Irregular Periods And Fertility At A Glance
- Irregular periods are caused by ovulation problems that can result in infertility.
- The primary ways a womans periods can be irregular are having no period and having them infrequently .
- Some variations in menstrual cycles are normal, but its important that women with irregular periods see a doctor to determine the underlying cause, particularly if they are having difficulty conceiving.
- Medications are the primary form of treatment, as they can help correct the hormonal imbalances affecting normal ovulation and normal periods.
Regular Menstrual Cycle Periods
A menstrual cycle is the process by which a womans body goes through a preparation to become pregnant. This monthly series of changes results in one of the ovaries releasing an egg, which is called ovulation.
Most cycles last 28-35 days, and ovulation usually occurs 14 days before the next period. According to the National Institutes of Health, 14%-25% of women have cycles that are irregular.
During the cycle, the female body grows a new uterine lining to prepare the uterus to nourish a pregnancy. To initiate the release of the egg, the body experiences hormonal changes starting with the menses phase. The hormone FSH spurs growth of the follicle that contains the egg. The follicle wall cells secrete estrogen.
An LH hormone surge triggers a follicle to release an egg. If an egg is not fertilized, then the uterine lining will shed resulting in a menstrual period. Every womans cycle is different, and there are variations of the time frame for cycles and of the severity of symptoms, such as painful periods.
Irregular Period Symptoms And Causes
Menstrual cycles generally range from 21 to 35 days, and anything outside of that timeframe is considered irregular. Varying cycle lengths are also cause for concern, especially if they change by more than a couple of days each month. .
Medical conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome or thyroid disease are the most common causes of irregular periods, according to Michele Hakakha, M.D., an OB-GYN in Beverly Hills, CA. Certain lifestyle factorsincluding stress level, weight, exercise, and dietmay also affect the menstrual cycle. And sometimes irregular periods have no known causes at all.
Its always important to get checked out by your doctor and run the appropriate tests. If your provider cant find any glaring irregular periods reasons, he/she may diagnose hypothalamic-pituitary-axis dysfunction. This is a big medical term for poor communication between your ovaries and brain, leading to less frequent ovulation, says Dr. Hakakha.
You May Like: 90 Day Probationary Period Policy Examples
When To See A Fertility Specialist
Before visiting a fertility specialist, we usually recommend trying to conceive for one year . However, if you have a condition known to affect fertility, for example, are experiencing irregular or infrequent periods, this rule doesnt apply.
If you are experiencing irregular periods or are unable to conceive after trying for the specified time period, you and your partner should go for fertility testing. For women, your doctor can run a simple blood test to see if you are ovulating or not. From there they may recommend additional female fertility testing.
Depending on why you arent ovulating, or if you are experiencing other fertility problems, treatment possibilities include lifestyle change, treatment for an underlying medical condition, or fertility treatment.
How Irregular Periods Impact You When Youre Ttc
When your periods are irregular, trying to conceive can be challenging. Women with regular periods are four times more likely to conceive than women with irregular periods. If you are TTC for more than one year with an irregular period, you may need to use fertility treatments in order to get pregnant.
Here are some of the ways that irregular periods can affect your fertility:
You May Like: Period Blood Stains On Sheets
How To Know If Youre Pregnant If You Have Irregular Periods
This article was co-authored by Carrie Noriega, MD. Dr. Noriega is a Board Certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist and medical writer in Colorado. She specializes in womens health, rheumatology, pulmonology, infectious disease, and gastroenterology. She received her MD from the Creighton School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska and completed her residency at the University of Missouri Kansas City in 2005.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 243,737 times.
Most women know that one of the first signs of pregnancy is a missed period however, if you have irregular periods, it may be difficult to know when a period is missed. Learn to look for other signs of pregnancy that can signal the need to consult a medical professional or home pregnancy test.
Read Also: Usaa New Car Insurance Grace Period
Irregular Periods: How To Get Pregnant Quickly And On Schedule
Are you worried that irregular periods could hurt your chances of getting pregnant? Since so many women have irregular periods 14% of women between the ages of 19 and 54, to be exact this is a common concern. However, many women with irregular cycles go on to have healthy pregnancies despite an irregular period.
