This article was first published on Zen Parent. Read the original here.
Irregular periods are more common than you think. There are many who suffer with irregularity but at various degrees. Many women are worried that this may affect their ability to get pregnant.
Irregular periods do not equate inability to conceive. While it may be harder to conceive, it is not impossible. The main problem is that it gets harder to predict when you are ovulating and that can lead to difficulty in conception. If you know why your periods are irregular and how irregular they actually are, then timing the sex can contribute to conception.
What is irregular period?
Ideally, a period should last for 28 days. That is just theoretical. Don’t be under the impression that if your periods are not exactly of the 28-day time period, you are having irregular periods. Sometimes it may be 26 days long and sometimes it may be 30 days long. This is still regular.
Irregular period is defined as a period that is either 21 days (and shorter) or 36 days (and longer). If the time period varies from month to month too, it qualifies as irregular. For example you may have a period that lasts for 26 days this month and your next period lasts for 30 days. The period after that may last longer or shorter. This also refers to as irregular period.
Remember that you should see it as irregular only when this occurs continuously month after month. Having a longer or shorter period once or twice a year is completely normal. You should be concerned only when this happens all the time or if your cycles are too long or too short, as aforementioned.
Too much stress and illness
The reason behind irregular periods can play a role in determining your ability to get pregnant. There are numerous causes that contribute to irregular periods such as too much stress and illness.
Dramatic change in weight can also lead to irregular periods. If you lose weight dramatically, you should work to gain some weight so that your period comes back to normal and vice versa.
There are also a number of medical conditions that can affect your periods such as ovarian dysfunction, thyroid problems, and PCOS.
Anovulation and hormonal imbalance
Sometimes you may go through a condition known as anovulation. This condition is that in which you have irregular periods and don’t ovulate. If you don’t ovulate, there is no chance of pregnancy at all.
Irregular periods may also be caused due to hormonal imbalance. However, you may be ovulating fine too and that means you can get pregnant without resorting to fertility drugs. Too much exercise and too much dieting can also affect your periods.
See a doctor
If you find that your periods are irregular, you should go to the doctor without prolonging it because the more you wait, the more you age, and the harder it will get to get pregnant. Through a blood test your doctor will determine if you are ovulating.
If you are, then you can go ahead and keep trying, provided you are not older than 35 years of age. However, it will take special effort to track your ovulation in order to time your sexual intercourse. In the case that you are not ovulating, you will need fertility drugs.