What Can Cause Irregular Periods
Irregularity in menstrual cycle is normal during illness or stressful time and in most cases the periods becomes regular once the illness or the stress is resolved. Some women may experience chronic irregularity and it is caused due to hormonal imbalance. One of the common reasons for hormonal imbalance in women is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome , a medical condition. PCOS symptoms include stimulation of many follicles that increases the level of estrogen in the body without the release of an egg . Increased levels of estrogen cause thickening of uterine lining, which then sheds resulting in a period without the ovulation.. Also Read – Skin Infections Can Lead to Rheumatic Fever: Study
Another reason for hormonal imbalance are lack of proper nutrition, physical stress and excessive exercise. Doing strenuous exercises for three or more hours every day can make it difficult for the brain to trigger the production of hormones required for the development of follicle and this could lead to deficiency of estrogen. Eating disorder can lead to irregular or absence of menstrual cycle.
Being overweight and underweight also increases the risk of irregular menstrual cycle. Overactive and underactive thyroid gland can also cause irregular periods, which may indicate that the ovulation process is inconsistent. Less ovulation means fewer opportunities to conceive..
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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.
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Will Irregular Periods Affect Pregnancy
Wondering how unpredictable menstruation affects your chances of conception? Here’s what you need to know about the link between irregular periods and pregnancy.
Some women get their periods like clockwork every month. Others have completely unpredictable and irregular cyclesand this may affect their fertility. Heres everything you need to know about the link between irregular periods and pregnancy.
How To Quickly Get Pregnant With Irregular Periods
A health care provider can help find a diagnosis and suggest treatment for those with irregular menstrual cycles. There are also habits that may make it easier to get pregnant fast with irregular periods naturally. Although these habits cant replace medical treatment, they may help improve the chances of conception.
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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.
How Not To Get Pregnant
If you want to get pregnant, plan to get frisky halfway between periods for the best chances. But if youre trying to avoid pregnancy, dont use your period as a guide. Instead, choose a reliable form of birth control.
Thats the best way to prevent pregnancy, Dr. Stephens says.
Yeah, you probably already knew that. But now you know the whole story.
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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.
Tracking Ovulation & Properly Timing Intercourse
Ovulation can be tracked in two main ways ultrasound and blood work monitoring or utilizing an at-home ovulation predictor kit.
Ultrasound and bloodwork monitoring track follicular development and egg growth. By monitoring the egg development, medical providers are able to determine the window of time in which the woman is ovulating.
At-home ovulation predictor kits measure the amount of luteinizing hormone in urine. When LH levels start to rise, the ovaries are preparing to release an egg. When your LH level reaches a certain threshold, it indicates ovulation will occur in the next 12 to 36 hours.
Tracking ovulation allows couples to engage in sexual intercourse at the time provides the best chance of getting pregnant. When exactly is that?
Well, an egg is only capable of being fertilized during the first 24-36 hours after ovulation. Sperm on the other hand can live inside the womans body for up to 5 days however, it can also take multiple days to reach the fallopian tubes so couples are instructed to engage in intercourse every other day during starting with the detection of the rise in LH.
Irregular Periods And Pregnancy: What May Cause Irregular Periods
Irregular periods and pregnancy are somehow related with each other, though not in a good way. Women with regular menstrual periods have 11-13 yearly chances to conceive. The chances of women who have irregular periods on the other hand are much fewer. This though does not mean that they should give up the idea of having a baby. They just have to look deeper into the problem, try to find the answers to the questions and seek the help of a specialist.
First question is how to determine if your menstrual cycle is regular or not. Regular cycles are either 28 or 35 days. Every cycle that is consistently shorter that 21 days or longer than 36 days is considered irregular. The same holds true if your cycle varies every month.
Second question is what the reasons would be for cycle irregularity. Sometimes irregularity can be temporary, due to stress, overwork or some other kind of outside pressure. Chronic irregularity on the other hand is most often due to hormonal imbalance. In some cases it is associated with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Excessive physical exercise can also disrupt your menstrual cycle, especially if you are underweight.
How Can I Get Pregnant With Irregular Periods
While irregular periods do happen occasionally and arent generally a cause for concern, they can be an issue when you experience irregular periods every menstrual cycle. An irregular cycle is one thats shorter than 21 days or longer than 36 days, or one that fluctuates wildly every cycle. For example, your periods may be 30 days apart one cycle and 20 days apart the next. Irregular periods dont necessarily mean that you cant get pregnant, but they can make it more difficult. Heres why, and what you can do to increase your chances.
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What Is A Normal Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual cycles range from about 25 36 days. The idea of a 28-day cycle is totally outdated only 10-15% of women have cycles that are precisely that length. Menstrual cycles may vary a few days each month and still be normal.
Lifestyle changes, including stress and travel, can cause an occasional irregular cycle. But in some women, irregular periods are the norm.
How To Get Pregnant With Irregular Periods
If youre ovulating, you have the ability to get pregnant, but if you have irregular periods, your chances for pregnancy may be more limited than a woman with regular periods.
The most important thing is to have regular unprotected sex. Aim to have intercourse at least every two to three days.
If you have an underlying medical condition thats affecting fertility, treating that condition may increase your chances for pregnancy.
Your doctor may prescribe clomiphene citrate to induce ovulation. Clomid has when used in women with PCOS.
