Can I Get Pregnant With Irregular Periods?
Many women who have irregular periods also struggle with fertility. Abnormal bleeding accounts for about 30-40% of all cases of infertility. Often, irregular periods indicate that a woman is not ovulating. Here are 4 key questions women should ask the doctor about irregular bleeding and getting pregnant.
1. Do I have an underlying condition?
In some cases, irregular periods are caused by an underlying health condition. For example, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects around 5-10% of women of reproductive age and can cause irregular periods. PCOS can also cause the ovaries not to work correctly. Managing weight, regulating insulin levels, and lowering stress are all crucial for women with PCOS to conceive. Often, women with the condition will undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) for help getting pregnant.
2. Am I still ovulating?
In some cases, irregular bleeding means that a woman is not ovulating. But this is not always the case. Sometimes, abnormal bleeding doesn’t mean that a woman is not ovulating at all, just that ovulation is inconsistent. However, women can still track ovulation with irregular periods. Tracking ovulation makes conceiving easier. If there is no pattern to a woman’s periods, some other indicators of ovulation can include changes in cervical mucus and a spike in basal body temperature.
3. Can I stimulate ovulation?
There are medications available to stimulate ovulation and help women get pregnant. The majority of the time, taking infertility drugs can help women to ovulate. However, the prescriptions can also create a hostile environment for sperm to swim through cervical mucus. For this reason, fertility drugs are often prescribed in conjunction with intrauterine insemination (IUI) to boost the chances of success.
4. What can I do to boost success?
Even though infertility is stressful to deal with, the face is that lowering stress will boost fertility. Excess stress has been linked to problems with ovulation. Couples can employ some specific strategies to help lower pressure while struggling to get pregnant. Cutting down on caffeine, exercising, meditating, or practicing yoga can all help. Couples should also focus on communicating with each other and carving out time to intentionally connect. Often, people find significant comfort in joining emotional support groups or going to therapy.
Can I still start a family?
Women who deal with irregular periods can still get pregnant. Conceiving may require more intention and focus. However, there are ways to boost fertility and start a family. People who want to learn more about fertility treatments should schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist.