FFP 269 | Can Women Ovulate More Than Once Per Cycle? | Can Women Ovulate While Pregnant? | Lets…

this episode is brought to you by my fertility awareness mastery online self-study program learn fertility awareness from the comfort of your own home at your own pace for a fraction of the cost head over to fertility Friday calm / mastery for details that's fertility Friday calm / mastery this episode is brought to you by my very first book the fifth vital sign master your cycles and optimize your fertility with over 1000 research citations it is the most comprehensive resource on fertility awareness and the menstrual cycle to date the fifth vital sign is available in paperback ebook and audiobook formats on amazon.com listen to the fifth vital sign for free when you sign up for a 30-day trial with audible visit fertility Friday calm / audible for details that's fertility Friday calm / audible this is the fertility Friday podcast episode number 269 welcome to the 269 episode of the fertility Friday podcast thank you for joining me today I'm Lisa from fertility Friday calm and this is your source for information about the fertility awareness method and all things fertility I'm excited to share today's episode of you in today's episode I thought I would take some time to dispel a couple of the most common myths about the menstrual cycle and also fertility awareness if you've been following me on social media over the past couple of months you have probably noticed that I've been posting a number of myth-busting coats addressing issues such as multiple ovulation during the menstrual cycle as well as multiple pregnancies and what I find the most interesting is just as an educator you know I've been in this field for over 20 years I have received my training and certification in this area and I've also read a ton of research literature on the menstrual cycle and how it works and how a view lesion works and how implantation works and all of those types of things and so it often surprises me but not necessarily that much but honestly it often does surprise me that a lot of these myths continue to remain firmly in place and the reason that I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and record this episode today is just because I mean as an educator who teaches women Detroit their cycles what I feel is that these myths around the menstrual cycle and how it works they leave us in the dark about our cycles and our bodies because when you adhere to a lot of these myths it really means that we just haven't been educated about the basic biology behind the menstrual cycle but it also means that for you know those of you who are wanting to use fertility awareness as a birth control method there's always a lingering you know doubt in your mind if it could really work because essentially you know these myths throw all of those biological realities of the menstrual cycle out the window and kind of always leave this possibility of some random event happening so I hope today's episode will clarify some of these myths now I know that a lot of you who are listening or at least some of you who are listening strongly believe the myths and you know my intention is actually not to given to anybody who is adamant that the myths are true but I feel that this will be an informative episode for those of you who really don't necessarily believe the myths but don't have a lot of the science or the the specific understanding so that you know to just be able to understand it fully yourself or to explain it to others so I feel like that this episode will be informative but as I mentioned my goal is not to try to convince I know that there are women who will adamantly you know argue until the end that I know that ovulation can happen twice in cycle I know that you know a woman can be pregnant and become pregnant again who those are the two myths of hue dressing today and so you know my goal isn't to given to you I really I feel like the the benefit of this episode will be for everybody else he wasn't necessarily adamant about that myth but more so just wanting to understand more about how the cycle works so I think it will be fun for those of you who are interested in the science behind fertility awareness and really just want to understand more about how it works for those of you who have used the method yourself or if you are on your journey starting to use it starting to chart your cycles I have cultivated a number of excellent resources for you to support you on your journey so the first resource is my book the fifth vital sign and master your cycles and optimize your fertility as you'll hear in today's episode I mean the one of my main goals with the book was to create a resource where it wasn't just like oh I'm gonna take Lisa's word for it I really wanted to connect you with the science so that if you have further questions or want to do for the research you actually have a place to start so when I discuss you know a variety of different whether it's a specifics around the fertility awareness method or how the menstrual cycle works or even the normal parameters of the menstrual cycle what you'll find in the fifth vital sign is you know a long list of citations to back up everything I say so that if you actually do have questions or concerns or it's often hard when our beliefs are challenged especially if we have believed these myths for a really long time we all grew up with a lot of these menstrual cycle myths and so it's really hard to challenge our own ideas but if you're looking for the evidence like where does this information come from it's all there to the tune of over a thousand research citations and you know another part of the the reason why I feel this is important is because it really reflects a huge disconnect there's no lack of research verifying the biological function of the menstrual cycle and ovulation and pregnancy the research is there so the main question is how is it that this research doesn't translate and why is it that the average woman continues to remain in the dark and so if you haven't grabbed your copy of the fifth vital sign head over to Amazon it's available in eBook paperback as well as audiobook formats and if you are an audio book lover like myself you can head over to audible and you can actually listen to the book for free with your trial your 30-day trial of audible so more information there over at fertility Friday calm / audible and today's episode is also brought to you by my fertility awareness mastery online self-study program and you know I designed this program with you in mind this program is the most comprehensive fertility awareness self-study program available and the best part is that you can learn at your own pace in your own living room for a fraction of the cost of joining one of my live coaching programs so make sure to head over to fertility Friday calm / mastery for details about my fertility runs mastery online self-study program so that's fertility Friday calm / mastering now let's jump into today's episode okay so let's jump right into today's episode and so basically what we'll be talking about today are two of the biggest myths about how the menstrual cycle works and we've talked about a lot of the myths on the show and I've done a few episodes recently where I've tackled some of the most common myths and so some of the most common and myths include you know the menstrual cycle is always 28 days ovulation always happens on day 14 women are fertile every single day and so those and other myths what I'll do is a link some related episodes in the show notes page so if this is an interesting topic to you and you really want to spend some time just debunking a lot of the common myths about the menstrual cycle and increasing your own awareness of how the menstrual cycle works make sure to head over to the show notes page which you'll find over at fertility Friday calm / 269 and I will link all of the you know related myth-busting episodes and you know if you're