How Irregular Periods Impact Your Ability To Get Pregnant
The unpredictability of irregular periods can be frustrating for anyone, but what about when youre trying to conceive? Not being able to easily track your menstrual cycle and find your fertile window can add an obstacle on the path to pregnancy, but that doesnt mean conception wont happen.To better understand irregular periods and how they can impact fertility, we sat down with OB-GYN and Modern Fertility medical advisor Dr. Jennifer Conti, MD, MS, MSc. Keep reading for the answers to the following questions:
- When it comes to period length and frequency, whats considered irregular?
- How can irregular periods impact fertility and getting pregnant?
- If you use birth control to regulate your periods, what should you do when youre trying to conceive?
- How can you increase your chances of getting pregnant when you have irregular periods?
- Do you need to talk to your doctor if youre trying to get pregnant and have irregular periods?
- What fertility treatments can help when you have irregular periods?
The Second Half Of Your Monthly Cycle
In about 15 to 25 days , the progesterone hormone triggers the uterine lining to prepare for the fertilized egg or embryo. The lining of the uterus is known as the endometrium. During this period, the endometrium builds up and becomes thicker, preparing itself to be just right for the embryo.
What happens next, depends if you have had sexual intercourse within the five days of ovulation.
How Many Days To Confirm Pregnancy For Irregular Periods
With irregular menstrual cycles, it may become difficult for you when you miss a period, to say if you are actually pregnant or if its just those highly unpredictable and haphazhard cycles. Through this article I will bring to you few tips on early detection of pregnancy.
I will also take you through points to pay special attention to while doing pregnancy tests if you have unpredictable cycles. You will find answers to doubts like how many days to confirm pregnancy for irregular periods?
Before details on irregular cycles and the challenges associated with detecting pregnancy in women with irregular cycles let us try to understand a normal menstrual cycle.
The menstrual cycle:
A normal menstrual cycle is divided into two parts which are demarcated by the day of ovulation. The first day of your period or menstrual flow is considered as the first day of your menstrual cycle. So, the first part of the menstrual cycle will comprise of the days during which you experience menstrual flow and extend upto the day of ovulation. During the first part of a womans menstrual cycle the uterine lining is shed off due to withdrawal or low levels of the hormone progesterone and then it begins to regrow in thickness under the influence of the reproductive hormone namely estrogen.
When do you need to seek medical help for irregular periods?
How to get pregnant with irregular periods?
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Irregular Periods And Ovulation
Its possible to ovulate without later bleeding like a period. This often occurs because of previous uterine scarring or certain hormonal medications.
Its also possible to have menstrual-like bleeding without ovulation. This generally happens when the uterine lining becomes so thick it becomes unstable and naturally sloughs off.
The uterine lining can become thick without ovulation if the hormone estrogen, which is produced prior to ovulation, continues to be secreted unopposed by the other female hormone, progesterone, which is produced after ovulation.
There are many possible causes for irregular menstruation, and many of the causes can affect ovulation or make getting pregnant more difficult. In some cases, the cause of irregular menstruation is unknown.
Some causes that may affect ovulation and your ability to carry a pregnancy include:
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
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Should Women With Irregular Periods Panic
Irregular periods are concerning. More so if getting pregnant is on the cards. Missing periods can also be a sign of an underlying medical issue. Theres no need to panic. Take action early. Seek advice from your OB/GYN, as doctors can help increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.
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How To Get Pregnant Fast With Irregular Periods
Although getting pregnant with irregular cycles may take longer, its doable. Heres what you need to know to figure out why your periods are irregular, manage your cycles naturally, time sex and get pregnant in no time.
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Is It Normal To Bleed For A Month On Nexplanon
Nexplanon may disturb the female menstrual cycle. Therefore, it results in unusual vaginal bleeding. Indeed, implanted birth controls most common adverse effect is blood spotting and brown vaginal discharge. In many cases, a Nexplanon may cause long-term spotting, intermenstrual bleeding, or even 2 heavy periods in a month. This abnormality is particularly significant in the first few months. After that, the menstrual cycle becomes regulated, and the body becomes adapted to the implanted medicines.
How To Track Ovulation When You Have An Irregular Period
While women with regular cycles can simply assume theyre ovulating at the same time each month, its a bit trickier for those with irregular periods. Fortunately, there are a few ways to figure out your bodys schedule.
