Infertility Help > Fertility Charting & Tests > How to Know If You’re Ovulating – 3 Signs of Fertility

How to Know If You’re Ovulating – 3 Signs of Fertility

“When am I ovulating?” is the most question to ask if you want to get pregnant. These top three symptoms of ovulation provide clues to your fertile window – and tell you when it’s time to conceive a baby.

When my husband and I were trying to get pregnant, predicting ovulation was the trickiest thing! A woman’s body isn’t exactly like clockwork (mine isn’t, anyway), and what can seem like signs of ovulation are just natural parts of being a woman. The ironic thing is that knowing when you ovulate is confusing for many women, yet it’s the most important thing you need to know about sex frequency and getting pregnant.

I also found the medical and textbook answers to the “how do I know if I’m ovulating?” very confusing. In this article, I share both the medical answer and my own easy-to-understand interpretation, to help you see your own signs of ovulation. When I was trying to get pregnant, I bought an ovulation predictor kit because I couldn’t track my own fertile window on my own. So, here you’ll also find information about prediction kits that help women track when they’re ovulating.

Here’s a textbook definition of when a woman is ovulating:

Because the fertile window is set by the day of ovulation, it is important to know when a woman is ovulating (if she wants to get pregnant – or if she doesn’t want to conceive a baby!). There are several methods of determining ovulation. Cervical mucus and vaginal secretions start to increase 5 to 6 days prior to ovulation and peak 2 to3 days before ovulation. These changes can be monitored to identify the fertile window in many women.

How to Know If You’re Ovulating – 3 Signs of FertilityUrinary ovulation predictor kits can also be used to detect the rise in luteinizing hormone (LH) that happens just before ovulation. LH is the primary trigger that results in the eggs being released from the ovary.

And, here’s a medical explanation of the phases of your menstrual cycle:

“Your menstrual cycle can basically be divided into three phases: the pre-ovulatory infertile phase, the fertile phase, and the post-ovulatory infertile phase,” write the doctors in Our Bodies, Ourselves. “You can determine which of the phases you are in by observing the three primary fertility signs: waking temperature, cervical fluid, and cervical position.”

Watching for your natural symptoms of ovulation can help you get pregnant because they reveal the most fertile time of the month. Yes, you can get pregnant at other times during your cycle (we all know women who have!), but your chances of pregnancy are increased if you focus on certain times of the month.

Are You Ovulating? 3 Physical Signs of Ovulation

There are clues to your fertility in the symptoms of ovulation – they help you identify the best time of month to conceive a baby.

These ovulation symptoms are be an alternative to buying ovulation predictor kits (which can get expensive). Ovulation prediction kits are the easiest way to know when you’re ovulating – and you can now get ovulation apps for your iPhone!

But these are the most natural ways to know if you’re ovulating…

1. Cervical Position

This is the hardest-to-spot sign of ovulation; you might need to practice finding the cervical positions that indicate optimal fertility. You cervix prepares for pregnancy every month by becoming soft and “mushy”, rising a little higher, and opening up. Increasing estrogen levels cause the cervix to change angle as well, and to emit fertile cervical fluid.

To determine if your cervical position is indicating ovulation, you need to become familiar with your body. Before you know it, you’ll be able to physically feel when your body is fertile and ready for pregnancy.

For easier, less messy, and perhaps more effective ways to predict ovulation, read Ovulation Predictor Kits — The Best Way to Tell When You’re Ovulating.

2. Cervical Fluid

Before you ovulate, your body produces cervical fluid. This fluid encourages the sperm to reach the egg – it creates an alkaline environment. Cervical fluid nourishes the sperm and acts as a filtering mechanism.

how to know when you are ovulating

How to Know If You’re Ovulating

As you approach ovulation and your estrogen rises, your cervical fluid will become more evident. It’s first a sticky, and then a creamy, discharge. The final phase of cervical fluid is a clear, slippery, stretchy substance (similar to raw egg white). This is a sign of fertility — and recognizing these signs quickly can help you conceive.

Don’t forget that food affects female fertility – read how nutrition and eating affects your ability to get pregnant.

3. Waking body temperature

When you’re not ovulating, your waking body temperature is about 97.0 to 97.5 Fahrenheit. When you are ovulating, your body temperature should rise to about 97.6 to 98.6 degrees.

