How Long Does Ovulation Last? (Including Factors That Prevent It)



Ovulation is the process of releasing an egg from one of the ovaries into the fallopian tubes. Ovulation usually happens somewhere in the middle of a woman’s cycle, which is usually about thirteen to fifteen days before the start of each period.

However, this timeframe can vary depending on several different factors. Just like the timing of your period can sometimes vary and change, the timing of ovulation can also change from cycle to cycle.

In addition, cycles during which you do not ovulate at all can also happen from time to time.

How Long Does Ovulation Last?

It might surprise many that ovulation lasts only twelve to twenty-four hours during each menstrual cycle. 

Are there any symptoms?

Ovulation does come with ovulation symptoms, but it can come without any ovulation symptoms too.

Some common ovulation symptoms and ovulation signs include fertile cervical mucus (thin, transparent, white, slippery), increased sexual desire, breast tenderness, ovulation pain, and others. If you want to know more about ovulation symptoms, visit this article.

What Happens During Ovulation?

Ovulation happens after the body produces the luteinizing hormone (LH), which causes the mature egg (which is already ready and prepared) to leave the ovary and make its way down to the fallopian tube. 

This mature egg can survive for 12 to 24 hours during its journey down the fallopian tube. If the mature egg is not fertilized in that time window, it will disintegrate into the uterine lining and be discharged with the next menstrual period.

However, suppose the sperm is present in the body at the time of ovulation, and it manages to fertilize the egg before it disintegrates.

In that case, the fertilized egg (now called a zygote) will proceed with its journey down the fallopian tube for the next few days. On the approximately fifth day, it will reach the uterine cavity in the form of a blastocyst. The blastocyst will attach itself to the uterine lining and start a pregnancy.

How do I know when ovulation is over?

There are several different ways to track your ovulation. Some of the best ways to know when ovulation occurs is using the ovulation kit, taking your basal temperature, as well as examining your cervical discharge.

What Is a Fertile Window?

The fertile window includes all of the days in a woman’s menstrual cycle during which getting pregnant and pregnancy are in the cards.

The length of the fertile window is going to depend on the length of the menstrual cycle, which varies among women, and can be affected by many other lifestyle-related, medical, and genetic factors.

The fertile window starts approximately five days before the ovulation and ends when an egg is released from the ovary (which also marks the beginning of ovulation), including that day.

As we have previously mentioned, the egg survives for just 24 hours after it has been released, while the sperm can retain fertilizing capability for two to five days. This is why it is recommended that couples who are trying to conceive have sexual intercourse every two to three days during the female’s cycle.

Factors That Prevent Ovulation

Some women do not ovulate during their menstrual cycles or have irregular cycles and irregular periods, even though they are of childbearing age.

This occurrence can be very difficult to deal with for women who are trying to conceive and start a family. There are several different factors that might be affecting your ability to release an egg. Some of the main factors that might be preventing ovulation include:


The younger you are, the more fertile you are likely to be, just like with many other capabilities of our physical body.

It does not mean that an older woman has no chances of getting pregnant, but it does mean that it could take longer than it would for a younger woman. Although age is not everything, if you are older and healthy, the process of getting pregnant might take a bit longer than it does for other healthy women that are younger.

Medical History

There are specific medical treatments that can jeopardize a woman’s fertility. For example, surgeries done on the ovaries can damage them or reduce ovarian reserve. Chemotherapy and radiation can damage eggs or cause premature menopause.

The presence of an untreated sexually transmitted infection can also decrease fertility by scarring in the reproductive system and causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).


Age, biology, and genetics have the most significant impact on your fertility, but lifestyle has a big impact as well.

So, trying to conceive sometimes has to mean giving up harmful habits and turning to a healthier lifestyle overall. 

Some of the lifestyle factors that negatively affect fertility include smoking, being significantly overweight or underweight, not being active, and having an irregular sleep cycle.

Can You Ovulate More Than Once Per Cycle?

The majority of women ovulate only once during each menstrual cycle.

However, a woman can also release more than one egg during ovulation; but this occurrence happens rarely. If all of the eggs are fertilized, this can lead to fraternal twins, which are the most common type of twin.

Fraternal twins are essentially two ordinary siblings born at the same time since they arise from two separate eggs fertilized by two different sperm cells.

Fraternal twins are the most common type of twins.

Related Questions:

How do I know when ovulation is over?

There are several different ways to track your ovulation. Some of the best ways to know when ovulation occurs is using the ovulation kit, taking your basal temperature, as well as examining your cervical discharge.

Are using an ovulation predictor kit and basal body temperature good ways to know when ovulation occurs in the menstrual cycle?

Yes, using ovulation predictor kits and tracking your basal body temperature is the best and safest way to track ovulation and to know when ovulation occurs, how long it ovulation lasts, and what your ovulation patterns are.