listening in your favorite podcast app you can just kind of tap on the screen or you know push it to the side or whatever you need to do in order to see the show notes page but you'll see the related episodes listed there in today's episode though we're going to be talking about the two big ones that have been just I suppose they've been on my radar over the past couple of months as I mentioned you know I've been posting a lot doing a lot of myth-busting as I often do and these seem to be the two that stick I always get you know people basically saying no you're wrong this can happen so the two main myths that I will be talking about in today's episode are the myth of double ovulation so the myth that you can ovulate once in the cycle and go on to a view late again so that is actually a myth it is not true it's not possible and we'll talk about why and then the second myth is that a woman can become pregnant so she could avi late once in her cycle and become pregnant and then while she's pregnant she can actually ovulate again and become pregnant like twice so though that is also a myth so that is not true that's that's a myth and we'll talk about why neither of those two situations are possible we'll talk about what some of the situations are that can occur that can be misinterpreted for those two events and of course I'm drawing directly from the scientific literature so I'll be linking the studies to this episode for those of you who are very skeptical and want to see where this information is coming from so let's start with the myth of multiple ovulations I think the most important and potentially helpful aspect of this conversation is to start with just a basic foundation of how the minstrel cycle works so that you can start appreciating why multiple ovulations don't happen in the cycle and one of the things that I'll say is for any of you who have charted your own cycles it's one thing to listen to someone like me talk about these events but it's another thing to actually chart your cycles so if you're listening to this episode and you find yourself thinking absolutely not this girl doesn't know what she's talking about I totally disagree then you know I would say the first step is to actually start charting your cycles for yourself because as soon as you chart your cycles and let's say you've charted your cycles for six months or twelve months or two years or five years or like in my case almost 20 years then you really start to see and understand the biology of what happens in the menstrual cycle for yourself because it's no longer in a textbook and it's no longer a concept or an idea but it's actually your physical body and you start to understand what changes happen throughout the cycle so let's first start by taking you through the menstrual cycles so at the very beginning of the menstrual cycle day one of your cycle is day one of your period and it's day one of your true characteristic flow and in order to have a true menstrual period ovulation had to happen about twelve to fourteen days prior so it is possible to have bleeding if you didn't ovulation oat aching the birth control pills you can have bleeding whenever you stop you know have a couple of days off of the hormones or you take your sugar pills or if you're using the patch or the ring and you pull it out for a couple of days but that didn't you know there was no ovulation prior to that bleeding and so that in that case of the the birth chills that would be withdrawal bleeding and if you are charting your cycles and you notice that you didn't ovulate you know you didn't have a temperature shift there was no ovulation but you had a couple of days of bleeding you know we can refer to that as a novel Ettore bleeding so I think the first thing to know about the menstrual cycle is that your true menstrual period happens about 12 to 14 days after ovulation and a healthy cycle and so when we're talking about like the menstrual cycle I'm talking about true starting with a true menstrual period here okay so you have your period and then what happens is we get into the first half of the cycle so as you approach a view lesion what happens is your follicles start to develop in your ovaries and as those follicles develop they produce estrogen so as you approach ovulation your follicles are developing they're producing increasing amounts of estrogen and that estrogen has a number of different effects on the menstrual cycle and effects that you can actually observe so I mean one of the effects that you don't necessarily observe until you get your period later on is that estrogen stimulates the endometrial lining to grow one of the effects that you can observe is that estrogen stimulates cervical mucus production so for any of you who are charting you'll know that as you approach ovulation you typically see a change in your cervical fluid so you might go from not seeing any just starting to see some lotion e-type or clear stretchy kind of like raw egg white type mucus or you may just notice that when you're going to the bathroom it feels really slippery when you're wiping yourself but either way these are the effects of estrogen now for those of you who are checking your cervical position you'll find that if you consistently check so you have to have a little bit of patience when it comes to the cervix but if you're consistently checking your cervical position every day so essentially inserting your finger into your vagina and filling around palpating your cervix you'll notice that as you approach ovulation as those estrogen levels rise your cervix becomes softer and you may feel that it's a little bit open you may feel a bit of a dimple and you may feel that it's at a higher position in your vagina but either way there is a change from you know what happens outside of your fertile window to when you're in your fertility and so what is important to know about ovulation is that ovulation doesn't happen at random so there are some animal species where maybe triggered from sexual arousal so you know if you're horny or something boom ovulation but with human beings it doesn't work like that we do not ovulate in response to sexual arousal and it does not happen at random ovulation happens because of a series of hormonal events so estrogen rises to a certain point and once it Rises high enough it actually triggers our pituitary to release luteinizing hormones so there's a feedback loop happening and then the luteinizing hormone that's what the ovulation predictor kits test for that is what triggers ovulation and you know in a normal typical cycle ovulation would happen anywhere from about 24 to 36 hours after that luteinizing hormone surge okay so first i suppose it'll be helpful to take you through like a normal typical cycle and then we will talk about some of the reasons why a person may think that they ovulate admirer than once however in those cases they may be misinterpreting the events okay so you had the first half of your cycle your ovaries mate we're producing estrogen you know it reached to a certain point threshold and then that triggered your luteinizing hormone which then triggered ovulation about 24 to 36 hours later so when you ovulate I just want you to picture what's happening in your abdomen your ovaries during ovulation actually burst open so the ovary itself actually ruptures and the egg comes out so the ovary physically changes during ovulation in order for the egg to come out and once that happens after the ovary ruptures and there's quite literally then a scar on your ovary because it just ruptured what then the same follicle then that was producing estrogen that burst during ovulation it turns into the corpus luteum so if you were to look inside of the abdominal cavity you would actually see what looks like a scar on the ovary the corpus luteum and then that physical structure because of that change then what happens is your corpus luteum starts producing progesterone and so you produce significant amounts of progesterone after