Side effects from Clomid may include:
- hot flashes
- abdominal bloating
- release of multiple eggs in one cycle, which can lead to pregnancy with multiples
Weight loss or weight gain may also help. According to the PCOS Awareness Association, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help regulate ovulation in women who are overweight.
Get your doctors recommendations for gaining or losing weight. They may be able to provide you with meal plans and exercise guidelines, or point you to resources.
If your irregular periods are caused by an underactive or overactive thyroid, your doctor will prescribe drugs that increase the thyroid hormone or block it.
One study published in the found that of women with hypothyroidism and infertility who were treated with the drug levothyroxine got pregnant versus 26 percent treated with a placebo.
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Wondering How To Get Pregnant With Irregular Periods Have Frequent Sex And Eat Healthy
If your irregular menstrual cycle is worrying you about conceiving conveniently, focus on eating a balanced diet and exercising daily, experts suggest. Lavanya Kiran, gynaecologist at Narayana Group of Hospitals and Anil Prakash, consultant at MMG District Hospital, Ghaziabad, list down a few things you could do to get pregnant faster with irregular periods:
* Balanced diet: A lot of hormonal and fertility issues can be tackled with the right mix of nutrition and multivitamin supplements. Always stick to a balanced diet and choose healthy options. Vitamins and folic acid are wonder foods for boosting fertility and helping you get pregnant faster. Include vegetables, cabbage, banana, soybean, tomatoes and dry fruits in your diet.
* Physical activities: Regular exercise is good for your health, but even better when you are trying to conceive. Moderate physical activities like a brisk walk, yoga, and cycling help in reducing the hormonal imbalance which is the primary cause of irregular cycles. For those who are troubled by overweight problems, losing only 5 per cent of body weight can improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Fertility monitors can suggest up to six fertile days every cycle specific to your body taking into account your cycle irregularities.
Pregnancy And Irregular Periods
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A Curious Case Of Anovulation
Irregular periods may also be a sign of anovulation. During the menstrual cycle, a mature egg releases. When ovulation does not occur, the cycle is anovulatory. Though not a disease, research shows consistent anovulation indicates an underlying fertility or hormonal issue. In most cases, doctors prescribe fertility drugs or other treatment to improve ovulation and regulate the period.
Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Studies show that stress and short-term anxiety can cause irregular and missed periods. This happens because stress triggers hormonal imbalances. Reduce stress or anxiety by:
- Learning self-soothing techniques, such as deep breathing.
- Exercising to increase endorphins.
- Getting consistent amounts of sleep.
- Seeking counseling.
Mental wellness is part of your overall health. Try your best to reduce stress and anxiety when trying to get pregnant.
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Causes Of Irregular Cycles
Irregular cycles may point to a subtle hormonal imbalance. You may still be ovulating every month, but your ovulation day may vary. If you’re ovulating, you may be able to get pregnant without the help of fertility drugs. Here are some possible causes of irregular cycles that are also infertility risk factors.
How To Regulate Periods Naturally
You can also attempt to regulate your periods naturally. This is most easily done when your irregular periods are due to things in your control, like stress and weight. Lifestyle changes can help with other causes of irregular periods though, and its always a good idea to form better habits before pregnancy.
Try the following changes to regulate your periods naturally:
- Lose weight
- Eat a more balanced diet
- Take pre-natal vitamins
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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.
When To Contact A Doctor
Pregnancy is not usually a medical emergency. Unless a person has heavy bleeding or a history of ectopic pregnancy, there may be no need to see a doctor right away.
However, receiving early prenatal care may increase the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy, so it may be a good idea to see a healthcare provider within the first few weeks.
They may make recommendations about healthful eating and other important ways to support the health of the pregnancy.
A person who wants an abortion should contact a doctor as soon as possible, because there are more options in early pregnancy.
Anyone with irregular bleeding should contact a doctor if they:
- are trying to get pregnant
- may be entering menopause
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Is There Medication Available To Get Pregnant With Irregular Periods
There are many medications that can help with irregular periods. Since the cause for irregular periods varies, the drugs target different concerns in your body. Some drugs take care of insulin resistance which could be the cause of PCOS. Some other drugs target ovulatory dysfunction. These drugs are usually fertility drugs. They can also be administered in the form of an injection.
However, it is important that you let your gynaecologist decide the best course of medication your body requires in order to address the concern of irregular periods. Your doctor will decide on a treatment plan only after a series of tests to determine the health of your various organs as well as the level of hormones in your body. Based on the findings from these tests, your doctor will prescribe the right medication for the same.
Irregular Periods And Pregnancy
Its not uncommon for women to have menstrual cycles that vary in length. One month it might be 28 days which is considered average and the next month it could be 31 days, and the next 27. Thats normal.
Menstrual cycles are considered irregular when they fall outside the normal range. The Office on Womens Health reports that an irregular menstrual cycle is one thats shorter than 21 days or longer than 35.
When counting the days in your cycle, the first day of bleeding is day one, and the last day of the cycle is the first day of bleeding in your next cycle.
Its possible to become pregnant when you have an irregular menstrual cycle, but you may find it difficult. If youre unsure about the length of your cycle from month to month, it can be difficult to know when youre ovulating.
Timing intercourse around ovulation can increase your chances for pregnancy since youll need to have sex during your fertile window to conceive. Your fertile window refers to a few days before ovulation and the day you ovulate.
An irregular menstrual cycle may also be a sign of irregular ovulation. You may not ovulate every month or you may ovulate at different times from month to month.
Read on to learn more about irregular periods and pregnancy.
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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
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.
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