Are Your Cycles Truly Irregular?
Tracking your menstrual cycles can help you understand what’s normal for you, time ovulation and identify important changes. The menstrual cycle, which is counted from the first day of one period to the first day of the next, isn’t the same for every woman. Menstrual flow might occur every 21 to 35 days and last two to seven days. However, with so many hormones, body parts, and external factors like stress, having a regular, 28-day menstrual cycle is almost like a biological improbability. A typical delay of 2-3 days each cycle is normal and nothing to be really worried about. However, longer variances may require some attention as they are likely to cause fertility issues.
How to detect Ovulation?
Ovulation is when an egg is released from the ovary. On average, a woman with regular cycles tends to ovulate sometime between day 11 and day 21 of her cycle. Some of the common signs associated with ovulation include:
- An increase in basal body temperature
- Tenderness of the breasts
- Pain in the lower abdominal region
- Cervical secretions
- Increased sexual libido
Is there a Better Method of Conceiving?
Instead of focusing on a specific window and stressing over dates and times, it is advisable to have more frequent sexual intercourse to increase the chances of conception.
What are the Causes of Irregular Cycles?
The common causes associated with menstrual problems are hormonal imbalances, malfunctioning of the ovaries or fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids or polyps, cancer, and possible genetic or hereditary disorders. In a normal menstrual cycle, a balance between the hormones estrogen and progesterone regulates the buildup of the endometrium, but with an imbalance, the development of endometrium happens in excess, and it is eventually shed by way of heavy menstrual bleeding.
What are the Medications to Help You Conceive?
Some of the common medications that increase the chances of conception would be – Clomid, which is helpful for ovulatory dysfunction; letrozole helps trigger ovulation, and metformin is helpful as it decreases insulin resistance.
What Lifestyle Changes can help?
The keys to fertility include maintaining a healthy weight, exercise and choosing foods that support your ability to conceive and achieve pregnancy. Infertility rates are three times higher in obese women. Women who are overweight can improve their fertility by losing just 5% of their body weight. Insulin resistance causes the body to release more insulin which halts ovulation. Underweight women often suffer from ovulation problems as well. Thus, healthy eating habits, regular physical exercise, and a stress-free lifestyle are helpful in conception.
When to Talk to Your Doctor?
If you have excessively irregular periods or have tried to conceive for over a year without success, it may be ideal to speak to a doctor and get a thorough consultation. Irregular cycles are a risk factor for infertility, and the risk continues to increase with increasing age and possible lifestyle factors.