What Causes Of Irregular Menstrual Cycles Make It Harder To Get Pregnant
There are many different conditions that can cause irregular cycles. Experiencing irregular cycles occasionally due to stress or illness can be normal. But if cycles remain irregular for long periods of time, a health care provider can help determine the cause of any menstrual problems.
This is especially important for those who want to learn how to get pregnant fast with irregular periods naturally. The following conditions can cause irregular cycles:
Can I Get Pregnant At Any Time During My Cycle
A common misconception is that you can only get pregnant on the day of ovulation, or that you can get pregnant at any old time. This is not the caseâyou can only get pregnant if you have unprotected sex during your biological fertile window.
If you are trying to get pregnant, use the ovulation day estimated by Clue, track your basal body temperature, and monitor your cervical fluid to have a better understanding of your fertile windowâthe days when you have a higher chance of conceiving.
If you are trying to prevent pregnancy, you should not use Clueâs predicted day of ovulation estimate as a form of birth control. Using fertility indicators to avoid pregnancy requires more rules and diligence, compared to using them to get pregnant. If you are not intending to become pregnant, then you should follow a formal form of natural birth control and/or use another form of contraception, like condoms, to prevent pregnancy.
Becoming pregnant is a science, and even when you become more in tune with your cycles, body temperature, and cervical fluid, sperm quality is also a factor. The more you track in Clue, the more control, and awareness you have over your own bodily functions.
How To Track Ovulation When Trying To Conceive
Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about womens health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.
Ovulation tracking is a method of natural family planning, or a fertility awareness method. If you know when you ovulate, you can have sex on the two days before and the day of your expected ovulation. It’s also key to be aware of other symptoms of ovulation, which can include breast tenderness, bloating, and light spotting and cramping.
Whether you are just starting to attempt to conceive, or you have been trying for a while without success, or you have recently suffered a miscarriage, you may turn to tracking ovulation to help improve your odds of conception. And there are several ways you can do it.
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When To Have Sex To Get Pregnant
You don’t have to wait for the day you ovulate to have sex. The best time to have sex is when you are most fertile in the days leading up to, during, and immediately after ovulation.
That’s because sperm can survive for 3-5 days inside the fallopian tubes. Basically, it hangs out like a hitchhiker and waits for the egg to pass through and catch a ride to the uterus where implantation occurs.
Once released, an egg can survive for 12-24 hours. So you can also get pregnant by having sex a day or two after ovulation before the egg disintegrates and is flushed out of your system. Once the egg is gone, you must wait until your next ovulation to try again.
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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To Track Other Health Issues
If your cycle lengths are getting shorter, if your flow has changed, if you discover frequently that your luteinizing hormone levels are always high while tracking your ovulation via ovulation tests it can help you pinpoint other specific health issues. The hormones, like LH, that fluctuate and dictate the different points of your menstrual cycle require beautiful coordination between your ovaries, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus… and issues with your thyroid gland can interfere with that. These changes to your cycle can reveal conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome , ovarian insufficiency, or thyroid disorders. Having this data is a great conversation starter with your doctor.When you track your cycle and ovulation patterns, you can also use information about your cycle to help doctors more effectively treat certain conditions like benign ovarian cysts , painful intercourse, and general stomach pain.
Benign ovarian cysts can form and often disappear on their own with the menstrual cycle, Dr. Luo says. Tracking symptoms of pain and bloating, and how they correlate with the menstrual cycle, clinicians in determining the best treatment options.
Dealing With Period Problems
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How To Know When Youre Ovulating
Knowing when you ovulate can help you plan for sex at the right time and improve your chance of getting pregnant. You can keep track of your menstrual cycles on a chart, in a diary, or on a free period-tracker app on your smartphone.
To work out the length of your menstrual cycle, record the first day you start bleeding . This is day 1. The last day of your cycle is the day before your next period begins.
Some people think the menstrual cycle and a period are the same thing.
A period is when you bleed .
A menstrual cycle starts on the day when a period starts and ends the day before the next period. A cycles length is considered normal if its between 21 and 35 days. They can vary between women and from one cycle to the next.
