Many women think that they ovulate on day 14, but 14 is an average, and most women will actually ovulate on a different day of the menstrual cycle. Your day of ovulation will vary from cycle to cycle. Some women claim to feel a twinge of pain when they ovulate, but many feel no sensation at all and there’s no other sign that you are ovulating.
An accurate way to identify your personal fertile days is to detect the changes in these key fertility hormones using an ovulation test.
Other commonly used methods to estimate when your most fertile days are for example, ovulation calendar methods, basal body temperature or saliva, are less accurate than hormone monitoring and are more likely to be affected by external factors such as illness or medication.
Once the egg (or ovum) has been released, it moves along the Fallopian tube towards your womb. The egg can live for up to 24 hours. Sperm survival is more variable, but typically 3-5 days, so the days leading up to ovulation and the day of ovulation itself are your most fertile – when you are most likely to get pregnant. As soon as you have ovulated, the follicle starts producing another hormone: progesterone.
Progesterone causes further build up the lining of your womb in preparation for a fertilised egg. Meanwhile, the empty follicle within the ovary starts to shrink, but carries on producing progesterone, and also starts to produce estrogen. You may get symptoms of pre-menstrual tension (PMS) such as breast tenderness, bloating, lethargy, depression and irritability at this stage.