The first sign to look for is mucus. If you get a lot of clear, sticky mucus in the middle of your menstrual cycle, then youre probably ovulating, says Beth Taylor, an OB/GYN with the Vancouver-based Olive Fertility Centre. The mucus, which is secreted thanks to an increase in estrogen, means your cervix is ready to be penetrated by sperm to get pregnant.
Another way to determine if youre ovulating at all is to track your temperature each morning with a basal body temperature thermometer, which can hone in on small changes up to 1/100th of a degree. After the egg is released in your body, both estrogen and progesterone are flowing. The progesterone causes your bodys temperature to increase by half a degree Celsius .
But this method is a bit tricky for women with irregular cycles. Because the temperature change indicates the egg has already released, it means you need to have sex just before the increase in order to hit your fertile window. Most women track their temperature and use the data to predict when its going to rise in future months. But even if your cycle is a little unpredictable, It can be useful in looking backwards to see: am I likely to ovulate? And when? says Carson.
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Ovulations And Regular Periods
Assuming a normal menstrual cycle of 28 days, a healthy woman who is not using hormonal birth control will ovulate on the 14th day of her cycle. During ovulation, your ovaries release a mature egg that is ready for fertilization. After the egg is released, it remains alive for an amount of time between 12 and 24 hours. If the egg isnt fertilized, it disintegrates and gets absorbed into the uterine lining called the endometrium.
Two weeks after ovulation, the lining of the uterus will discharge from the vagina in the form of menstrual blood. This is called a true period, as the bleeding comes from the lining of the uterus, cervical mucus and blood.
Fertility Awareness And Family Planning
Some women use fertility awareness as a method of natural birth control. One of the tools used is something called the Standard Days method. This establishes that if you have a period that is between 26 to 32 days long, days eight through 19 will be your most fertile days. However, this method is most effective when you have regular menstrual cycles.
If a woman has a regular period and uses the method perfectly, less than one to five women out of 100 will become pregnant. However, the key words here are perfect use. The typical use rate is different. Typical use means that the methods may be done incorrectly or measured inconsistently. In the first year of this typical use, 12 to 24 women out of 100 will become pregnant.
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Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period
If you are wondering whether you can get pregnant while on your period, the answer is not as simple as you think. The answer to the question has more to do with understanding your cycle, said Lyndsey Harper, MD, FACOG, IF, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A& M College of Medicine. Many women think they know their menstruation cycle, and therefore their fertility cycle, but the truth is not all vaginal bleeding is a true period.
When To Seek Help
- You havent had a period for three or more months.
- You have menstrual bleeding that lasts for more than a week.
- Youre soaking through a pad or tampon every hour or two, for several hours, during your period.
- Your periods are very painful.
- Youve been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for one year and are younger than 35 or for six months or longer and are 35 or older.
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Ovulation And Fertility: How Do I Know
Because periods can be different lengths and not all bleeding is a period, it can be confusing to track your ovulation. The best way to track your ovulatory cycle is by watching it for three to four months, Harper said. To track, Harper recommends determining the average time between the start of one period to the start of the next. Because this is an average number, it does not have to be exactly the same every month. If this average number is between 21 and 35 days, then you can divide that number in half, which is MOST LIKELY, but not guaranteed, to be the time of ovulation.
Once you have monitored a few cycles and think you know when you are ovulating, check on your vaginal discharge. Around the time of ovulation, discharge becomes thick and stretchyjust like an uncooked egg white, Harper mentioned. This is the best way to verify that you are on track when it comes to predicting ovulation. If you take a birth control pill, then you do not ovulate at all and do not need to pay attention to discharge.
Cervical mucus accepts, filters, prepares and releases sperm for the successful fertilization of an egg. If you do not want to become pregnant and are not using another birth control, Harper says it is best to avoid intercourse the week you notice the mucus.
When It Comes To Period Length And Frequency Whats Considered Irregular
No two people have identical menstrual cycles, but there are standard parameters of regular versus irregular periods specifically the length of time between periods, the number of days of bleeding, and the consistency of your periods from cycle to cycle.
