Sex Talk

Ovulation & Sex

Q from a Female, first-year student from Triton College: How a girl can know when she's ovulating? And if the girl does not have an orgasm during sex, can she get pregnant even when she's ovulating?

Dr. Caron's Answer:

In terms of your first question, it can be really difficult to know when a girl is ovulating. Many people say that ovulation takes place about 12-14 days before menstruation. That means you can figure it out "after-the-fact" so to speak. For example, if a woman has a 28-day cycle, she is thought to ovulate around the 14th day. But this clearly varies from girl to girl. To help determine more precisely when ovulation takes place, you may want to learn Natural Family Planning - in which you take your basal body temperature each day and record it on a chart, along with charting what your cervical mucous looks like, and the feel of your cervix. Over time, a girl will be able to determine her ovulation as that time when her temperature drops, her mucus looks like egg white, and her cervix feels soft. It takes a bit of practice and a few months to figure out -there are many good books that explain it in greater detail. In terms of the second question, a girl can get pregnant during intercourse if she is ovulating and there is semen ejaculated into/around the vagina. The sperm and egg could care less if you enjoy the act or not. So to answer your question: No, having an orgasm is not necessary for pregnancy.

© 2007, Sandra L. Caron

*    *    *

It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover. - Marge Piercy

American teens have the worst of all worlds...Our children are bombarded and confronted with sexual messages, sexual exploitation, and all manner of sexual criticism. But our society is by and large sexually illiterate. Faye Westheimer

Dr. Sandra L. Caron is a professor of human sexuality at the University of Maine. To submit a question to Dr. Caron or chat with your peers visit Got a question for Dr. Caron? Visit and ask away! Get a guaranteed personal and confidential response to your question: or E-Mail

Contact Us | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement
Menstuff® Directory
Menstuff® is a registered trademark of Gordon Clay
©1996-2019, Gordon Clay