Can I ovulate more than once a cycle?

Varvara May 05 2022

Don't want to waste time on the way to the baby? Read when you have the best chance of getting pregnant and how this short time can be determined quite reliably.

There is no "average woman" with a 28-day cycle and ovulation specifically on the 14th day of the cycle. Studies have shown that in the vast majority of cycles, a high percentage of cycles are between 25 and 35 days and more than 80% of the cycles vary. Most women don't ovulate exactly on day 14, but ovulation is considered delayed if it occurs after day 21.

What happens during ovulation

When the follicular maturation is complete in the first half of the menstrual cycle, the pituitary gland releases another important hormone, the luteinizing hormone (LH). 

The LH surge causes ovulation, i.e. the mature follicle bursts (ovulation). The egg cell jumps out of the conductive follicle into the fallopian tube. Whether it is the turn of the left or right ovary is completely random - and by no means always alternating.

One or, rarely, several egg cells are immediately caught by the funnel-shaped end of the fallopian tube. These egg cells slip over the ovary and travel down the fallopian tube towards the uterus. 

The egg cell is supported by the inner fallopian tube wall, because fine hairs on the wall of the fallopian tube, so-called cilia, cause a flow of liquid in the target direction.

There are almost half a million egg cells in the ovaries. However, it is not until puberty that the follicles mature, from which an egg cell is released during the first ovulation. How many eggs mature each month? 15 to 20 in each ovary.

The ideal time for fertilization

The egg cell is viable and fertile at most 24 hours after ovulation. Sperm can survive and be fertile in a woman's body for between three and five days. The ideal time for fertilization starts two days before ovulation and ends the day after ovulation. Since the exact time of ovulation is usually not known, the 9th to 16th day of the cycle is considered optimal for conception.

Although many women think that day 14 is when you ovulate, the actual day you ovulate varies depending on your cycle length. Some women feel a sharp pain when they ovulate.

Ovulation often does not take place in the middle of the cycle, as is often assumed, but can occur earlier or later. Example of a cycle with ovulation and a fertilizable egg cell: In this example, the woman has a 30-day cycle. The menstrual period lasts four days.

Can I have two ovulations in one cycle?

No. Only one ovulation per cycle is possible. However, it can happen that two (or more) eggs are released at the same time. When this happens, there is a chance of getting pregnant with fraternal (non-identical) twins if both eggs are fertilized. But two ovulations at different times in the same cycle do not happen.

However, Canadian scientists found out in their study that follicles mature at two to three intervals per cycle. However, it has not been established that women therefore also have two to three ovulations.