Irregular periods can potentially affect your ability to get pregnant, but don’t fret. Many women go through this and still go on to have healthy pregnancies. By understanding irregular periods and their underlying causes, you can dramatically increase your chances of conception.
What Is an Irregular Period?
An irregular period occurs when your period begins less than 21 days from your last cycle or more than 35. Fluctuations in cycle length can be normal, as not every cycle is the same. An irregular period goes beyond what is considered an average variance in the number of days for your cycle to start again. An irregular period can be one that is consistently seven to nine days too early or too late.
Why Can an Irregular Period Affect Your Ability to Get Pregnant?
Generally, it’s considered easier to become pregnant if you have sexual intercourse around the same time you are ovulating. Irregular periods make it difficult to reliably track when your fertile window is. The fertile window refers to a time shortly before ovulation, as well as the day of. Having sex during the fertile window increases the chances of becoming pregnant.
Additionally, hidden underlying conditions could potentially be the root cause of your irregular periods. Some of these conditions or reasons include endometriosis, PCOS, perimenopause, uterine polyps, uterine fibroids, the use of some medications, being overweight or underweight, too much stress, and breastfeeding.
When to See a Doctor
Some signs that you may need to see a doctor due to your irregular periods include missing more than two periods in one year, a cycle that is less than 21 days or longer than 35, and a period that lasts longer than a week. Heightened or unusual pain and bleeding for longer than seven days also signal that it’s time for a doctor’s visit.
How to Conceive With Irregular Periods
Since women with irregular periods can still get pregnant, having sex every two to three days is recommended. This way you don’t need to keep track of your fertile window to increase the likelihood of pregnancy. Other solutions include stopping certain medications at the request of your doctor, reaching a healthy weight, and reducing stress.
If you have PCOS or hyperthyroid, your doctor may prescribe medication such as birth control or hormone treatment to help regulate the hormones in your body. Some women may need to have surgery to remove scarring or polyps from the uterus or reproductive system.
Women with irregular periods can still become pregnant if they wish to. By knowing the facts and recognizing when you may need treatment, you’ll increase the likelihood of becoming pregnant.