ovulation and you only produce significant amounts of progesterone after ovulation there's no significant progesterone production in the menstrual cycle unless you do ovulate and so then progesterone has a number of on the body that counteract the effects that estrogen was having before so progesterone shuts down further ovulation it actually closes the cervix and it stops the production of that cervical mucus that you were observing before so progesterone stimulates the cervix to fill with a thick gelatinous mucous plug that is a physical barrier that prevents sperm from being able to swim through and access your cervix your uterine cavity and your fallopian tubes and also progesterone stimulates your cervix itself and for those of you who are checking your cervical position every day after ovulation you'll notice that the cervix does closed it feels more firm and it goes into a different position in the uterus or in your vagina I should say and so what that means is that when you're charting your cycles you can feel the physical shift that happens in your body the physical change in your cervix and the positioning and the feeling you can feel it go from open to closed so this is a physical change that happens in your body and it's biology and there's another there's quite a bit of research on the different types of cervical mucus that you produce during your cycle and so you know there's you can confirm it with research but you can also confirm it by actually just charting your cycles the difference in cervical mucus production throughout your menstrual cycle and so then the mucus if you're if you're checking for Mekas what happens after ovulation in a typical cycle is that your mucus dries up either completely or you'll see a definite shift from what it looked like during your fertile module and so these changes are all happening as a result of progesterone and then what would happen in a typical cycle is that you know if you're not if there was no exposure to sperm if you didn't have unprotected sex then you know you'd get your period about 12 to 14 days later or if you were trying to get pregnant or you know you had unprotected sex in the Fertile window and there was sperm in your reproductive tract that fertilized an egg then you would go on to become pregnant now of course we know that you know a woman can release more than one egg a tabulation because we all know that fraternal twins happen and so again ovulation doesn't just happen at random and it can't just happen at any point during the cycle so what happens in a case where a woman releases more than one egg it is possible since you know the majority of us have two ovaries you know two ovaries there so if you are approaching a relation is possible for both ovaries to develop and the follicles on both ovaries to develop an egg and for as our estrogen levels rise it's the same hormone cycle that happens except you just picture both of the ovaries doing it at the same time so you know follicles are developing estrogen levels are rising and once those estrogen levels reach the peak again our pituitary secretes luteinizing hormone and that triggers ovulation so if there's more than one follicle that is mature at the time of you know ovulation then it will respond to that luteinizing hormone surge and you know eggs can be released from both ovaries but it would happen on that one day that one 24 1 12 to 24 hour period so ovulation can only happen on that one day and then once you ovulate we have a series of hormonal shifts and changes that actually prevent it from happening again and so I think this concept is much more tangible and much easier to understand for women who are charting their cycles actively because once you start charting I mean every cycle that you chart is additional information that basically deepens your understanding of this for yourself because it helps you to understand it in your bones because you can see it for yourself and you can see that there are specific physiological changes that you can monitor and measure that occur only after ovulation and so you know I think that's one of the challenges for women who have never had the opportunity to chart their cycles or who haven't had the opportunity to learn this information it can be difficult to challenge some of these ideas because really I mean if we're not taught about how our body works then how can we even know the difference between fact and fiction okay so now that we've gone through the basics and the anatomy what we're going to talk about are some of the events that are commonly misinterpreted as multiple ovulations I mean one of the great things about the internet and dr. Google is that you can literally Google anything you want and you'll find evidence for and evidence to the contrary and so even if you were to do a search for like double ovulations you'll see all these articles that say women can ovulate twice they can ovulate more than once and there are some of these articles that actually cite scientific references and there's one study that I'll link in the show notes called a new model for ovarian follicular development during the human menstrual cycle and this study is cited in you know several different articles basically saying this is proof that ovulation had happened twice now what's interesting about this study is that they're looking specifically at follicular development so in the study they show that it's possible for a woman's follicles to develop and say let's say for example the follicles develop and they start to grow and then they kind of back off or stop and then they kind of go on to develop again and I'll note that the study doesn't actually confirm ovulation with some of the accepted ways that you can actually confirm ovulation so let's talk first of all before I get into some of those events that are commonly misinterpreted as multiple ovulation as how you would actually go about confirming ovulation in the menstrual cycle so in order to confirm that ovulation has actually occurred there are a few different ways that you can go about it one if you're charting your cycles as you know so a lot of you who are listening to the show are already in the midst of your charting journey so you'll already know we confirm ovulation at home when we're charting by monitoring our basal body temperature and so essentially basal body temperature is a measure of your body's resting metabolism and so you know when we get up first thing in the morning before we've gotten out of bed after we've had you know ideally at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep we would take our resting body temperature so having the minimum of five hours uninterrupted sleep allows our body to go back into that state of rest and so that would allow essentially our bodies to get back to that resting metabolism level and so if you are charting your cycles and you're taking your temperature every morning then what you'll find consistently is that after you ovulate and I mean really obviously after you've after your ovary has released an egg and we talked about how the ovary bursts and you start to produce significant amounts of progesterone so that progesterone that you produce causes a change in your metabolism and it causes a change that you can actually measure on a hand chart on a graph and it's fascinating for any of you who are kind of on that science nerdy place it's really cool to see these changes in your body and as you continue to chart so again this is why it's easier to understand when you chart your cycles so as you continue to chart your cycles for several months and years you know any woman who's been charting her cycle for a couple of years or more and who has been monitoring her temperatures in alignment with her mucus and her cervical position changes will attest that you can tell when you ovulate based on the temperatures of course there are times when the temperatures might be hard read if you're sick but you know all of those types of interferences