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The Challenge of Conceiving with Irregular Periods
When you and your partner are trying to conceive, it can be very frustrating to know when the best time to try is when you have irregular periods. It is recommended when you are trying to conceive to keep track of your menstrual cycle.
Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle
It is first important to track your menstrual cycle to get an idea of what your irregular pattern may be. There are several different applications available to help you keep track of your ovulation, symptoms, bleeding, and more. Once you can get a grasp on how your menstrual cycle is, each month you can discuss this with your provider.
Understanding Irregular Periods and Ovulation
Usually, when you have an irregular period, no period, or any abnormal bleeding it means you are not ovulating. To get pregnant, you must be ovulating! After you have determined what type of menstrual cycle you may be having or the fact you are not having one at all, you can meet with your provider and discuss some options.
Treating Irregular Periods and Infertility
A first option may be to try some prescription medications (fertility medications) to help kick start ovulation. A common drug choice used is clomiphene. This is a common first choice because it has been used for generations and has been known to be quite effective. This is also a great option because you are able to take it orally, without any injections. Clomiphene induces ovulation and also increases egg production in the ovaries.
The Use of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
A draw back of some fertility drugs is they make your cervical mucous incompatible with sperm, which does not allow the sperm to swim up into the uterus. If this becomes an issue, couples may choose to use intrauterine insemination (IUI). Sperm is prepared and inserted directly into your uterus using a catheter. It is also recommended that you also use fertility drugs if you choose to do this method to increase your chances of pregnancy.
Injectable Fertility Drugs for Irregular Periods
Another option that may be recommended is another fertility drug that is injected called Gonal-F. These injectable fertility drugs super ovulate your ovaries. Due to the super ovulating of your ovaries and your ovaries producing a lot more eggs than usual, it is common for women to experience bloating and abdominal cramping and pain. When using these methods you may be hospitalized, but you are also monitored very closely.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
A lot of women who are having irregular periods may have PCOS. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This condition is a common cause of anovulation (absence of ovulation) and female infertility. PCOS can be very frustrating for women and couples when they are trying to conceive.
Understanding the Symptoms and Causes of PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is when a woman does not release an egg regularly, or in other words does not ovulate. The ovaries contain a small cystic structure, which are tiny fluid-filled sacs. The eggs grow, but are never released from these fluid-filled sacs, which causes no ovulation. The difference between a normal ovary and a polycystic ovary is in a polycystic ovary there are many small follicles with eggs in them, but they do not mature properly which leads to no ovulation.
Some basic, common symptoms of a woman with PCOS are: irregular menstrual cycles or no period at all, acne, darkened skin patches, depression, sleep apnea, anxiety and/or excess amount of facial and body hair growth. Women may also have an excess amount of testosterone hormone within their system, which leads to the extra amount of facial and body hair growth.
Lifestyle Changes for PCOS
There is no cure for PCOS. This may be frustrating and scary for a young woman and couple to discover after trying to conceive. Even though it is frustrating, it is possible for women to become pregnant with PCOS. With some lifestyle changes, certain drugs, and guidance from a knowledgeable infertility doctor you can become pregnant.
Some infertility doctors may start with looking at the cause of PCOS. While there is no definite answer to why a woman may have PCOS there are a few common conditions linked to PCOS, which include: genetics, excess insulin, being overweight or obese.
The first step with any woman who may be suffering from PCOS is to take a look at their eating and exercise habits. Changing what they eat and their activity level may help tremendously with becoming pregnant, even though they have PCOS. Even if they begin taking infertility treatments to help increase ovulation, they will want to continue a healthy lifestyle.
Alleviating Stress for Irregular Periods
Stress also plays a huge factor on irregular periods (infertility) and getting pregnant. When you stress about getting pregnant or everyday life, your adrenal system does not function properly. To help alleviate stress, meditate or exercise. Take time for yourself and breathe. It is important to not become overly obsessed and stressed about becoming pregnant.
It is important to know that even if you have irregular periods (infertility) you and your partner can still become pregnant. With help from your provider there are a lot of treatments and methods available to boost fertility and regulate your period and ovulation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What role does body weight play in managing irregular periods and conception?
Body weight can significantly impact the regularity of your menstrual cycle and fertility. Being overweight or underweight can cause hormone imbalances that lead to irregular periods, potentially complicating conception. Maintaining a healthy weight can often help regulate your cycle and improve fertility.
How does stress impact irregular periods and the process of conception?
High stress levels can disrupt hormonal balance, which may lead to irregular periods and hinder ovulation. Techniques such as meditation, exercise, or other stress-relief methods can support menstrual regularity and boost your chances of conception.
Are there any side effects associated with fertility drugs like clomiphene and Gonal-F?
Yes, side effects may occur with fertility drugs. For instance, clomiphene may cause hot flashes, bloating, or vision problems, while Gonal-F may lead to abdominal pain, bloating, or fatigue. It’s important to discuss these potential effects with your healthcare provider.
Can natural remedies help manage irregular periods and enhance fertility?
While some natural methods like dietary adjustments, regular exercise, and stress management can help regulate menstrual cycles and promote overall reproductive health, their effect on fertility varies among individuals. It’s best to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
How does PCOS affect fertility and what are the available treatment options?
PCOS often causes irregular ovulation or anovulation, which can lead to infertility. Treatment options can include lifestyle modifications, medication to stimulate ovulation, or procedures like IUI. Always discuss these options with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for you.