your shortest cycle (say 27 days) and subtract 18 from it. The resulting number—nine—is your first potentially fertile day. Subtract 11 from your longest cycle (say 30 days) and you get 19. This marks your last potentially fertile day. So if the cycles you measured over several months were between 27 and 30 days long, you would be most fertile somewhere between days 9 and 19.
One more method of identifying your fertile period is to notice changes in your cervical mucus. The mucus ranges from dry (following menstruation) to sticky (approaching ovulation) to wet, stretchy, and semi-transparent (during ovulation). Ovulation usually occurs from two days before to two days after the peak day of stretchy mucus.