notwithstanding it's pretty clear and so in order to confirm your ovulation with your temperature you're looking for a sustained shift in temperature and so once you've ovulated you you're producing significant amounts of progesterone and when you're measuring that you know temperature every day when you get out of before you get out of bed you'll notice that there is a shift in your temperature rises and then it stays high for the remainder of your cycles so on your chart you'll see a group of temperatures preovulatory that are just within a certain range and a separate group of temperatures after ovulation that are within a certain range but it's always higher and so you you know typically can draw a line between your pre and post ambulatory temperatures you know I'm from the old school I still chart on paper but you can draw a line between the pre and post ovulatory temperatures and once you've actually ovulated those temperatures don't drop back down they just stay up because the progesterone actually increases your metabolism so if you're also monitoring your other two phases I've already alluded to you know how your cervical mucus will either completely dry up or there'll be a shift so it'll be different than what you saw on your fertile window most often they'll you know dry up but for some women they may still continue to see some like lotion II or something like that for you know a couple of days or some women may even have a random day of clear stretchy or like a an observation or something like that but when you look at the cycles and the charts you know cycle after cycle chart after chart you'll see that there is a very specific shift that happens the cervical mucus does dry up and/or significantly change post ovulation and then thirdly the cervical position as we talked about changes as well so there's these physical changes that happen that you can actually measure and write down so that's how you could do it at home now with charting and gauging your basal body temperature honestly it is second to getting a daily ultrasound the best way to really confirm these things without any heavy technology but you know to fully confirm it in the most kind of scientific manner you would either have to undergo daily ultrasounds and I mean I don't know anyone that has an ultrasound machine in their house but daily ultrasounds so if you were to have an ultrasound every single day and they were monitoring ovarian follicular development then you would be able to pinpoint the date of ovulation you'd actually be able to do that but in order to confirm ovulation via ultrasound in that way you'd have to actually get that ultrasound daily to verify exactly when it occurred in the cycle and there's a difference between follicular development and ovulation so if you were monitoring ovarian function and follicular development throughout the cycle it would be possible to see follicles developing the first half of the cycle is most variable so it is possible to your body to be gearing up to ovulation and for you to approach ovulation but for ovulation to be delayed and not actually occur so it is possible to have more than one wave of follicular development in the menstrual cycle and that does not confirm that ovulation has occurred on two separate occasions so in addition to then ultrasound like daily ultrasounds again I would say I suppose you could say the most scientific way to measure ovulation would be a blood test to verify your progesterone levels so because you're only producing significant amounts of progesterone post ovulation one of the ways that doctors will confirm if ovulation occurred in the cycle is to actually test your blood to find out where your progesterone levels are and because if your progesterone levels are a certain level you know they're not the only excellent is that you ovulated unless you're actually actively taking progesterone supplements and that would be a different conversation okay so I wanted to preface it by that because I want to be clear that there's specific ways to confirm ovulation and unless a person is actually confirming ovulation in a scientific manner then we can't make the assumption that more than one ovulation occurred so let's go back now to some of the events that are often commonly misinterpreted as multiple ovulations the first is multiple waves of follicular development so this is something that I've already alluded to but as I mentioned there is an article that is commonly referred to as evidence that women can all eight more than once in the menstrual cycle and this article is called a new model for ovarian follicular development during the human menstrual cycle and this article they are measuring so they're doing ultrasounds not daily but they are doing ultrasounds throughout the cycle and they're basically measuring follicles and then drawing conclusions for that and so what the and and they're not actually confirming ovulation in the accepted ways that you would confirm ovulation so they're not testing for progesterone levels to verify that ovulation in fact occurred they are not doing daily ultrasounds to confirm the specific date of ovulation and they're not looking at basal body temperature or cervical mucus or or any of the fertility awareness signs so what they're doing in that particular study is they're actually measuring the follicular they're measuring the size of the follicles and then based on the changes in the size of the follicles they're drawing the conclusion that and and they're not in the conclusion itself of the study they're looking at you know they're the conclusion they come to it says the follicular wave phenomenon and women provides a new model for ovarian function during the menstrual cycle and will improve our understanding of the ovarian response to fertility and hormonal contraceptive regimens so you know this study they're trying to increase their understanding of the ovarian cycle in the ovarian follicular development as it pertains to the possibilities related to artificial reproductive technology and you know so they're not verifying that ovulation happens more than once they're really verifying that there are you can actually track multiple waves of follicular development within the menstrual cycle and that is very different than confirming that ovulation happens more than once in the menstrual cycle so what's really I spoke about this in one of the episodes that I recorded shortly after I released the my book the fifth vital sign and one of my main points was that you have to actually read the research yourself you have to read through the whole study the full text and interpret it logically because you can take a lot of things and twist them into whatever you want them to be without recognizing okay why did they do the study what were they looking for what were the results you know how were they did they confirm that ovulation was occurring and was that their intention and so again I would encourage you to you know take a critical eye especially if you're looking at articles and things like that because anyone can write an article about anything and you know you can write an article about a research study that you didn't even read you know if you just looked at the if you just looked at the the summary part of it or something like that and you may not even fully understand what the intentions of the researchers were or what the information that they're sharing even means in the context of say the menstrual cycle in this case so multiple waves of follicular development can be misinterpreted as multiple ovulations so if you have an ultrasound and there looks like there's a follicle that's a certain size and then you have another one and there's a follicle of a certain size you know it is possible throughout the ovarian cycle for follicles to develop and mature and for that not to result in ovulation and so again for any woman who has tracked her menstrual cycle for a period of time just depending on how long you've