Home » Blog » Health Guide » 7 Signs Ovulation Is Over – Your Fertility Window Shut

7 Signs Ovulation Is Over – Your Fertility Window Shut

By Sara Winslow

Updated On

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Ovulation is a fundamental biological process that lies at the core of the female reproductive system. It is the remarkable event during which a mature egg, also known as an ovum, is released from one of the ovaries, marking the fertile window when conception is possible. This intricate process is orchestrated by a delicate interplay of hormones, primarily driven by the intricate communication between the brain’s hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the ovaries themselves.

Key takeaways:

Ovulation is the pivotal event in the menstrual cycle when a mature egg is released from the ovary, marking the fertile window for potential conception. It is regulated by a delicate interplay of hormones, primarily involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries.
There are several reliable methods to track and identify when ovulation occurs, such as monitoring the luteinizing hormone (LH) surge, tracking basal body temperature (BBT) shifts, and observing changes in cervical mucus. Combining multiple tracking methods provides a more accurate picture of the fertile window.
Recognizing when ovulation has ended is crucial for couples trying to conceive. Signs that ovulation has occurred include a sustained BBT rise, dry cervical mucus, breast tenderness, abdominal cramp cessation, decreased libido, and elevated progesterone/PdG levels.

As described by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovary…it is the midpoint of a woman’s menstrual cycle.” This cyclical phenomenon typically occurs once every 28 days, although the length of menstrual cycles can vary from woman to woman.

The journey towards ovulation is a meticulously choreographed sequence of events. As elucidated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Each month, hormone signals cause an egg to mature and be released from the ovaries.” This process begins with the hypothalamus secreting gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones, in turn, trigger the growth and maturation of follicles within the ovaries, each containing an immature egg.


As ovulation approaches, estrogen levels rise, prompting the release of LH in a concentrated surge known as the “LH surge.” This surge initiates a chain reaction that culminates in the rupture of the most mature follicle, allowing the egg to be expelled from the ovary and swept into the fallopian tube, where it may potentially be fertilized by a sperm cell.

How Do You Know When You’re Ovulating?

Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh, a fertility expert, explains: “Tracking ovulation helps time intercourse for the best chance of conception. The three most reliable markers are luteinizing hormone (LH) surges, basal body temperature shifts, and changes in cervical mucus.”

Ovulation predictor kits detect the LH surge that triggers ovulation 24-36 hours later. Basal body temperature rises slightly after ovulation due to progesterone. Cervical mucus becomes thin, stretchy, and conducive to sperm during the fertile window.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises, “Take your temperature every morning before getting out of bed and look for a pattern of temperature increase.”

How Can You Tell Ovulation Is Over?

While ovulation marks the start of the fertile window, it’s also crucial to identify when ovulation ends and the window closes. Here are some common signs that ovulation has occurred:

“A good way to tell ovulation has ended is when fertile cervical mucus dries up,” says Dr. Kenosha Gleeson, an OB/GYN. During ovulation, cervical fluid is stretchy like raw egg whites. After ovulation, it becomes sticky, dry, or disappears as progesterone rises.

The rise in basal body temperature after ovulation is called the “temperature shift.” Dr. Gleeson advises, “Look for a sustained temperature rise over 3 days – that’s a reliable sign ovulation occurred.”

As the NIH states, “A woman’s body temperature may rise by only 0.4 to 0.8 degrees F after ovulation.” Tracking BBT over multiple cycles helps identify your unique pattern.

While a positive ovulation test indicates imminent ovulation, Dr. Eve Feinberg notes that “2-3 days of negative tests after a peak reading can confirm ovulation is over for that cycle.” Levels of LH drop after the egg is released.

“Increased breast tenderness or swelling in the second half of the cycle can signify ovulation occurred,” says Dr. Feinberg. This is caused by rising progesterone levels in the luteal phase after ovulation.

Some women experience cramping or abdominal twinges around ovulation, known as mittelschmerz. The CDC explains, “Some women experience a minor pain…about 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period.” Once this mid-cycle pain subsides, ovulation may have passed.

During the fertile window, many women report increased libido and sex drive. Dr. Gleeson states, “A noticeable drop in sexual desire after ovulation can indicate the fertile period is over, as estrogen levels decline.”

The most definitive confirmation of ovulation is detecting a rise in progesterone levels. “After 7-10 days, women can take a urine test to check for the progesterone metabolite PdG,” advises Dr. Feinberg. “Sustained elevated PdG confirms successful ovulation.”

Related: Does Ovulation Make You Tired? Reason Behind Your Tiredness


While individual signs can vary, Dr. Eyvazzadeh recommends “using multiple markers like temperature, LH tests, and cervical mucus” to get an accurate picture of your fertile window each cycle.

Understanding when ovulation starts and ends is key for timing intercourse to maximize conception chances. After ovulation, the window rapidly closes – the egg only survives 12-24 hours if not fertilized.

“Confirming successful ovulation with tools like BBT, ovulation tests and PdG strips provides reassurance and helps plan for the next cycle if needed,” concludes Dr. Gleeson. “Tracking your unique ovulation patterns is invaluable on the journey to pregnancy.”

By being attentive to the signs ovulation has occurred, couples can rest assured they took advantage of their fertile window that cycle. Careful tracking empowers you to understand your body’s cycles for greater reproductive awareness.


1. What does the end of ovulation feel like?

The end of ovulation may bring symptoms like dry cervical mucus, a slight basal body temperature rise, breast tenderness, light cramping, and decreased libido as progesterone rises.

2. How do I know I am no longer ovulating?

Signs you’re no longer ovulating that cycle include a temperature shift sustained for 3 days, ovulation test going from positive to negative readings, fertile cervical mucus drying up, and rising progesterone/PdG levels.

3. How do I know when I was last ovulating?  

Count back 12-16 days from when your next period starts, check ovulation test dates for LH peak, note temperature shift on BBT chart, or test for post-ovulation progesterone rise.

4. How many days does ovulation last?

The ovulatory phase when the egg is released lasts just 12-24 hours. However, the approximate 6-day fertile window includes the 5 days before ovulation plus the day of ovulation itself.

5. How long does actual ovulation last?

Ovulation itself – when the egg is released from the ovary – lasts only 12-24 hours. The ripening of the ovarian follicle takes about 2 weeks prior as part of the ovulatory process.


National Library of Medicine (n.d) Physiological Signs of Ovulation and Fertility Readily Observable by Women Available online at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6081768/

Better Health Channel (n.d) Ovulation pain Available online at https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/ovulation-pain

Sara Winslow

Sara Winslow is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with over 15 years of experience in providing comprehensive women's healthcare services. She received her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she graduated with honors. Dr. Winslow completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, gaining extensive training in various aspects of women's health, including reproductive health, prenatal care, gynecological surgery, and menopause management.

View All Posts

Leave a Comment