Coitus-induced ovulation and its implications for estimates of some reproductive parameters

Acta Genet Med Gemellol (Roma). 1984;33(4):547-55. doi: 10.1017/s0001566000007066.


It is estimated here that, at the time of conception, the mean coital rate of young women who subsequently bear DZ twins is about 6% higher than that of the general population of young married women. This differential seems too small to account wholly for the greater promptness in conceiving DZ twins. Accordingly, it is suggested that coital rate is associated with DZ twinning in two ways. The major link seems to be indirect and mediated by erotic response which causes an increase in gonadotrophin levels and thus in double ovulation. In a minority of cases, frequent coitus may give rise to DZ twins via superfecundation, but it seems that, in human beings, the corpus luteum of one ovum will usually inhibit fertilization of any further ova after a short interval. The evidence presented here, though indirect, seems to suggest that, under particularly erotic conditions, double ovulation is sometimes induced. It seems reasonable to infer that coitus also occasionally provokes or accelerates single ovulations, thus impugning some rhythm methods of contraception. But there seems no very good evidence that rape induces ovulation. Some notes are added on the implications of induced ovulation for estimates of fecundability and of the length of the fertile period.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coitus*
  • Female
  • Fertilization
  • Gonadotropins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Ovulation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Multiple*
  • Rape
  • Superovulation
  • Time Factors
  • Twins*
  • Twins, Dizygotic*


  • Gonadotropins