tracked it and what types of cycles you've observed within yourself this is something that you know many women who chart their cycles already know so it's possible to move towards ovulation as your follicles develop and grow they produce estrogen you start to produce cervical mucus and perhaps something happens either there's something happening within your body if you are somewhere on the PCOS so spectrum and your body is sensitive to sugars glucose you know resistant to insulin these are factors that can actually delay ovulation similar to if you are stressed or you experience something ovulation can be delayed and in fact the first half of the menstrual cycle so the preovulatory phase is the most susceptible to disruption when there are you know dramatic changes in the length of the menstrual cycles so if one cycle your cycle is you know 29 days and the following cycle it's like 45 days that means that ovulation was delayed in that cycle and so multiple waves a follicular development can be misinterpreted as multiple ovulations as well as multiple patches of cervical mucus delayed ovulations and double peaks so basically let me paint you a picture so if your cycle happens to be really long or you kind of looking back on a cycle you know ovulation doesn't occur until say day 30 or something like that and you're tracking your cycles you may notice that you are you know having cervical mucus for several days and you know you think'll cam and ovulate now but then your temperatures don't rise and you know nothing really lines up and then you might start to see cervical mucus again you know for a couple of days so that scenario is called a double peak it's very well known common and documented within the fertility awareness world and really and truly that is not a sign that ovulation occurred twice it's a sign that your body was gearing up to ovulation your hormone levels started to rise and something basically suppress ovulation and or delayed it until a later time if you were to have you know ultrasounds kind of randomly scattered throughout that period of time you would likely hear from the person who's interpreting your ultrasound that follicles are developing and they may even say something that would make you think that ovulation is happening more than once but again in those situations we have no confirmed ovulation you know there's no sustained basal body temperature shift there's no progesterone testing to verify that you are in that post ovulatory range and so it's really important that we recognize that those are situations that can be misinterpreted as double ovulation even though ovulation was never confirmed in those and then you know one of the last events that can become commonly misinterpreted as multiple ovulation would be positive ovulation predictor kits so for example it is possible to have a positive ovulation predictor kit result and not ovulate you know for some women I'll give the example of polycystic ovary syndrome again so some you know one of the signs of PCOS is an elevated LH levels women with PCOS are known to have rapid LH pulse secretions meaning that you know some women with PCOS will secrete a lot of luteinizing hormone throughout their cycle and so some of these women will have positive ovulation predictor kits all the time and it has nothing to do with whether or not they ovulate it and furthermore ovulation predictor kits do not confirm that ovulation has occurred they're detecting for that luteinizing hormone surge which in a typical cycle will occur about 24 to 36 days sorry 24 to 36 hours prior to ovulation so a positive ovulation predictor kit multiple times in the menstrual cycle does not mean that you ovulated multiple times it means that your LH levels were elevated multiple times and those are two different things so I'll just kind of repeat that short list so events that are commonly misinterpreted as multiple ovulations include multiple waves of follicular development as detected on ultrasounds multiple patches of cervical mucus delayed ovulation double peaks and positive ovulation predictor kits and I'll link I've done an entire episode on ovulation predictor kits that I reference often and so I'll link that in the show notes page so episode 149 if you want to hear more about the opie case okay so we spoke about the reasons that all Asian can't happen again in the menstrual cycle so once you ovulate you produce progesterone it stimulates your cervix to fill with a thick mucus plug it changes the cervix it changes the position of the cervix it dries up your mucus and it suppresses further ovulation and so as I mentioned you know that's just to kind of summarize the first part of it so I'm sure that there will be interesting discussions that will come out of this episode so we all open up a chat in the Facebook group for chilly Friday calms community and we could talk about it there and I'm sure I'll have it post on Instagram when this comes out so we can talk about it there as well I'm at fertility Friday so let's then talk about the second big myth I wanted to cover in this episode which is the myth of multiple pregnancies so the myth that it is possible to ovulate and become pregnant in a menstrual cycle and then ovulate whether it's several weeks later or months later and then become pregnant again so again this is a myth and it stays strong and alive because again we are not taught about the menstrual cycle we're not taught about the basic biology of female reproductive Anatomy and that myths or that lack of information is what allows these myths to continue and to stay strong so this the concept of getting pregnant while you're already pregnant there's a word for it and it's called super invitation and so you can look it up you can google that and so I think again we have to take it back to how the menstrual cycle works and so I'm going to actually reference an article that talks about this in really great detail which is pretty awesome the article is called the concept of super fit a ssin a critical review on a myth in mammalian reproduction and what's interesting and helpful about this article is that it's not just talking about human beings this talking about mammals and so you can see and understand how and where some of these ideas come from because there are certain species of animal where these types of things can occur and as you learn more about it then you can appreciate that human beings if you understand how the human reproductive cycle operates why this is something that just can't happen so let's talk about what would need to happen in order for a woman to get pregnant while she was already pregnant and you know what what I typically say is that you know you don't know anybody out there who has you know had become pregnant and then like become raining again and then had like two different due dates like she was she was carrying two babies and one was doing some time was due in January or something like that but as I've shared this information there are women who will say no I did know somebody who you know ha was pregnant with two different babies that were due on two different days so let's talk let's talk about it okay so in order for a woman to become pregnant while she was already pregnant three main things would have to happen so the first thing that would have to happen is she would have to actually ovulate while she was pregnant so that's the first thing that would have to happen so she would actually have to obviously while pregnant the second thing that would have to happen is that there would have to be semen so sperm in her reproductive tract there would have to be sperm in her fallopian tubes her cervix her uterus sperm would have to actually be in there and alive in order to fertilize this egg that was ovulating well she was already pregnant and then the third thing that would have to happen in order for a woman to become pregnant while she was already pregnant is that the endometrium would have to be receptive to implantation