If you are trying to get pregnant then tracking your ovulation cycle will make sense to you. You will be keeping a record of your ovulation day so that you can have intercourse during your fertile days to increase your chances of getting pregnant. It is a universal fact that ovulation happens only once in every menstrual cycle. But there is a recent buzz about the possibility of women ovulating more than once in a single cycle. Is it true? Continue reading to know more about this.
Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from the ovaries, and moves into the Fallopian tubes, ready to be fertilized by sperm. During the initial half of the menstrual cycle, the female body will begin to produce a hormone known as follicle stimulating hormone. The eggs are formed inside the follicle. Even though more than one follicle starts to develop, only one will become the dominant follicle and releases an egg during ovulation.
Usually, Ovulation occurs 12 to 14 days before the start of your next period. This is just an average. So ovulation can be a couple of days earlier or later. For women with irregular cycle, ovulation can occur a week earlier or later from one month to another.
The signs and symptoms of ovulation will differ in every woman. There are chances that some women may feel no symptoms at all. Some of the common signs that help you to understand that you are ovulating are:
Most women cannot ovulate twice in one cycle or in a month. That means a woman can release one or more eggs during one 24 hour period.
However, a recent study conducted at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada is cited everywhere concluding that women could hypothetically ovulate two or even three times a month. However, the study discovered that women develop follicles in waves, rather than all at once right before ovulation. This theory was based on the finding of the daily ultrasound scan performed on 63 women. It was found that all the women produced at least two waves of follicular development in the same cycle. But what this study did not conclude was whether these multiple waves of follicular development sparked more than one ovulation in a cycle.(Source)
Though you can ovulate only once in a cycle, but it is perfectly normal to get two positive ovulation tests during the same month. This is because your body can prepare for ovulation more than once in a month, but not necessarily release an egg each time. A positive ovulation test does not always guarantee that ovulation is happening. It shows that your body has produced a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH), which is detected by the ovulation test and gives a positive result. You may get two positive ovulation test which may put you in doubt that you are ovulating twice. But this is not true.
A woman’s body may get ready for ovulation more than once within the same cycle, but, in fact, may not release an egg every time. However, due to various hormonal reasons (like, in response to the estrogen surge,) two eggs can be released during a period of 24 hours, but not on two different days (for example, day 16 of your cycle and then again on day 25 of your cycle). If both the eggs that are released within 24 hours are fertilized, then fraternal twins are conceived. In fraternal twins, each twin is conceived by its own sperm. As the twins are conceived from two separate eggs and sperm, the fraternal twins are not identical.
Here comes an interesting fact. Fraternal twins can have different fathers. As the egg is released at different times within the span of 24-hour, and if the woman has had sex with more than one partner, it is possible that sperm from one man fertilizes an egg, and then sperm from another man fertilizes the second egg. This result is fraternal twins with different fathers. This phenomenon is known as superfecundation. This is a rare condition because most people do not have sex with different partners in a 24 hours period.
Superfetation is an extremely rare condition. Here an already pregnant woman conceives again. The gestational developments of both babies are different. Superfetation is not a result of multiple ovulation in one cycle. In these exceptional cases, the woman’s menstrual cycle for some reason continues even during pregnancy. The ovulation and fertilization have occurred in two successive cycles, conceiving babies with different gestational age. Therefore, here also, ovulation happens on two different cycles rather than one.
Can you ovulate twice in one cycle? Though the answer to that is ‘no’ for the vast majority of women if you feel that there might be a problem with your cycle, speak to your doctor who specializes in fertility issues to get some reassurance.