- Working out your average menstrual cycle length
If your menstrual cycles are different lengths you can work out your average cycle length.
The number of days in a womans menstrual cycle can vary month to month. Periods are not always regular. It can be useful to work out an average cycle length, based on the length of three menstrual cycles, to estimate when youre most likely to be ovulating.
If you add the number of days in three cycles and divide the total number by three, it gives you your average cycle length.
Sarah tracked her last three menstrual cycles by counting the time from the first day of one period, to the day before the next period.
Cycle 1 was 28 days Cycle 2 was 32 days Cycle 3 was 27 days
28 + 32 + 27 = 87
How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant If You Track Ovulation
On average, depending on your age and health, women in their 20s to early 30s have a 25 to 30 percent chance of getting pregnant during each monthly cycle. These percentages are rather high even though your egg is only viable for about 12 to 24 hours. Heres why: Sperm can survive much longer, typically up to three and sometimes as long as five days, so these little swimmers are keen to zip about as they wait to meet your egg.
Still, watching for ovulation signs or using a calculator for your cycles wont always increase your chances of success and getting pregnant while tracking ovulation doesnt have a typical timeline. Even if you do pinpoint your ovulation moment, theres no guarantee that youll actually conceive that month. The bottom line: Patience is necessary as you try to get pregnant.
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The Cervical Mucus Method
Cervical mucus changes in consistency and color depending on if you are ovulating, when ovulation is very close and after ovulation has finished. Paying attention to the consistency of cervical mucus can help you track when youre most fertile. Here are some of the consistency types and what they mean:
- Not ovulating: Dry and sticky
- Ovulation is very close: Wet and watery
- Ovulation may be coming: Creamy
- Ovulation: Wet and stretchy, resembles egg whites
How Long Should I Try For Before Seeking Specialist Advice
Conception is a complicated sequence of events because all of the following need to be in place for it to occur:
- Regular egg production by the ovaries
- Healthy sperm, with the ability to move and the correct shape
- Unblocked and healthy fallopian tubes and uterus
The number one factor affecting a couples chances of conceiving is the womans age. The number of healthy eggs a womans ovaries contain will dramatically decline with age and especially for women over 35. Most people start to consider seeking professional advice after six months of trying to conceive naturally without success. This is even more important if youre over 35.
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What Are The Limitations Of A Period Tracker App
While a period tracker app is a great tool to help you understand your body better, Spiegel notes that there are a number of factors that could interfere with your ability to get pregnant, including potential factors from a male partner. If youve been using a period tracker app for a few months without success, she recommends adding in ovulation predictor kits to get more precise.
Ovulation prediction kits can be helpful in giving more specific information about timing of ovulation, as they pick up production of luteinizing hormone, a hormone that prompts ovulation to occur, explains Dr. Emily Jungheim, chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Northwestern Medicine. And per Spiegel, if that still doesnt work, talk to your OBGYN about next steps or things that might be worth investigating.
Mindfulness And Seed Cycling
That means that before ovulation as I consumed ground flax and pumpkin seeds, I purposefully imagined the seeds giving the perfect moderated estrogenic boost of perfect energy to my beautifully growing eggs.
After ovulation I would imagine the ground sesame and sunflower seeds perfectly supporting my natural ideal progesterone so that a healthy embryo could snuggle into my lush and receptive uterine lining.
Okay, lets get down to the nitty gritty of what I did, and then Ill end the post with the few scientific articles we have that make this a semi-evidence based practice.
So, without further adieu, here are the seeds:
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When You Can Get Pregnant
Your body is most fertile five days prior to ovulation and 24 hours following ovulation. Track your ovulation by outlining your menstrual cycle, monitoring your temperature, checking the texture of your cervical mucus, using an ovulation predictor kit, or using a combination of the above.
Chances of getting pregnant
There are many factors determining your chances of getting pregnant, including your age, health, and amount of time you have already been trying to conceive. Assuming you dont have any medical issues, there is usually a 15 25 % chance of getting pregnant during each ovulation cycle.
