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  • Here's How You Can Get Pregnant Fast If You Have Irregular Menstrual Cycle

    It may involve a bit more work, so stress less and enjoy more!
    by Rachel Perez .
Here's How You Can Get Pregnant Fast If You Have Irregular Menstrual Cycle
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  • Couples who have sex during the woman’s ovulation day or fertile days have a higher chance of getting pregnant. It’s easier to estimate when to have sex to get pregnant if the woman has a regular menstrual cycle. If a woman has an irregular period, yes, you can still get pregnant, but it may be trickier or take longer to conceive.

    If you’ve been trying to conceive but have not been successful, you may want to check if you have an irregular period or menstrual cycle. The best way to deal with it is to consult your obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-gyn), so she can help you address it and give you tips and guide you on the best ways to conceive despite your condition.

    Do you have an irregular period?

    Most women have regular periods, which means they get their period every month or every 24 to 35 days. A monthly period usually lasts two to seven days, depending on a woman’s age. However, about 20% of women of reproductive age have irregular periods.

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    Having an irregular period can mean three things:

    • The interval or the days between a woman’s period changes every month. It could either be too short (less than 24 days) or too long (more than 35 days).
    • The number of days that a woman has her period varies a lot, which means her cycle also varies. It’s irregular if you bleed more than seven to nine days from one cycle to the next.
    • The amount of blood that a woman sheds or loses during her period is significantly more or less than the usual amount. Your period may be too light or too heavy.
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    There are several possible reasons why a woman has an irregular cycle. These include:

    • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). (Click here for ways to treat it and get pregnant.)
    • Thyroid imbalances
    • Hypothalamic amenorrhea or having high levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood: You may remember it as the hormone present when breastfeeding and responsible for breast changes during pregnancy.
    • Low ovarian reserves: A baby girl is born with all the eggs she will ever produce, and some women may have less than the average number.
    • Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) or Premature ovarian failure (POF) occurs when the ovaries slow down or stop releasing eggs earlier than age 40.
    • Early menopause or the time when a woman’s estrogen and progesterone hormone levels naturally decline
    • Excessive exercise
    • Stress

    Taking contraceptive pills is one way to regularize periods and manage heavy blood flow. Women with PCOS may be prescribed ovulation medicine such as clomiphene citrate, drugs that contain gonadotropins, or hormones such as follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH), and even the diabetes drug metformin. (Click here to see how metformin can help you conceive.)

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    How to estimate your ovulation day or fertile days if you have irregular periods

    Just because you bleed every month doesn’t mean you ovulate. Ovulation, even among women with regular menstrual cycles, varies each month. Still, it’s easier to track ovulation for women with regular cycles. (Use our ovulation calendar here!)

    For women with irregular periods, it’s a bit trickier to pinpoint the best days to have sex to conceive, but, again, it’s still possible. It’s a bit more work, but you can track your ovulation day and fertile days. Here are three ways:

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    1. You are ovulating when your BBT falls slightly, then rises again.

    Planned Parenthood warns that to use this effectively, you first need to track your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) first thing as soon as one wakes up in the morning, after getting at least three to five hours of sleep, for two to three months. It will help you get a clearer picture of which day of the month is your lowest BBT.

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    You also need a thermometer that’s specifically designed to measure basal body temperature since the drop can be as slight as at least 0.4 to 1 degree. Be as consistent as possible, as sleep quality and stress can easily affect your BBT. (You can also try this gadget!)

    2. You are ovulating when your vaginal discharge becomes clear and thin, with a more slippery consistency.

    Vaginal discharge or cervical mucus that has a clear, slippery, raw egg white consistency, then you’re most probably ovulating or near your ovulation period, explained the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). You can test it by inserting a clean finger in your vagina and then removing some of the mucus secretions between your thumb and forefinger. If you can stretch the mucus between your fingers, you’re probably ovulating or nearing your ovulation period.

    The American Pregnancy Association explains that changes in vaginal discharge go from sticky or creamy after your period to wet and slippery nearing your fertile period that helps the sperm swim to the egg released by your ovaries, and then back to sticky or dry. It varies from one woman to another and can be influenced by infections, sexual excitement, and lubricants. It’s not a reliable ovulation tracking method for breastfeeding or perimenopausal women or women who douche or have had surgery performed on the cervix.

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    3. Use ovulation predictor kits

    Ovulation predictor kits work like pregnancy tests. You pee on the strips (or pee in a cup and place the strips in it), and it determines if you’re ovulating or not. But you might need to use a lot of ovulation strips. Doctors recommend using them only during the days you might be ovulating, which can be several days if you want to cover more ground. Ovulation kits are also prone to giving false positives, especially for women with PCOS.

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    Does having frequent sex help women with irregular periods conceive?

    There are benefits to tracking your ovulation cycle if you have irregular periods, but it can also be a chore. Some couples do get lucky by just having sex frequently, on any day of the woman’s menstrual cycle. A woman’s egg is viable for only 24 hours, but a man’s sperm can stay alive in a woman’s cervix for up to five days. If you’re having sex three to four times a week, you are bound to have sex around your ovulation day or fertile days.

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    When to take a pregnancy test if you have irregular periods

    Having an irregular menstrual cycle means not knowing if you’re period is just late or if you’re already pregnant. But early prenatal checks are crucial for expecting women. The Office of Women’s Health under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that the ideal time for women with irregular periods to take a home pregnancy test is 36 days from the start of your last menstrual cycle or four weeks after you had unprotected sex. It should be enough time for the levels of hCG to be high enough to detect the pregnancy.

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