What is Ovulation?

Written by Jen Bell

  |  Reviewed by Staci Tanouye, M.D.

Ovulation (pronounced: Ov-Yoo-LAY-Shun) is the release of an egg from your ovary, into your fallopian tube. This is the time of your cycle when you are most fertile, meaning the time when you are most likely to get pregnant if having penis-in-vagina sex. Ovulation typically happens about 2 weeks before the start of your period.

Around the time of ovulation, you may experience cramps and tender breasts, and your cervical mucus may become clearer, thinner, and slippery like egg whites. Cervical mucus is a part of the discharge that comes out of your vagina. You might notice it on your underwear when you use the bathroom.

Not everyone gets ovulation cramps, or gets them every cycle. These cramps typically last a minute or two, but some people may have cramps for as long as 1-2 days.