Irregular Periods Indicate that you are Ovulating Inconsistently
Irregular periods can indicate that you are ovulating inconsistently or, in some cases, not at all. As you already know, it is impossible to conceive without an egg, so the less you ovulate the less opportunities you have to conceive. If you do have irregular periods, it is certainly still possible to become pregnant.
So what might be causing my irregular cycles?
It is perfectly normal to experience some irregularity in your menstrual cycle from time to time, especially during stressful times or due to illness. For most women, cycle regularity will return once the stress and illness are resolved.
For women with chronic irregularity, it is likely that there is an underlying hormonal imbalance (probably with estrogen and progesterone) that is impacting the frequency of ovulation and/or menstruation. While it is not always easy to identify why a hormonal imbalance is present, there are a couple of known causes of hormonal imbalances in trying to conceive women.
A common cause of hormonal imbalance is the medical condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). One of the symptoms of PCOS is the stimulation of multiple follicles that generate high levels of estrogen, without the successful release of an egg.
Women who are battling eating disorders often have hormonal imbalances, which result in irregular or completely absent menstrual periods (called amenorrhea). In addition, women who exercise to excess (for example 3 hours per day of strenuous exercise) can become irregular. The lack of adequate nutrition resulting from anorexia and/or physical stress caused by excessive exercise can alter the chemistry of the brain, making it difficult for the brain to trigger the hormones necessary for follicle development. Lack of follicle development can cause estrogen deficiency.
What can I do to improve my chances of getting pregnant?
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet: Try to incorporate more whole grains, fruits and vegetables and avoid foods that are high in refined carbohydrates and fat. You should also be exercising regularly and in moderation.
- Attain a healthy weight: If you are overweight, losing a few pounds through a moderate calorie restriction and moderate exercise can be very beneficial, especially if you have been diagnosed with PCOS.
- Take a fertility-enhancing supplement: A fertility-enhancing supplement like FertilAid for Women that contains a full prenatal vitamin formula and hormone-balancing herbs like Vitex might be just what you need to get your cycles back on track.
- Pinpoint your fertile window: As there are only 4 or 5 days each cycle one can conceive, determining these fertile days is of great importance. For women with irregular periods, ovulation prediction can be a frustrating endeavor. The OvaCue Fertility Monitor is a great ovulation prediction device, particularly for those with irregular cycles. You might also check out www.OvaGraph.com, a 100% free, full-featured online fertility charting application.