Exactly whats considered normal for period length and frequency varies among even the most reputable sources. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Office on Womens Health write that 28 days is typical for a menstrual cycle, but though OWH specifies that cycle length can vary from month to month and periods are still regular if they usually come every 24-38 days. In terms of period length, ACOG says “up to 8 days” and OWH says 4-8 days. The Mayo Clinic, on the other hand, reports that menstrual bleeding typically occurs every 2135 days and lasts 27 days, but within a broad range, normal is whats normal for you. Shorter or longer cycles or periods beyond the above ranges might warrant a trip to your healthcare provider.
According to Penn Medicine, its also time for a check-in if you experience any of the following:
- Sudden changes to how often you get your period
- Bleeding between periods
- An unusually heavy period
- Bleeding for more than a week
- Extremely painful periods
- No period for 90 days
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How Do Irregular Periods Affect Fertility
What is an irregular periods affect on fertility? First its important to understand the ovulation cycle. Ovulation occurs when the ovary releases a mature egg into the fallopian tube, where it survives for 12-24 hours. A woman can become pregnant if this egg is fertilized with sperm. .
If you have a regular cycle, ovulation generally occurs 14 days before your next period is due, says Dr. Kudesia. For example, if your cycle is 28 days long, ovulation will probably occur on day 14 . Similarly, a woman with a 30-day cycle will ovulate around day 16.
Naturally, woman with irregular periods cant calculate ovulation the same way, since itâs impossible to predict when their ovaries will release a mature egg. Having unpredictable menstruation may also indicate anovulation, which is a complete lack of ovulation.
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.
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Tips To Improve The Chances Of Getting Pregnant With Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Improve the chances of getting pregnant
First and foremost know that your periods are irregular and consult your doctor to restore the regularity of your periods. The increased ovulation frequency will increase the chances for getting pregnant. Here are some more tips to get pregnant with irregular menstrual cycle.
Factors That Change The Time You Ovulate
The sex hormones estrogen and progesterone largely determine the duration of a menstrual cycle. For example, over the course of a cycle, rising estrogen levels trigger ovulation and thicken the uterine lining so that you can potentially conceive and nurture a fertilized egg.
Slight changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can lead to changes in cycle duration and when you ovulate. These changes can come from factors like age, ethnicity, and body mass index.
Stress, illness, and other medical conditions can also affect when you ovulate, and alter the typical length of your cycle. “Even somebody with a 31-day cycle might have a shorter cycle than their average and have a slip-up,” Childson says.
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How To Track Ovulation With Irregular Periods
Many mothers-to-be often ask How can I track ovulation with irregular periods?. This question is very common and there are multiple solutions available.Irregular periods create a challenge in tracking ovulation and knowing when the best time is to have sex in order to get pregnant. The good news is that tracking ovulation with irregular periods is pretty easy to pinpoint. You can even track your ovulation with a good amount of precision thanks to the advancement of modern medicine.
Medications To Help You Conceive
If it turns out that you are not ovulating, you may need fertility drugs to help boost your ovulation. Even if you are ovulating, if ovulation is irregular or occurring very late in your cycle, fertility treatments may help.
Clomid is the most commonly prescribed drug for ovulatory dysfunction, and it has a good success rate. Another possible option is the drug letrozole. This cancer drug is used off-label to trigger ovulation. Research has found it to be possibly more effective than Clomid in women with PCOS.
While not a fertility drug, another medication your doctor may suggest trying is the diabetes drug metformin. Metformin may help women with insulin resistance and PCOS ovulate on their own. If these medications don’t work, your doctor may suggest moving onto injectable fertility drugs , IUI treatment, or IVF.
If your irregular cycles are caused by primary ovarian insufficiency, your fertility treatment options may be limited. In many cases with POI, IVF with an egg donor is needed to conceive. This isnt always the case, however. Talk to your doctor about your options.
If the cause for your irregular cycles is a thyroid imbalance or hyperprolactinemia, treating these problems may regulate your periods and return your fertility to normal. This is why getting evaluated by a doctor is essential.
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What Is The Relation Between Your Periods And Ovulation
There are chances that you might have any of the symptoms of ovulation but are not getting your period. So, can you ovulate without a period?
To answer this question, it is important to understand how periods work and their relation to ovulation. Heres a quick breakdown of what happens during your menstrual cycle in one month:
It is important to understand your periods before understanding the relationship between period and their relation with ovulation. Heres a quick breakdown of what happens during your menstrual cycle in one month: