Trying to conceive a baby when you suffer from irregular periods can be tough. As a result, many women turn to ovulation predictor kits for help. These devices enable women to determine their most fertile days and indicate when they should attempt to conceive. However, if you have irregular periods, is an ovulation predictor going to work? Read on to discover the answer.
What Is an Ovulation Predictor?
There are various different ways of predicting ovulation. One method is a mathematical system that allows you to identify when you will ovulate and become most fertile. You can try keeping track by marking it on your calendar. There are also several websites available that will provide you with an online calculator or predictor. These require the start date of your last period and the average length of your cycle. An estimated date is then calculated of when you will be most fertile.
The second way to predict ovulation is with an ovulation predictor kit. This takes the form of a simple test which measures the amount of the luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. It is this hormone that triggers ovulation so when the test gives a positive result; ovulation is likely to occur 24 to 36 hours later.
Will it Work if I Have Irregular Periods?
Unfortunately, when you have irregular periods online ovulation predictors are less likely to be accurate because the average number of days in between your cycles is irregular. However, ovulation predictor kits can still be used as LH will indicate when you are due to ovulate regardless of how frequently or infrequently, you menstruate.
Alternative Ways to Determine Ovulation
Additional and alternative methods of monitoring your ovulation and fertility levels include:
Use a basal thermometer
With this method, you are required to take your basal body temperature first thing every morning for two to three months until a pattern emerges and you are to identify your estimated fertility window. This method is considered effective because generally your temperature will remain consistent and only decrease just before ovulation.
Cervical mucus test
This method monitors the consistency of your cervical mucus, or vaginal discharge. As your cycle progresses, mucus becomes clearer in color and more stretchy and slippery, (sometimes it is compared to the consistency of egg whites). Ovulation occurs when your mucus is at its most stretchy. Record the color, consistency, and feel of your mucus daily for several months in order to determine your fertility window.
More Information about Irregular Periods
Irregular periods can be distressing for many women because they can make it more difficult for women to gauge fertility windows. Talking to your doctor for advice about fertility and irregular periods will enable you to receive appropriate care and support.
Click on the following link for more information towards available treatments 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