“The important concept to understand is the pattern of lows and highs that your temperatures exhibit,” write the doctors in Our Bodies, Our Selves. “The sustained rise in waking temperature almost always indicates that ovulation has occurred. It does not reveal impending ovulation, as do the other two fertility signs (cervical fluid and cervical position).”

How to Know If You’re Ovulating Signs of FertilityHow do you determine your waking body temperature? With a Basal Digital Thermometer that offers:

  • Accu-beep feature ensures fast, accurate readings
  • Check basal temperature to understand your fertility cycle
  • Auto memory shows last temperature taken
  • Mercury free
  • Oral or rectal use

These ovulation symptoms will help you recognize signs of fertility, but they do take practice. I welcome your thoughts on how to know if you’re ovulating. I can’t offer medical or health advice, but you may find it helpful to share what you’re experiencing.

If you’re ready to get pregnant, read Preparing for Baby – What You Need to Know.


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9 thoughts on “How to Know If You’re Ovulating – 3 Signs of Fertility”

  1. I gave being trying to conceive for about 3years now bt nothing is happening. should I be worried, because sometimes I don’t get my period on time. I don’t know what’s going on with my body, I once had miscarriage. Please help.

  2. If you want to get pregnant and scared you can’t, you need to see a doctor in person. It’s not possible to say if you’re ovulating regularly or if there are any signs of fertility in your body – there are all sorts of clues and hints inside your body that can’t be seen over the internet.

    Take a deep breath. Know that your future family will unfold exactly as it’s intended you. The more anxious and afraid you get, the less likely you’ll get pregnant! Anxiety and fear is not a healthy existence for you…or for your future child.

    Trust. Believe that you will conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. And, make an appointment with your family doctor or a gynecologist! Take care of your physical and emotional health — this is something only you can do.

  3. I have a problem at my own, i was pregnant as a teenager and I decided to abbort the baby, but it failed. I gave birth to my son,since then I have never get pregnant, will I have a problem with fertility and ovulation??? Because I ate dangerous things to abbort but it failed how will i know that i’m ok to get pregnant?

  4. hi I’m new in this topic on ovulating. I have a new boyfriend, we really love each other on 2015-10-07 I had mi period then same month 27 I slept with him without a condom two times. I havnt seen mi period n I have pains under mi tummy could I be pregnant or mi period could come during the course of the month plsss help thank uu

  5. hey am 23 i havent seen my period for 5 months straight . i ve taken numerous pregnancy test all was negative . i notice i had pain in my right side went to the gynecologist they told me that i had (P.I.D) pelvic inflamitory disease which i took the medicines they prescribed to me went to take a pelvic scan an they told me i was fine . i stopped feeling the pain in my right side . for the past 2 weeks ive sometimes i would be constipated then other times i would have diarrihea
    with alot of migraines … but i dont know if i might be pregnant because i still havent seen my period ..evert month for the past 5 months ive just been having period symptoms acts of my period would come on but never do thats why am not sure if this is just an act of my body telling me that my period wants to come down but isnt pleaaaaaassssssseeeee someone out there help me thanks !!!!!!!!! in advance

  6. Laurie, we conceived him naturally (without treatments) when I was 41, after a year of no pregnancies, so I’m not sure what finally did it. 🙂 But it did help relieve some of my stress, because understanding those three signs (cervical position, cervical fluid, and basal body temperature) along with using ovulation predictor tests helped me know that I was still ovulating and what my normal cyclical signs were. It helped emotionally to understand what my “normal” was.

    Thank you for your condolences. We experienced three years of primary infertility before our first daughter (now five) was born, and then Naomi introduced us to the community of pregnancy loss and secondary infertility. We are so grateful for the life of our son and how God has led us on this journey the last four years. I’m glad I found your websites and look forward to reading more.

  7. Thanks for your comments, Kristi! Did the book help you conceive your son?

    Also, I want to offer my sincere condolences on the loss of your daughter Naomi. I know you have a son (from reading your blog), and I have a great deal of respect for you and your faith in God.

    Thank you for being here.


  8. I went years not understanding the basics of how ovulation works. I finally got hold of a book called “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler that explained the same points that you do here, and it totally changed how I saw my body and trying to conceive. Understanding how our bodies work can help us feel more proactive and less out of control in this often-frustrating pursuit of parenthood.