okay so those three things would have to happen so let's talk about the first point ovulation so when after ovulation occurs in the menstrual cycle you produce a significant amount of progesterone we talked a little bit about what causes ovulation to happen and how the follicles are developing and they're producing significant amounts of estrogen so in the pre ability phase before a woman has ovulate 'add the hormone cycle the hormonal situation in her body is completely different than the hormonal situation post ovulation so once she is ovulated and as I mentioned it's a physical change the ovaries that results in a scar on the ovaries we so the corpus luteum and that causes a shift in our hormone production we're producing significant amounts of progesterone during pregnancy by the time a woman is 40 weeks pregnant she is producing more than 11 times the progesterone that she was producing during the normal menstrual cycle so pregnancy is a completely different hormonal time it's almost like a second puberty you're producing such high levels of estrogen and progesterone that actually changes your body it changes your breasts prepares your breasts for breastfeeding it changes your brain I mean it really completely changes your body so that you're able to grow a human life so first things first ovulation is not possible in that stage in that hormonal state because the progesterone actually suppresses further ovulation and so this is biology you know that is the first part so in terms of the semen so in order for pregnancy to occur while pregnant ovulation would have to happen which is suppressed semen would actually have to be there to fertilize an egg that would have to happen now it's well documented that when a woman ovulates her cervix fills with a thick mucous plug and that's something that if you wanted to you know buy a speculum on Amazon and take a look at your own cervix you know post ovulation or if you're charting your cycles and you feel the change in your cervix and you actually monitor the change in your cervical mucus you can see that for yourself but what happens is you know when you have that thick mucus plug in place sperm are not able to penetrate so this again this is biology there are a number of research papers where they you know they they test to see if the sperm is able to penetrate and the sperm are not able to penetrate they can't get in your cervix is closed so once you've ovulated the cervix actually closes and sperm can no longer gain access to your uterus and that makes sense that our bodies would have this natural protection because you know if our uterus was just open all the time to potential viruses and bacteria that would really leave us more susceptible to infection so this is quite an important biological function of our bodies to prevent any unnecessary exposure to any type of foreign pathogens and then what happens during pregnancy so if you've again with the scientific aspect of it if you study Eric oh dad's work he categorized different types of the G type mucus which is the mucous plug and so when you become pregnant as I mentioned your progesterone levels increase significantly and that actually causes the mucus plug to thicken in some ways so Eric owed GLAAD actually categorize the the mucus plug that you have during pregnancy as a separate type of G mucus due to the increased level of progesterone so let me just put that in another way when you after you ovulate your cervix is closed and it fills with a plug that prevents sperm from penetrating once you get pregnant that plug becomes even stronger and again sperm cannot penetrate so there's no access if you were to have sex unprotected sex while you were in your post ovulatory phase and/or during pregnancy you can have all the sex all the time and there will never be any sperm in your cervix or your uterus or your fallopian tubes because it is actually physically blocked by a mucous plug so that's the second part so in order to get pregnant post pregnancy you'd have to ovulate which is suppressed and then you would have sperm would have to actually make it into your cervix and uterus and fallopian tubes which it can't happen because it's actually physically blocked and again this is a biology this is something that is easily verifiable just by looking at the biology okay and the third thing that would have to happen is the endometrium would have to be able to accept a blastocyst so you know you know in order for pregnancy to happen not only do you have to obviate there has to be sperm present for the you know fertilization has to occur but I think one of the aspects of pregnancy and how it works in conception that many people may not realize is that there's only a short window of time when your endometrium is actually receptive to a fertilized egg and so again as I mentioned at the top of this episode I will link the research studies that I'm referring to but implantation so the process of actually having the egg implant into your uterine lining there's only about a four day period a four day window when implantation can actually happen and so you know if you were to look at a typical cycle you obviously if let's say this is a pregnancy cycle so she had sex during her fertile window when her cervix was open and when she was producing cervical mucus and you know the sperm were able to enter into her cervix and her fallopian tubes so when she ovulated the sperm were already there in the fallopian tubes and the egg was fertilized so from that point it takes about you know five or six days or so so just shy of a week for that fertilized egg to make its way into the uterus and then there's a short about four day window of time when the uterus is receptive to a fertilized egg and so part of this incredible cycle of how our bodies work is that after we obviously we produce a significant amount of progesterone and progesterone is crucial for priming the endometrium for implantation and for making the endometrial lining receptive to implantation and so there's this tiny little window of time where the endometrial lining is actually saying okay this is great and where implantation can actually occur and then it takes several days for implantation to finalize which is why the post ovulatory phase in a healthy cycle is between 12 and 14 days to allow enough time for implantation to happen and in order for that to occur we need to be producing sufficient progesterone and so just to put that out there so it's not that implantation could just happen anytime implantation has happened at a very specific time in the cycle so when a woman is already pregnant her endometrial lining is not receptive to implantation that window is done and closed because now her endometrial lining is in a completely different stage and again she has a significant amount of her natural hormones estrogen and progesterone you know flowing through her body that are you know causing the endometrial lining to develop in different ways to support the life of her growing baby so that's the first thing I want to mention so in order for just to try to shatter this myth that a woman can become pregnant while she's already pregnant because this is a biological function of the human body it's not something that just happens at random and pregnancy in many ways if the more you learn about the concept of you know conception and fertilization and how everything has to work together just magically in order for conception to occur it really is a wonder you know just how how it works and and what all of the things that have to happen in order for pregnancy to occur so I think the main message is that pregnancy doesn't occur at random and it can't just happen whenever there is a specific period of time in the cycle when ovulation occurs when a woman is fertile there's a specific fertile window ovulation only happens on the one day it doesn't happen multiple times and implantation can't just happen whenever either so there's only a small window of receptivity