In this post, youll learn how to get pregnant fast, despite the challenges presented by irregular periods. Read on to address your concerns about how irregular periods could impact your future pregnancy.
Read Also: 90 Day Probation Period Template
Ovulation Problems And Pregnancy
If your doctor has determined that you are infertile because of irregular periods due to an underlying medical condition, the recommended treatment is to take care of the underlying problem. If there is not underlying reason why you arent ovulating, the doctor can use drugs that can stimulate ovulation, which will, in turn, regulate your cycles.
Clomiphene citrate is marketed as Serophene and Clomid. This drug is often given as a first choice for infertile females because it can cause the release of the egg from the ovaries in a relatively predictable pattern. This will increase your chances of having a more regular cycle by causing ovulation to occur a few days after taking this medication. Clomiphene citrate is an especially effective tool for enhancing ovulation because it doesnt need to be injected but is instead an oral pill taken in the first few days of the menstrual cycle.
In fact, clomiphene citrate can induce ovulation in women suffering from a lack of ovulation, also referred to as anovulation. Studies indicate that it works so well that as many as 10 percent of women taking clomiphene citrate for anovulation will have twins or triplets. This compares to a rate of just about 1 percent in women who dont take ovulation-stimulating drugs.
How To Get Pregnant When You Have An Irregular Period
Timing is an important part of getting pregnant. But how can you predict when youre ovulating if your period doesnt have a consistent schedule?
May 22, 2018
If its always a bit of a mystery when your period is going to show upperhaps your cycle is 35 days some months and 21 days othersyou might find getting pregnant more challenging because you never know when youre ovulating. So whats going on down there? Heres what you need to know about your irregular periods.
Recommended Reading: Usaa Grace Period
Do You Have Irregular Periods
The average length of a womans menstrual cycle is 28 days. However, if your period doesnt come exactly every 28 days, that doesnt mean its irregular. Your cycle is still considered normal if its 7 days longer or shorter.
If your cycle is usually 26 days, but it varies occasionally, your periods probably wont be considered irregular. Its normal to have the length of your period vary on occasion. However, if your cycle varies from month to month and there doesnt seem to be a pattern, your periods are irregular.
Getting Pregnant While You Have Pcos
While some women who have PCOS will need IVF in order to get pregnant, there are a number of non-tech ways in which you can tackle the condition.
- Losing Weight: While PCOS contributes to weight gain, loss of weight will, in fact, help reverse the condition to a certain extent. Losing even 5 to 10% of the weight will help jump-start the menstrual cycle and put you back to ovulating more regularly.
- Diet: One of the most important ways to combat PCOS is to have a diet that is tailor-made for the condition. Foods that are fermented such as tofu or soy curd have proven to be extremely beneficial. Staying away from processed foods that are high in refined fats and sugar will help control the weight.
- Metformin: Some women with PCOS might be prescribed metformin which fights insulin resistance. Even if a woman is not insulin resistant but has PCOS, metformin might help with weight loss and regularize her periods.
Also Check: Usaa New Car Insurance Grace Period
Online Due Date Calculators
These are found on the websites of various health organizations. They require you to plug in a date for the last menstrual period from which they determine the due date. The date of the last menstrual period can be determined as earlier explained.
It is important to note that none of the methods above is totally accurate. The doctor can at some point change expectant mothers due date. However, if the date of the last menstrual period was accurate, an allowance of a week before or after the due date is considered fairly accurate.
Pregnancy brings joy and expectations. However, it can be a daunting task to determine your due date, especially if you have irregular menstrual cycles. The methods explained above can be applied to determine the due date and remove the worry from a period that is supposed to be exciting.
Although they may not be totally accurate, these methods help a great deal in having a rough due date in mind. This is much better than not having one at all as it enables you to plan and not be caught by surprise when the baby arrives. It also helps keep abreast with the babys development milestones as they are in the womb.
