I wanted to take the opportunity to answer one of the many quick questions I get here at our clinic, Santa Monica Fertility. If you have any topics or questions you’d like me to address, post a response to this blog entry, or feel free to call us anytime. The first step toward battling infertility is becoming educated about infertility!
Question: Can more than one egg be released during ovulation?
Answer: Every month dozens of egg follicles are released by the ovary. The pituitary gland secretes a Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in order to promote the growth of the egg follicles. Once the egg follicles begin to grow, they release a potent estrogen hormone called estradiol. This hormone travels from the ovary back to the pituitary gland and causes a decrease in secretion of FSH. As a result, there is only enough circulating FSH to promote the growth of one follicle. All of the other egg follicles die and are absorbed by the ovary. From time to time more than one egg follicle might grow leading to ovulation of more than one egg. This in turn can lead to twins, triplets or higher order pregnancies. There also appear to be family tendencies toward non-identical twins as a result of regularly ovulating more than one egg.
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