What Is An Irregular Period
Ovulation PredictorLets start by defining what an irregular period actually is. You dont need a 28-day cycle to be regular. Only about 15 percent of women have a 28-day cycle, says George Carson, a Regina-based OB/GYN. In fact, the normal length of a cycle can vary between 22 to 35 days. So, as long as your cycle falls within that window and runs about the same length each time, its regular.
But, if you cant count your cycle and pinpoint within a day or two when your next period will come, you may be irregular. While there are conditions that can affect the regularity of your periodincluding stress, thyroid conditions, polycystic ovary syndrome , fibroids and moreeven if your irregular cycle isnt the result of a health condition, it can affect your fertility.
Getting Pregnant With Ovulation Problems
Once your doctor has ruled out other medical conditions, they may prescribe fertility drugs to stimulate your ovulation.
The drug contained in Clomid and Serophene is often a first choice because it’s effective and has been prescribed to women for decades. Unlike many infertility drugs, it also has the advantage of being taken orally instead of by injection. It is used to induce ovulation and to correct irregular ovulation by increasing egg recruitment by the ovaries. The drug letrazole is also used to induce ovulation.
Clomiphene induces ovulation in most women with anovulation. Up to 10% of women who use clomiphene for infertility will have a multiple gestation pregnancy — usually twins.
The typical starting dosage of clomiphene is 50 milligrams per day for five days, beginning on the third, fourth, or fifth day after your period begins. You can expect to start ovulating about seven days after you’ve taken the last dose of clomiphene. If you don’t ovulate, the dose can be increased by 50 milligrams per day each month up to 150 mg. After you’ve begun to ovulate, most doctors suggest taking Clomid for 3-6 months before referring to a specialist. If you haven’t gotten pregnant by then, you would try a different medication or get a referral to an infertility specialist.
Can A Girl Get Pregnant If Her Periods Are Irregular
I have irregular periods. Can I still get pregnant if I don’t get my period all the time? Kim*
Yes! Any time a girl has unprotected sex, she could get pregnant.
Getting pregnant is related to ovulation. Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovaries. It is the time when a girl is most likely to get pregnant. A girl with irregular periods usually still ovulates, just not on a regular, predictable schedule.
All girls, especially girls with irregular periods, can ovulate at different points from cycle to cycle. That makes it impossible for a girl to know when she is most fertile. Irregular periods also can make it hard for a girl to know if she is pregnant, since she doesn’t know when to expect her period.
Having unprotected sex at any time is risky. Along with the risk of getting pregnant, you could also get an STD, such as chlamydia, genital warts, or HIV. The only way to completely prevent pregnancy and STDs is abstinence .
If you do have sex, use a condom every time to protect against unplanned pregnancy and STDs. For added protection, many couples use condoms along with another method of birth control, like birth control pills or an IUD. Talk to your doctor about the best type of birth control for you.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
You May Like: Can You Have Regular Periods And Not Ovulate
Can I Get Pregnant At Any Time During My Cycle
Yes, but its unlikely youll get pregnant just before or just after your period. You are most fertile when you ovulate, so this is when youre most likely to get pregnant. Understanding your cycle and knowing more about what is happening month during the month, can help you learn the best days to get pregnant.
Find out more about ovulation and fertility, including top tips for finding your fertility window.
How To Get Pregnant Fast With Irregular Periods Naturally
Having irregular periods isnt uncommon. Irregular cycles can result from polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian insufficiency, thyroid disorders, hyperprolactinemia, uterine fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, different coagulopathies, and other causes. But having irregular cycles doesnt mean that natural conception isnt possible. Read on to learn how to get pregnant fast with irregular periods naturally. The best way to get pregnant will largely depend on the cause of the irregular menstrual cycles.
On average, a regular menstrual cycle typically lasts about 28 days from the first day of one period until the start of the next. However, menstrual cycles that consistently last from 21 to 35 days are still considered regular.
A cycle is considered irregular if it lasts less than 21 days or more than 35 days, but less than 90. It can also be considered irregular if it varies widely from month to month. For example, a cycle that lasts 22 days one month and 34 days the next is also considered irregular, even if these lengths are within the normal range.
The menstrual cycle doesnt have to last exactly the same amount of time each month to be regular. Menstrual cycles can vary by a few days each month and still be normal.
Don’t Miss: Can I Go Swimming On My Period Without Anything
Treating Irregular Periods And Trying To Conceive
The best solution to how to get pregnant with irregular periods is taking the time to find the appropriate treatment to regulate cycles, thus increasing the chances of conception and lowering the risk of pregnancy complications.
Although the specific approach will hugely depend on the underlying cause, irregular period treatments might include the following:
How Do You Know If Your Periods Are Irregular
You can keep a check on the following factors, and depending on the answers, you can seek medical advice regarding the same.
