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Signs Of Ovulation

Irregular Periods And Getting Pregnant?

What are irregular periods? How do they affect my chances of getting pregnant?

Some women can rattle off exactly which week of the month (first, second, third or fourth) they usually get their period. Others have absolutely no idea when or where their periods will strike. If you count yourself among the latter group, there’s a good chance you are someone with an irregular menstrual cycle. Most women with irregular periods have either very long cycles (45 to 60 days) or sometimes will skip their period every few months. You can have irregular periods when you first start menstruating, and then again at the other end of the equation, when you start to enter perimenopause. Or it can happen during other times in your life, either by stress, significant weight loss or gain, illness, travel and even certain medications.

While having an irregular period can make it more challenging to get pregnant (since it’s not always quite as clear when you’re going to ovulate, and potentially conceive), the good news is that this is often a highly treatable condition. If you’re thinking seriously about getting pregnant and you’re ready to do so, talk to your doctor, who can help provide some medication to kick-start your period and regulate your cycle. And try to relax as much as you can. There’s a strong, well-proven link between your emotions and your cycle. The less stress you produce, the better your hormones will work to keep your cycle on track.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Weird Fertility Terms Decoded

Signs of Ovulation

Tool: Ovulation Calculator

By Samuel Wood, MD, reproductive endocrinologist and medical director, The Reproductive Sciences Center, San Diego