Natural Birth Control & Fertility Awareness Education

Q&A ~ Charting Tips

When to Expect a Double Peak

Posted on December 9, 2015 at 2:35 PM

Sometimes I’m asked when to “expect” a Double Peak. Really, you always want to be alert for this possibility, especially if you’re avoiding pregnancy. It’s more likely during times of stress, illness, or hormonal change, but don’t count on those to be the only times. (If you want a reminder of what a Double Peak is, scroll to the bottom of this post.)

If you’re following the Observational Routine and the rules for telling infertile and fertile days apart, Double Peaks don’t cause you any trouble. But, it can catch you by surprise if you pass a Peak Day and think you’ve ovulated, and start letting some of the Observational Routine slip – and then find cervical mucus has returned!

Double Peaks are more common during times of stress and times of hormonal change, but they happen other times, too! Times when you don’t have any particular explanation for why your cycle would vary from what you’re used to. That being said, there are a few times you might be especially on the alert:

- When you have a Peak Day that isn’t accompanied by a BBT shift. Your BBT shift is your confirmation that ovulation has passed. If cervical mucus dries up but your temperature stays low, very likely you haven’t ovulated yet and will see another mucus patch at some point.

- When you see something unusual. For example, unusual bleeding. If you see some spotting that’s not part of your period, there’s something unusual happening! (Usually a “withdrawal bleed,” meaning hormone levels are dropping, or a “breakthrough bleed” in a long cycle.) Likely cervical mucus is coming up again at some point.

- When you’re used to a Basic Infertile Pattern (BIP) of some sort of mucus after ovulation. Don’t get too comfortable with the idea that discharge after ovulation is just normal for you! Still watch what it looks like – still note sensation, color, and consistency – so that you can see if you have a return of cervical mucus.

- And the usual suspects – times of stress, illness, or hormonal change.

(So what is a Double Peak? A Double Peak is when you have more than one Peak Day in a single cycle. And it might not be only “double” – you could potentially have three or more. Of course, you only ovulate once per cycle. But, you can have cervical mucus appear for a day or more as your body moves toward ovulation, and then, for one reason or another, your body backs off of ovulating, and your cervical mucus dries up. This can look a lot like what you see at ovulation. (As always, you’re fertile on the days of cervical mucus, and after a Count of 3, you’re infertile.) Then, when your body is ready to start working up to ovulation again, cervical mucus shows up again. This time, you build up to another Peak Day, and you ovulate. Cervical mucus dries up again, your temperature goes up, and after a Count of 3, you’re infertile. In 14 or so days, you get your period.)


Categories: Charting Tips, Birth Control, Trying To Conceive

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