The author is a contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Womanitely.
The Easiest Method To Check For An Irregular Period
A one-off occasion of a late or early period should not cause concern. To check, record the last day of the last period to the first day of the first period. Repeat for at least three months. A significant difference over the timeframe means a possible irregular period. To be safe, schedule an appointment with a gynecologist.
Also Check: 90 Day Probationary Period Template
How To Improve Ovulation Naturally
The benefits of light exercise for your overall health and fertility are well documented and innumerable. Specific to irregular periods and ovulation, light exercises like yoga, walking, and stretching help to clear blockages that impede blood flow. Exercising can help increase your blood circulation and ensure that nourishing nutrient and oxygen-rich blood flow is reaching your reproductive organs.
Research has shown that light exercise can significantly help to improve menstrual cycle regularity and ovulation especially for women with PCOS.
For optimal results, we recommend incorporating 30 to 60 minutes of low-intensity movement into your daily routine, especially if you are experiencing irregular periods or are having difficulty achieving pregnancy.
Stress is known to impact fertility negatively and struggling to get pregnant or worrying about irregular periods only causes more stress. Research shows that stress is significantly associated with menstrual cycle irregularity and that stress management is an important factor in improving a womans reproductive health.
Fortunately, studies have shown that implementing relaxation techniques can effectively reduce stress and negative emotions. If youre feeling stressed we recommend trying the following relaxation techniques:
- breath focus
- anything else that helps you!
Take Fertility Supplements
Track Your Ovulation Closely
There are numerous ways to estimate ovulation, but irregular periods make it difficult to get accurate estimates. Irregular cycles often cause issues with using:
- The basal body temperature method.
- The cervical mucus method.
- The calendar method.
Drugstore ovulation predictor kits can be faulty for women with irregular periods. Using Miras fertility prediction kit is a more effective way to determine your fertile window. Your daily levels of luteinizing hormone are measured to provide 99% accurate results.
Read Also: Employee Probationary Period Template
When To Consult Your Doctor About Irregular Cycles
If your period cycle is between 45 to 60 days or even longer, it is best that you seek medical advice from a doctor you trust or one that is highly recommended. You can also approach a doctor if you are just worried about your periods and want to know if they are regular or not. Getting advice from a medical professional will help you in the long run and will also remove any fears or worries that you might have.
Note âIt is important to remember that there is no shame in having irregular periods please be open with your doctor about your condition and how it is affecting you. In some cases, PCOS has been known to lead to depression consult a psychologist and implement the course of action they suggest, talk to your partner and loved ones about your condition, a support system can be extremely important in this period of your life. Remember that taking care of yourself both physically and psychologically is extremely important.
Communication can also be an important aspect of dealing with the psychological strains PCOS puts on your life, especially when you are trying to get pregnant. Seek counselling with your partner to deal with the psychological strains you endure during this period of your life.
Types Of Irregular Periods
Menstrual irregularities often cause pain and inconvenience, making them a cause for concern for many women. These disorders may or may not indicate an underlying condition related to infertility or difficulty getting pregnant. A fertility doctor can be helpful in determining this.
Abnormal ovulation is often the underlying cause of irregular periods. Hormones regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation. While menstrual disorders can be caused by alterations in hormone levels, these disorders can also sometimes disrupt the hormonal balance, further affecting the menstrual cycle.
Amenorrhea is the absence of a menstrual period. This can be a temporary or permanent lack of menstruation. Missing one period is generally not cause for concern, and missing a period can also be an indication of pregnancy. But missing more than one period in the absence of pregnancy may be a sign of an underlying disorder that can cause infertility.
Amenorrhea caused by a structural, genetic, or hormonal condition that prevents menstruation from beginning in puberty is called primary amenorrhea. Conditions that can result in primary amenorrhea include gonadal dysgenesis, Turner syndrome, PCOS, androgen insensitivity, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
- Excessive amounts of androgen
There are several possible underlying causes of menorrhagia, some of which can impair a womans fertility. Causes include:
Recommended Reading: 90 Day Probationary Period Form