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Possible to Ovulate Twice in a Single Cycle?

on Jan 31, 2013

by Alyssia Granger

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Possible to Ovulate Twice in a Single Cycle?

The simple truth is that while a woman’s body can occasionally release more than one egg at one time, they aren’t able to ovulate more than once in a single menstrual and ovulation cycle.

What studies shows

Recently there was a Canadian study conducted that researched into the possibility of a woman ovulating twice in a single cycle. The study reported that follicles developed in waves rather than all together, leading to the assumption that women could and do ovulate more than once a cycle. However, this study has since been discredited as more information has come to light on the natural cycle of a woman’s body. There is a fair bit of confusion on this subject due to the Canadian study and the fact that women are capable of getting pregnant and giving birth to multiple non-identical children at one time. The simple truth is that while a woman’s body can occasionally release more than one egg at one time, they aren’t able to ovulate more than once in a single menstrual and ovulation cycle. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

The ovulation cycle

In a natural ovulation cycle a woman’s body begins to secrete FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) which is a signal to the body to begin developing a follicle for ovulation. The follicle is thereafter called the “dominant follicle”, the one reserved for release and possible fertilization. The follicles house eggs and when they are fully matured they are released to then be either fertilized during the ovulation window or slowly disintegrated to be flushed from the body, for the onset of your period. Occasionally when FSH is secreted during the beginning of menstruation two follicles can become a dominant follicle, each one beginning to grow and develop to mature the egg within. If this happens, two eggs are then ready to become fertilized by sperm producing fraternal twins. The myth of ovulating twice during a single cycle gets it origins from this event, however at no time during the cycle does a woman’s body ovulate more than once.

Rare superfetation cases

Another possible origin of ovulating twice during a single cycle could be caused by what is known as superfetation: when a woman conceives a second baby while already pregnant. This is an extremely rare occurrence and there have been only a handful of cases in the last 20 years or so. The way superfetation happens is when a woman’s menstrual cycle continues during a pregnancy; an egg is released from a separate ovulation cycle while the woman is already pregnant and then fertilized to begin developing alongside the first baby. The problem with superfetation is that the baby conceived later than the first is at risk of being born premature with the first and having developed less that its sibling.

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Possible to Ovulate Twice in a Single Cycle? , 3.8 out of 5 based on 6 ratings

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  4. When Do I Ovulate?
  5. How to Calculate Ovulation Cycle

Alyssia is mom to 2 giggley twin girls, Sophia and Emma, and son Hunter. She's a Southern girl, passionate about photography, travel and her husband Josh.

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  • Cheriebethany

    Hello… I have been trying to conceive for the past five years and I have
    had no success. I have regular cycles but I have all the symptoms of
    PCOS… I will eventually go to the doctor to get this treated but it is
    rather expensive. My question is, will Fertibella help me ovulation even
    if I have this condition?! Please help!!

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

     FertiBella Advanced Conception is clinically proven effective in overcoming the most common obstacles to conception, and has been demonstrated in limited studies to help women conceive who have PCOS. FertiBella is specifically designed to stimulate ovulation by regulating hormones and normalizing your cycle.

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  • missunderstood

    I have never been pregnant and it is frustrating because I want to have children. What should I do

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  • emma

    hi , i had a scan at day 14 of my cycle which showed i had ovulated and also one other very large follicle still present. i am now at day 18 and i have a positive LH surge on my OPK . is it possible i will ovulate twice ?

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  • crunchymommy

    I guess the question really is what defines the end of a cycle? If you achieve pregnancy then the natural end to a cycle ( the beginning of the shedding of the uterine lining) never occurs, so where do you mark the end of a cycle when a woman has conceived? It would seem to me to be a rather arbitrary thing to state the end as the day of her expected period shen that period hasn’t ( and never will arrive.) So if there is no specific end to her cycle if pregnant, and she shortly thereafter ovulates again how can it be stated that she ovulated in the next cycle? If the beginning of a new cycle is mensuration, which she doesn’t experience due to pregnancy, then has she in fact begun a new cycle? If so what is the biological ( not calendar based) marker of that new cycle. Point being I think it is ridiculous to argue that superfetation is ovulating in two separate cycles when there is no clear end oo beginning indication thereof. Furthermore, superfetation may be rare or perhaps drastic superfetation is what is rare, with superfetation occurring before implantation being far less rare, but simply dismissed as individual variances between fraternal twins. Lastly, many of the cases of superfetation the twins show a small span of distance, around two weeks seems to be most common. If that is the case, then I find it even harder to argue that the second ovulation was firmly within the bounds of a second cycle, as two weeks beyond the first ovulation would hardly place that ovulation at “certainly” sufficient days past ovulation as to have been beyond the onset of menstration is the beginning of a new cycle. So therefore ovulations in superfetation of less than the luteal phase length ( which varies from woman to woman) would place the second ovulation firmly in the shared cycle with the first ovulation. Why this is so hard to comprehend for those adamant ” one ovulation per cycle” authorities seems beyond me. Superfetation is rare, and it plays outside the rules. There is no need to jerrymander and bend the timeline of ‘a cycle’ around this rare occurrence in order to force it to conform with whatever contemporary understanding of our biological system is. Just let it be a strange and unusual occur with its own rules, some of which are exceptions to the ‘we only ovulate once’ rule. No need to panic that women everywhere will read too much into it and take it as universal truth.

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  • AnnaK

    Hi Emma. I was wondering whether you were able to find an answer to your question? I have gone through follicle tracking this cycle and have exactly the same problem, i.e. a scan at day 12 confirmed ovulation and yet I had a positive LH surge on day 18 followed by a progesterone surge. Thank you.

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  • nicole

    ive been taking birth control for awhile then stopped in december. this month i ovulated twice. is that normal?

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  • Jaka

    Why was the Univ of Sask study discredited? I have done a google search for any articles citing your claim that it was supposedly discredited, and I cannot find anything. Can you link some articles? Because otherwise, its suspect to me that a site that sells “concieve easy” kits with articles written by a mom with no medical background. US Gov, Web MD and other reputable sites have not discredited this study. If you are going to slander a study, please cite your sources.

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  • ML123

    It’s not impossible for a double ovulation in a single cycle. I just ovulated twice last month, a week apart.

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  • Stacie

    Hi, I have been trying to conceive for six months now. I have two kids now (7 & 9). I was told I have a mild case of PCOS so my doctor put me on Clomid. I have taken it for two months now (days 5-9). In the six months I have been trying this month was the first that I got a positive ovulation test. I tested on 6/7 and received a positive in the morning and evening. I also tested this morning (6-11) and received another positive. Is it possible to ovulate twice?

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