when the endometrium is actually receptive to a fertilized egg so similar to what we did with the multiple ovulations I wanted to go through a few situations that are often mistaken for super-fit ation so that the concept of a woman being pregnant and then being pregnant again so one and again I'm taking this from the article that I mentioned that I will be that I'll have listed with this episode but one of the scenarios that is often misinterpreted for basically getting pregnant and then getting pregnant again is having you know multiple eggs fertilized from that one ovulation so if a woman you know develops more than one egg during that one day of ovulation which is entirely possible as we know and potentially if she had sex with more than one person within her fertile window for example so the Fertile window again the research shows that the Fertile window is five days plus the day of ovulation so there have a number there have been a number of studies that are done where they actually look at where pregnancy happens in the cycle so they'll have couples that are having sex at different times that their cycle and note when pregnancy occurred based on when they were having sex and so it's it's well established that the Fertile window is five days plus the date of ovulation and the reason for that is because sperm can survive in a woman's cervical mucus for up to five days so you know there's no information to suggest that sperm can survive longer than five days in a woman's reproductive tract in her cervical mucus and so essentially a woman could have sex with one partner on Monday and another partner on you know Thursday and if it just so happened to be in her fertile window and it just so happened that you know like this would be a really chance then but it just so happened that she all ated you know two eggs during that one ovulation day and it just so happened that you know one of the sperm from either individual fertilized egg then she could actually be pregnant with twins by two different fathers and that again that doesn't mean that she evaded more than once but that could be misinterpreted as just this concept of getting pregnant when she's already pregnant and I've even heard of a situation where a woman had she ended up being pregnant with twins but she had been undergoing you know IVF procedures and again if she's having sex on a fertile day prior to of ulation and then she has a procedure done several days later and then ends up pregnant with twins for two different you know fathers that is entirely possible and again that can be misinterpreted as meaning that she was she all ate it again later on in the cycle because keep in mind that in situations like this where the conclusion is drawn that ovulation happened twice they're not confirming ovulation in the ways that we spoke about so they're not actually confirming that ovulation happened twice they're looking at what's happening afterwards and saying okay this must mean that she evaded twice and then the overarching message that I mentioned a number of times is that because we don't know how the body works and we're not really educated about the female reproductive system then it makes us more likely to believe these myths as opposed to understanding the true biology of what's happening okay so the second and so this article was talking about how this could happen in mammals and so these are things that wouldn't happen in human beings so one of the scenarios that they mentioned was delayed basically delayed implantation where there's sperm that fertilized and you know an egg or something like that and certain mammals actually can store fertilized eggs in their bodies and then they can develop later on and I they mentioned here you see what they mentioned so it says who sites usually from one ovulation are fertilized but implanted at different dates dormant blastocyst can be present in the uterus for varying periods of time depending on the species days to weeks and some mice or many years in kangaroos so they're basically saying in mice and king of ruse it's possible for eggs to be fertilized and then hang out and then be implanted at a different time but this is not true for humans one of the examples that I've seen that would moreso be commonly mistaken as a potential double you know ovulation double pregnancy at different times is developmental retardation embryonic death and reabsorption so basically many of the situations that have been that have I've come across where individuals are adamant that okay pregnancy happened more than once in the cycle and I know because it was confirmed often it's a situation where a woman is pregnant with twins and maybe she didn't know that she was pregnant with twins from the beginning but she's pregnant with twins and when they measure the babies via ultrasound so they actually measure the babies you'll have two babies that have different measurements and so one may be will be a lot smaller than the other and so when they are when you have an ultrasound and they measure you know the the baby to see how old the baby is they're quite literally measuring that baby they're not confirming when ovulation occurred and so it is possible to be pregnant with two babies and to have one baby not develop normally and so there are documented situations of this when there may be exposure to infection or there's some sort of morphological issue so here it says in human babies differences in the development of multiple pregnancies can occur with most cases caused by pathological circumstances so in situations like that there are specific reasons why maybe one baby isn't developing at the same rate as another baby and there are situations where a woman may be pregnant with twins and one of the twins doesn't survive and so then you end up having one twin that you know survives and another that it's not I think it's again it's important to be really critical when we hear situations like that it's really easy to draw conclusions based on a preliminary analysis and it to be clear if a person is pregnant with twins and the twins measured differently that is not confirmation that the woman ovulated while she was pregnant and conceived while she was pregnant because as we talked about you know previously that is not possible three those three main things have to happen you know a woman would have to all eight sperm would have to be in the reproductive tract and the uterine line the endometrium would have to be receptive to implantation and based on the biology of the human body and how the reproductive cycle works neither of those things are possible and so again in those situations was ovulation confirmed you know where was that woman having a daily ultrasound every you know every day that she was pregnant to verify this ovulation happened twice you know if she did a progesterone test while she was pregnant her progesterone would be quite high indicating that ovulation already occurred because she is already pregnant and again the endometrial receptivity I can't just be receptive at any given time there's a specific window of time when the endometrium is receptive and then another example that was given in this article was conception during a pregnancy in retrogression so another possibility would be an Assad possibility if a woman became pregnant and perhaps she wasn't aware or but she miscarried so she miscarried but potentially the you know the fetus didn't actually expel and then she did have another cycle and then you know conceived and so they give this example it says here this phenomenon was described by a researcher named Sparrow for the rat and for breeding pigs so they're saying that certain mammals may have a situation where they you know get pregnant and then they basically suffer fetal loss and then another cycle happens and they get pregnant again so again that those are not situations where a woman is ovulating twice while pregnant and again it's really important the reason that I feel that it's important