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How long does a woman ovulate?

By Anonymous June 17, 2009 - 12:13pm
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I use the rhythm method and for me 14 days after I start your period, I ovulate. I know everyone is different but how long does a personally naturally ovulate for? Thanks for the information.

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EmpowHER Guest

i quess were just gonna have to wait ans see what happens then its worth a good shot i suppose . if by some kind of miricle it does happen i will b over the moon lol. and if not i will have to wait untill april

December 6, 2011 - 2:30pm
EmpowHER Guest

i just need a little advice on something please girls . if i ovulate on the 17th of december and have sex on the 19th of december am i in with a good chance of conceiving a baby ? still trying to get my head around this whole thing

December 6, 2011 - 1:37pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post! 

The answer is that you probably missed you chance. A woman ovulates for about 24 hours or so, so to have sex 48 hours later would mean you probably missed that window, although there is always a chance you didn't.

You are better to have sex in the days just before ovulation and on the day itself. Sperm can stay alive for several days so if you had sex on the 15th (two days before) then you would be far more likely to get pregnant. Having sex every other day in the week up to ovulation is your bet bet. While there is no guarantee you will get pregnant, you will most likely not miss your ovulation time.

I hope this helps!


December 6, 2011 - 2:00pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

oh thank you susan ,
thats a shame then my husband is working abroad so timing and dates are hard . but your advice is tryly appreciated thanks again

December 6, 2011 - 2:21pm
EmpowHER Guest

Well, it is obvious I have not done my homework. Basal thermometer? Sounds like something you use to tell if your turkey is done baking. I have a VERY regular cycle. 28 days to be exact.

Birth control does not appear to like me very well and I haven’t used it for years. Other times, I used condoms and never had any issues but now I am in a committed relationship that I would be a little interested in stripping the condoms.

If something would happen, I wouldn’t be upset. I think I have established myself and slowed down to actually have children so that’s not a problem, but was certainly interested in the rhythm method and what it was all about.

Thanks for the information.

June 19, 2009 - 1:12pm

I found some interesting information from the book, Contraceptive Technology (recommended by OB/GYNs)

The "Rhythm Method" for avoiding pregnancy is an old term (who knew?!), as it does not adequately describe all the methods used...the new term is: "Fertility Awareness-Based Methods", which includes many methods, most used together:
- The Ovulation Method (based on evaluating cervical mucus)
- The Two Day Methods (based on evaluation of cervical mucus)
- The Standard Days Method (avoids intercourse on cycle days 8 through 19)

It is important to note that the assumed, magical "day 14" for ovulation is untrue for many women, as women can ovulate as early as "day 8" and as late as "day 19" (and, can also ovulate earlier or later than this, depending on their cycle length). Unprotected intercourse should be avoided for these 12 days, as outlined in the Standard Days Method.

The percent of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy within the first year of use (when failure rates are typically higher) are with PERFECT use:
- The Ovulation Method = 5%
- The Two Day Methods = 4%
- The Standard Days Method=3%

(It is important to notes: TYPICAL use of these natural-family planning methods increase to around 13% or more of unintended pregnancies in the first year).

I think it is important to put these numbers in perspective, to compare with other methods:
- Male condom= 2%
- Withdrawal= 4%
- Pill (combo)= 0.3%
- No method= 85%

Ovulation itself is a process, and from the time the ovum (egg) is released from the fallopian tubes, travels down the fallopian tubes into the uterus, where it is absorbed by the body (if unfertilized) takes 12-24 hours.

June 18, 2009 - 1:50pm

The deal with "how long do I ovulate" and the rhythm method is this -- you have to refrain from sex early enough before ovulation to not have any sperm in your system when you do. And you have to refrain from sex long enough after you ovulate until the egg is no longer able to be fertilized.

Take note, because this is why many people who use the rhythm method in older days had such large families! Our bodies just don't adhere themselves to charts or calendars all the time. It has a failure rate of 13% to 20% a year, which means that out of every 100 women using the rhythm method, 13 to 20 will become pregnant each year.

It helps if you have a VERY regular cycle. Do you?

The rhythm method, as quoted from Contraceptive Information, assumes the following:

1.That ovulation occurs fourteen days before the beginning of menstruation, plus or minus two days

2.That sperm remain alive for three days, and

3.That the ovum (egg) survives for twenty-four hours.

So while ovulation just takes one day, you need to avoid having sex for at LEAST three days before ovulation and at LEAST two days after. And that's if you can pinpoint ovulation; if not, the site recommends adding two days on each side. Are you charting your ovulation with a basal thermometer to be more exact?

June 18, 2009 - 8:58am
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