Predicting Ovulation

Charting ovulation can be difficult, so read this reliable advice from an expert. Find out how keeping track of elevated basal temperatures can help.

By Elizabeth Pryor, MD, FACOG


For the past few months, my periods have been irregular (off by a few days each time). How do I know when I'm fertile?


It may be that you are simply experiencing a shorter period, which is not uncommon. If you are ovulating with these cycles, it occurs 14 days before the next period.

This may be tricky to figure out, so I recommend a basal body temperature chart. You can pick up the kit at any drugstore. You need to check your temperature at the same time every morning before rising. Mark your temperature on the chart. About midway through your cycle, you will see an elevation in your temperature. The temperature will not be as high as a fever, but it will be high enough to notice a difference on the chart. If you ovulate that month, the temperature will stay up. This may give you a better handle on when you are fertile.

Dr. Pryor has been certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1994 and is licensed in North Carolina and Tennessee. Dr. Pryor completed her internship and residency at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. She has been a Fellow in maternal-fetal medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1998.

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