to just address and dispel these myths is I just can't imagine this dress that it would cause to think that you could be pregnant and still have to be vigilant and worried about not getting pregnant a subsequent time my hope and aim is to educate and to share the information and to connect you with the science as much as I can so that we can just get on with it I mean it's 2019 how is it possible that we can be in it feels like ancient times where we can still believe that we have the same reproductive Anatomy as kangaroos and mice and and pigs it's about time that we started to recognize and understand the the normal biological functions of the female body and put some of these myths to rest now with that said I just wanted to conclude with two examples of how this could possibly happen and to illustrate what would have to occur in order for something like this to happen so basically you know in a human woman's body if there was some sort of developmental issue with the uterus so for example women who have a bicornuate uterus this is a type of anomaly where there's a deep indentation in the uterus so the uterus is actually formed in a different way and also in a case it's called uterus didelphis but it's another word for a double uterus so women who through for whatever reason when they were developing in utero developed two uteri side by side I will use the word you to write whenever I have the opportunity because I think it's a great word even though I don't know that it's a real one but it is possible for women to have liked to eat heurists to services cervixes and in rare very rare cases to vaginas so in a case like that then that would be possible because if you have two uteri then it's possible for you to have two different cycles happening slightly different times so that's a really rare first of all condition that would at some point be identified I mean if you were having bleeding that was going on and you weren't really sure why and all those types of things at some point you go to your doctor have an ultrasound and these things these you know issues would be identified so you know it would take something like that where you have a very very rare developmental issue with the uterus and a very incredible circumstance something that occurred it's like go buy a lottery ticket because it's such a rare situation so I just wanted to acknowledge that you know there are situations where it is possible due to the way that the uterus has developed in utero if you happen to fall into the category of double uterus or bicornuate uterus but at the same time these are medical situations that would be identified via ultrasound you would be working with your practitioner to ensure that your pregnancies are safe and healthy and that everything's okay so I just wanted to share this with you and that brings us to basically the end of the episode I don't know that I need to do a summary but essentially what we talked about today was the two major myths you know the myth that ovulation can happen multiple times per cycle and also the myth that you can be pregnant and then get pregnant again and so what I aim to do with this episode was just to share the research and the science and the biology with you so that you can appreciate why these types of situations don't happen and again I would encourage you if you've never charted your cycles before and if it's something that you're thinking about doing or wanting to do the best way to dispel these myths for your own self is to chart and to start to see the signs for yourself the more cycles that you track the more times that you see what happens in your body when you ovulate and you know the changes that occur if you become pregnant at some point in your charting you see how your cycles change and how your body changes when you become pregnant you will understand for yourself how these reproductive functions work because they will no longer be a mystery and you'll start to recognize like oh this is actually biology this is how my body works and this is why ovulation happens on only one day of the cycle this is why the Fertile window is quite short shorter than we think as I mentioned from a scientific perspective only five days long plus the day of ovulation you know this is why when you're pregnant ovulation doesn't happen again and you know you can't get pregnant again while you're pregnant so I think I hope that this episode has shed some light for you I'm really excited and well I'm not really nervous with this one but I'm excited to hear your thoughts Andy to kind of get into this discussion with you about the menstrual cycle and about these myths because honestly until I started posting about these myths within the last couple weeks I didn't really realize how prevalent they still were so so for the studies that I mentioned and all the information regarding this episode you'll find all of that over at fertility Friday calm / 269 if you are loving the the fact that I went into the science and you're excited to dig into the research papers and you just generally are excited to learn more and want to deepen into this subject then I highly recommend grabbing a copy of my book the fifth vital sign master your cycles and optimize your fertility as I mentioned that book my intention was not for you to to read it and take my word for it I you did my due diligence and it took me quite a while to write because I wanted to make sure that I was citing what I was talking about that I could refer you to the scientific literature so that if you feel like looking into the evidence yourself you can actually look into it further I think that's really important when we're bringing the topic of fertility awareness to light especially because of the history of it a lot of people think that it's you know hogwash and it doesn't work and that it's the same as a rhythm method but it's important to be able to bring the science to it so that we can just develop a better understanding and appreciation of how incredible our bodies are and how incredible our reproductive systems are and just to appreciate that know this isn't just some random stuff this is hard scientific evidence this is biology which then brings us to the more important question I was like well if there's so much research how is it that most of us don't know about it you know this is a much bigger issue than you and I because if there is because there is there's a ton of evidence for everything that we talked about today and you know throughout the years of doing this podcast and so really and truly comes back to well seriously like why isn't to the same degree why isn't this information taught in medical school why is it that health professionals aren't even pretty that's information and so it just really gets that conversation going and I've curated additional resources for you so the book is available in eBook paperback and book format on amazon.com and if you want to dive even deeper into it you can take a look at my fertility awareness mastery online self-study program so in that program I go much deeper into it then I can go into the book over 10 hours a video I believe there are 24 videos and Counting because I can always add to it you know as I go and so for more information about my fertility awareness mastery self-study program make sure to head over to fertility friday comm slash mastery for details and with that I want to thank you for spending some time with me today I really appreciate you for tuning in to the show for sharing it with your friends if you found this episode particularly fascinating or if you think that there's a few women in your life who would really benefit from hearing it then I would really encourage you to share it so again the link is fertility Friday calm / 269 so I hope you have an amazing day weekend evening afternoon week whenever you're listening to this show and of course as always until next time be well and happy trading

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