One of the central concerns affecting women who experience irregular periods is that they won't be able to get pregnant. However, although conception can become more difficult when you have irregular periods, it is possible.
For conception to take place, once an egg leaves the ovaries, it must meet a sperm in order to become fertilized. In other words, ovulation must take place first. Having irregular periods doesn't usually mean that you don't ovulate; it just means that knowing when you're ovulating becomes more difficult to judge. So, what can you do to make conception more probable? Read on to find out.
How to Make Pregnancy More Likely
Irregular periods can be extremely troublesome, particularly when you are trying to get pregnant. To increase the chance of pregnancy, begin tracking your menstrual cycle on a chart to establish your fertility window. Most women have a fertility window of five to seven days, but if you have irregular periods, your window might be significantly shorter. Read on to learn how you can determine when your window is approaching.
Have plenty of sex
If you aren't sure when you're ovulating, try to have sex every few days. This will increase the likelihood of your egg becoming fertilized, as there's more likely to be sperm in the reproductive tract when ovulation occurs.
Use a basal thermometer
Take your temperature every morning with a basal thermometer. This device detects slight changes in temperature and helps identify your fertility window. For this method to be effective, however, you have to keep track of your temperature every day for two to three months. Prior to ovulation, your temperature will be fairly consistent, but just before ovulation, it will likely increase by about half a degree Fahrenheit. Have sex when you first notice an increase, as pregnancy becomes less likely starting three days after the temperature rise.
Use ovulation prediction tests
These tests use urine samples to detect hormonal surges, and a positive result usually suggests that ovulation is imminent. It is important to have sexual intercourse on the same day you get a positive result.
If after trying the methods listed above you still don't fall pregnant, visit your doctor for advice on alternative methods. A doctor will also be able to do further tests that can determine whether your irregular periods - and subsequent inability to conceive - are a result of an underlying health condition.
Click on the following link to learn more about the different treatment options for irregular periods.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007