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Sex Myth: Day 14

If you are not on hormonal birth control such as the NuvaRing or the Pill, it's generally believed that all women ovulate on day 14 of their menstrual cycle. So if you got your period on the first of the month, you would ovulate 14 days later, on day 15. This rule is not necessarily correct for all women, and is based on the assumption that a woman's body follows a perfect 28-day cycle. We know this is not true for all women, and since ovulation can be delayed due to many reasons, including stress, this myth of Day 14 can cause many unwanted pregnancies.

How do you know when you're ovulating? To find out


When an egg is released from your ovary, you'll notice a change in your cervical mucus. It will be very wet and have a clear, egg-white look and consistency. Your body creates this so sperm can swim easier and reach your precious egg. You may also notice mild cramping, breast tenderness, bloating, and an increased sex drive. Here's another cool thing — if you take your temperature every morning as soon as you wake up, you'll see a slight increase in temperature when you ovulate. Your cervix also changes position. It rises and softens when you're ovulating, due to the increase of estrogen in your body.

Since your cycle can be shorter or longer than 28 days, you can ovulate anywhere from day 10 to 18 of your cycle. You should also know that the day you ovulate is not the only day you can get pregnant. Since sperm can live up to five days inside you, you're actually fertile for about 11 days of your cycle.

Dear's advice: If you're trying to avoid getting pregnant, use a consistent and effective form of birth control and don't follow the Day 14 rule.


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