- Check to see how many days your cycle is. If it is lesser than 21 days or more than 36 days, then that is a strong indication for irregular periods.
- Keep a note of how long you menstruate for. Also, note whether the flow is heavy or light.
- Check if you have clots when you bleed.
- Keep track of your emotions during your period.
- Keep track of the level of cramps you experience while on your period.
Recommended Reading: One Or Two Spaces After A Period
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.
Lets Clear Up Any Misconceptions About Regular Vs Irregular Periods And How They Relate To Ovulation And Fertility
While ovulation and periods naturally go together, it is possible to ovulate without having a period. This often occurs for women with irregular periods. Conversely, it is possible to experience monthly bleeding with no ovulation. However, that bleeding is not a normal period and results from an anovulatory cycle. While this may seem confusing, it becomes clear when you understand how ovulation works.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Your Period Instantly
Consult A Health Care Provider
Lifestyle changes can sometimes help improve the chances of conceiving, but they cant replace medical treatment for underlying conditions. A health care provider can determine the cause of irregular cycles that may be making conception difficult.
A health care provider will probably perform a physical examination and ultrasound, and may order laboratory tests to measure hormonal levels. This will give them the necessary information to diagnose any health conditions that might be causing irregular cycles.
Theyll also ask about menstruation and look for symptoms of anovulatory cycles .
Once they have determined a diagnosis, a health care provider may be able to prescribe treatment. They may also be able to advise on how to get pregnant fast with irregular periods naturally or make a referral for a fertility specialist.
When Are Menstrual Cycles And Periods Considered Irregular
Womens menstrual cycles commonly vary in length. An average menstrual cycle is considered to be 28 days long, but cycles ranging from 24 to 38 days are also considered normal.
Periods are generally considered irregular if any of the following are true:
- Menstrual cycles that are shorter than 24 days or longer than 38 days
- having periods in which cycle length varies by more than 9 days
- Bleeding or spotting between periodsmenopause
Don’t Miss: Can I Get A Pap Smear On My Period
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:
Are There Underlying Conditions
If abnormal bleeding is due to an underlying condition like endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome , women may need a little help getting pregnant. For example, assisted reproductive technology options like in vitro fertilization can be a helpful solution for many women with endometriosis and other conditions that impact fertility.
Read Also: How To Help Period Cramps At Night
If You Use Birth Control To Regulate Your Periods What Should You Do When Youre Trying To Conceive
There are many reasons to use birth control to regulate your period. For example, endometriosis, a disorder in which uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, and PCOS, a hormonal disorder that causes irregular ovulation, are frequently managed by hormonal birth control.
But what if youre trying to get pregnant? Dr. Conti says this is a moment in your fertility journey when you should reach out to your healthcare provider to discuss alternative treatments. If you live with endometriosis, you might be able to start taking over-the-counter medicines like Advil or Motrin for pain relief. If you have PCOS and have irregular ovulation, you may start taking an ovulation-inducing medication like Letrozole, which is helpful in multiple ways since it can also help you get pregnant more on that in the next section.
Can You Ovulate Without Having A Period
Lets clear up any misconceptions about regular vs. irregular periods and how they relate to ovulation and fertility. While ovulation and periods naturally go together, it is possible to ovulate without having a period. This often occurs for women with irregular periods. Conversely, it is possible to experience monthly bleeding with no ovulation. However, that
Also Check: What Could Cause A Late Period
Who Does Anovulation Affect
Anovulation can affect anyone who has ovaries and is of child-bearing age, which, on average, is between the ages of 12 and 51. If any of the following conditions or situations apply to you, youre more likely to experience anovulation:
- You have just started getting periods .
- You are in perimenopause .
- You have a very low body mass index , which is usually either from having anorexia or from doing long-term excessive exercise.
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.
It’s 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.
Don’t Miss: Why Is The First Day Of My Period So Painful
How Are Irregular Periods Treated
If irregular periods are bothering you or making it difficult for you to conceive, speak to your doctor to find out if theres a way to get them back on track. It could be as easy as lowering your stress levels or cutting back on intense exercising .
If your irregular periods are hormone-related, your doctor may suggest treating an underlying thyroid condition or using hormone therapies like birth control pills or certain types of IUDs that regulate your menstrual cycle. If youre trying to get pregnant, sometimes getting on the right birth control for a little while can get your cycle back on track so that its easier to tell when youre ovulating, which is a big step in helping you conceive, although this may not be successful.
If none of those work and youre trying to get pregnant, your doctor may prescribe a fertility drug like letrozole , clomiphene or injectable fertility meds to induce ovulation, but you should have a complete fertility evaluation before starting any of these drugs.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.