A deterrent to achieving a successful pregnancy is having an irregular menstrual cycle. Studies have shown that women with irregular periods have a 4 times reduction in their chances of having a baby. However, just because your period is irregular does not mean that you are infertile. Far from it! Many women with irregular menstrual cycles have been able to get pregnant just by religiously monitoring when they are ovulating.
The Problem of Irregular Periods
First off, there is the erroneous belief that all “normal” women have a regular 28 day cycle. In reality, even those who are considered “normal” will experience some irregularities in their menstrual cycle. A menstrual cycle is usually in the range of 25 to 35 days, but it can as short as 8 days to as long as 40 days. If your menstruation occurs regularly, let’s say every 35 days, that is still considered normal. However, if you skip months in your menstruation or you either bleed too little or too much, this is what you would call “irregular period”. If you are not sure that you are having an irregular period, it is highly advisable that you chart your cycle. Visit your doctor so that he or she can determine if you do indeed have an irregular period. The physician will then order tests to determine the possible causes of the irregularity, which may include an ovarian cyst or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Getting Pregnant with Irregular Periods
The dilemma that most women with irregular periods have is that it becomes very difficult to determine when they are ovulating. In order to get pregnant, you need to time intimate relations during the period when your ovary releases an egg.
One method that can help to monitor ovulation is through basal body temperature (BBT) charting. When your body is ovulating, it will be marked as a sudden spike in your basal body temperature. For BBT charting to be helpful, you need to monitor your temperature staring from Day 1 of your menstrual cycle (the first day of your menses) up to the last day (the day prior to your next menses). You can also monitor your cervical mucus rhythm together with your BBT. You will know that you are ovulating if your cervical mucus becomes thick, egg white in consistency and forms strings when you stretch it between your fingers. The main drawback to BBT and cervical mucus charting is that these tests will tell you when your ovary has released an egg. Since the egg only has a 24 to 48 hour life span, you and your spouse will have a very small window by which to achieve conception.
For women with highly irregular cycles, a better option is to purchase an ovulation detection kit. These kits are available as strips or as electronic gadgets. Every day starting from the Day 1 of your menstrual cycle, you dip the strips or the tip of the gadget in your urine. A few days prior to ovulation, there will be a spike in the levels of luteinizing hormone in your urine. Ovulation detection kits are better in comparison to BBT and cervical mucus charting because you and your spouse can already start having intimate relations BEFORE the ovary releases an egg. Having intercourse for a few days following the LH surge will give you a better chance of a successful pregnancy.
Aside from ovulation detection, it is necessary to give a woman fertility drugs to induce her ovaries to ovulate on a regular basis. These medications will also induce ovulation, thus increasing the chances of a woman to achieve pregnancy. The only drawback is that these drugs may cause hyperovulation, resulting in the release of two or more eggs. Because of this, there is a higher chance of having twins or multiple pregnancies.
Learn more about how to get pregnant with irregular periods today!