If you have regular periods then you will have up to 13 menstrual periods in one calendar year, which means that you will have up to 13 chances to conceive each year. On the other hand, women with irregular periods may have far fewer chances to conceive each year.
How to know if your periods are irregular?
To answer this, it will be helpful that we talk about what a regular menstrual cycle is. It may shock you, but your menstrual cycle will be considered normal even if you don’t have a period every 28 days.
Women with chronic irregularity are likely to have hormonal imbalances (probably with estrogen and progesterone). It is this hormonal imbalance that impacts the frequency of ovulation and/or menstruation. It is not always easy to identify why a hormonal imbalance is present. However, there are a couple of known reasons which cause hormonal imbalances.
A common cause of hormonal imbalance is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is a medical condition that stimulates multiple follicles that generate high levels of estrogen, without the successful release of an egg. The excessive estrogen then stimulates uterine lining to thicken to a point where it drops off, resulting in menstrual bleeding without any ovulation.
What causes hormonal imbalance?
- Eating Disorders: women who have eating disorders often have hormonal imbalances, which result in irregular or completely absent menstrual periods (called amenorrhea).
- Excessive exercising: women who do strenuous work out can have irregular periods. Lack of adequate nutrition due to anorexia and/or physical stress caused by excessive exercising can cause subtle changes. These changes sometimes make it difficult for the brain to activate the hormones necessary for follicle development. Further, lack of follicle development can lead to estrogen deficiency resulting in irregular periods.
Do irregular periods impact your chances of conceiving?
Irregular periods can suggest that you are ovulating inconsistently or, in some cases, not at all. As you very well know, it is impossible to conceive without an egg, so the less you ovulate the less chances you have to conceive.
Tips to improve your chances of conceiving:
Know your menstrual cycle
First and foremost – you should be aware of your menstrual cycle. If you suspect any irregularity do consult your doctor to restore the normalcy of your periods. The increase in ovulation frequency will increase the chances of getting pregnant.
Find your fertile period
It is little difficult to find your fertile period when you have a irregular menstrual cycle. You can get blood tests or chart temperature done to confirm the ovulation period and have intercourse during the fertile period.
In case you are underweight, you should increase your weight as low body fat is often related with low levels of estrogen, which can lead to irregular cycle. Also, if you are on the higher side then, lose some weight by exercising. It is helpful especially if you have PCOS.
Have a well-balanced diet
It is extremely important to have a well-balanced diet. Instead of having fast food or processed food, try to consume fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Try avoiding food that contains high levels of fat and carbohydrate.
Proper functioning of the body is important for the release of hormones. Exercising regularly helps to keep your body healthy. Although, excessive exercise can be harmful for fertility, moderate and regular exercise is crucial for having a healthy body and regular menstrual cycle.