The traditional theory that women have the potential to ovulate at one time in the month (being around day 14) is actually been proven wrong and is something fertility specialists have known for a long time
This research was first published back in 2000 in the British medical journal and then research, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility in 2003(2003;80: 116-22 [PubMed]) could explain why the “rhythm” method of contraception is so unreliable and why women who take hormonal contraceptives sometimes become pregnant.
Researchers from these studies did daily ultrasound scans on women who apparently had normal menstrual cycles. Some were nulliparous; others had had up to three children. They found that all of the women produced at least two and sometimes 3 major waves of follicular development.
The existing theory held that at the beginning of each menstrual cycle, 15 to 20 follicles begin to grow in the ovaries and that one of them develops into a mature egg at roughly the middle of the cycle. The research showed that 40% of the subjects had the clear biological potential to produce more than one egg in a single month. Moreover, they could be fertile at any time of the month.
“These studies have actually caused the rewriting of the human reproduction textbooks” The leading researchers have explained. “It explains why natural family planning often doesn’t work, why hormonal contraception sometimes fails, and why we see fraternal twins with different conception dates.” The studies have also helped to improve assisted reproduction success rates too and why we see some women ovulate again (as part of their natural cycle) after hormone induced ovulation.
Research published back in 2000 that was published in the British medical Journal also showed that “Ovulation – Fertile days are unpredictable”
The timing of the fertile window is highly variable and to assume that ovulation occurs on day 14 or between day 10 and day 17 is based on outdated information.
Fertile days are unpredictable, and can fall anytime during the menstrual cycle-even for those women with regular Cycles. There is only a 10% probability of being fertile in the fertile window (day 10-17) as identified by Clinical guidelines and more than 70% are in the fertile window before day 10 or after day 17 of their cycle.
There is also a 1-6 % chance of being fertile during a menstrual phase of the cycle. (British medical Journal 2000 321:1259-1292)
This is why couples need to be having regular sex in a cycle, if they want to conceive and that they need to stop just trying in the so called old school thinking of the “Fertility Window” as identified as day 14, or between day 10 to day 17 of the cycle.
Like anything in life, if something isn’t working, then you need to change what you are doing. If that doesn’t help, then you need to get help from a professional.
I have helped over 12,500 babies into the world and this is part of what I teach my couples and part of my multimodality fertility program.
Dr Andrew Orr
“Women & Men’s Health Crusader”
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