Most women are well familiar with the normal inconvenience of a menstrual period. It always seems to fall at the worst possible time – like when you have a tropical vacation planned with your other half. But most do not realize how much worse it can be when their period is irregular. Your body can surprise you at the most inconvenient times with spontaneous shedding of your uterine wall. What fun! And when the time comes for family planning, it gets even worse.
Tracking ovulation with irregular periods can seem like a task and a half. Before you start worrying about it, there are some things you should know.
Even though your cycle may seem to be off its hinges, it probably still functions in the same way the average woman’s cycle does. It may just be the timing that is off. Start by using this Ovulation Calculator and monitor how closely the predictions align with your actual cycle.
Alternatively, track your cycles overtime. You may even notice a pattern that will make it easier to predict periods in future months.
Maybe you do have a cycle that runs like clockwork, but it is just set to a different time than most. Even if your cycles are all over the place, you can still figure out when you are ovulating for the best chance of pregnancy.
Aside from using the ovulation calculator or tracking your cycle, some women can also track ovulation by paying attention to their cervical mucus.
The concept may seem off-putting at first, but you will soon get over that. When your body is preparing for ovulation, your cervical mucus will change.
During the first few days after your cycle, it will normally be absent or dry. Then, it will slowly start to increase in volume and become sticky and then change to creamy. As ovulation approaches, you will begin to notice that your cervical mucus will increase and become slippery and stretchy (like the consistency of egg white). Egg white cervical mucus (EWCM) provides a safe environment for sperm and assists sperm to reach the egg. Sometimes the water content of cervical mucus is so high that the egg white mucus is more like water.
You can also take a supplement which helps promote fertile cervical mucus.
You may also track ovulation by charting your basal body temperature. Take your temperature first thing in the morning, every morning, and keep a log. It helps to keep the chart along with a digital thermometer on your nightstand so you do not forget. There will be a small spike in your basal body temperature once you have ovulated. The charting link above provides further instructions on how to do this.
Ovulation prediction kits (OPKs) are another way to track ovulation. Some couples find this to be the easiest method. With this method, you will test your urine until you get a positive test result. When your levels of luteinizing hormone spike, you will get a positive result on the test, and you will be in your most fertile time of your cycle. How to use an OPK. You can get OPKs for as little as $0.50 each.
There are many things that can impact fertility, but the odds are good that a healthy, fertile female with an irregular cycle will become pregnant within one year of trying.
However, there is one thing you should keep in mind as you are tracking your cycle. Women with irregular cycles may be more likely to suffer from a Luteal Phase Defect. This occurs when there are consistently fewer than 10 days between ovulation and a menstrual period. If you find that this is the case for you, talk to your doctor right away. There are tests and treatments that he or she will likely recommend.
There are many things that can cause irregular periods, such as stress, sudden weight loss/gain, nutrition, PCOS, medications and hormonal imbalances. Women to women list some natural ways to maintain a regular cycle that may help you.