Tracking your ovulation cycle and having sex frequently can increase your chances of getting pregnant.
- Pre-ovulation: A sperm can survive up to five days if trapped in cervical mucus. Therefore, having sex during pre-ovulation contributes to your chances of getting pregnant.
- Ovulation: This is your best bet for conceiving. Ovulation usually starts about 14 days before your menstrual period.
- Post-ovulation: You will witness a rise in HCG within about a week of conceiving. Bear in mind that the chances of getting pregnant at the post-ovulation stage are relatively low.
What Do I Need To Know About My Menstrual Cycle And Fertility
In order to use FAMs, youve got to learn a lot about your menstrual cycle. You have to know when youre ovulating and fertile, and when its safe for you to have sex without risking pregnancy.
In order for pregnancy to happen, a sperm cell must join with your egg . During your menstrual cycle, there are certain days when its possible for sperm to fertilize an egg and cause a pregnancy these are your fertile days.
Each month, your ovary releases an egg into your fallopian tube . Your egg is in your fallopian tube for about 12-24 hours. Sperm can hang out in your uterus and fallopian tube for up to 6 days after sex. If a sperm cell does join up with your egg in the tube, the fertilized egg travels from your fallopian tube to your uterus and can attach to the uterine wall, which starts a pregnancy. If your egg doesnt get fertilized, it dissolves and you eventually get your period.
Since an egg lives about a day after ovulation and sperm live about 6 days after sex, youre basically fertile for around 7 days of every menstrual cycle: the 5 days before you ovulate, and the day you ovulate. You can also get pregnant a day or 2 after ovulation, but it’s less likely.
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First A Quick Health Lesson
Day 1 of your cycle is the first day of your period . Your body begins breaking down the lining of your uterus, and bleeding typically lasts three to seven days. During this stage of your cycle, your pituitary gland produces FSH , and fluid-filled follicles develop on your ovaries. Each follicle contains one egg.
The next phase of your cycle is called the follicular phase. This is the phase that leads up to ovulation. Typically, only one follicle keeps growing and starts to release increased levels of estrogen. Your uterine lining also becomes thick with nutrients and blood.
In a typical cycle, ovulation occurs next. High estrogen levels trigger an LH surge, forcing your follicle to rupture and release its egg, sending it through your Fallopian tube. Your egg will live 12 to 24 hours.
The time period after you ovulate is called the luteal phase. Your follicle begins making more progesterone, a hormone that helps the lining of the uterus store more blood and nutrients. The egg travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. If the egg has been fertilized, it may embed in the uterine lining, marking the beginning of a pregnancy.
If the egg is not fertilized, the level of progesterone declines, the uterine lining breaks down and the egg is shed, along with your uterine lining, during your period.
Talk To Your Gynecologist
Before you start trying to get pregnant, visit your gynecologist. Its ideal to schedule a preconception visit three to six months before your planned pregnancy. This gives you enough time to make any health improvements and lifestyle adjustments and complete any testing that may be recommended.
Here is a list of preconception tests a health care provider may suggest:
Your health care provider will also ask about your general lifestyle. They may suggest making a few changes to ensure a healthy pregnancy. This is the perfect time to ask any questions you might have about fertility and getting pregnant.
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What Else Can I Do To Up My Chances Of Getting Pregnant
Something to think about: âIf youâre a 25-year-old woman and youâre struggling to conceive and your partnerâs 40, or 45, itâs also worth going to a reproductive endocrinologist,â Sophocles says. Something the doctor will likely do is examine the semen, she says.
Some doctors say maintaining a healthy diet may help, as might a reduction in stress. Then again, if both are possible, they are good ideas for everyone to try and implement in their lives, whether or not pregnancy is a goal.
Dr. Lauren A. Bishop, M.D., reproductive endocrinologist, assistant professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Columbia University Fertility Center
Dr. Jill Blakeway, DACM, LAc, licensed and board certified acupuncturist and herbalist, found of Yinova Center
Dr. Maria Sophocles, M.D., board certified OB-GYN, and medical director of Womenâs Healthcare of Princeton