Learn more about what irregular menstrual cycles mean for a person’s reproductive health
Our Indianapolis fertility doctors help patients regulate irregular menstrual cycles. Ovulation, or the release of an egg from the ovaries, is part of the menstrual cycle. As a result, having a menstrual cycle is vital for patients who want to conceive.
Most people just think a menstrual cycle involves having a period, but it’s so much more than that. It is a series of hormonal changes that occur each month. These changes do everything from trigger the maturation and release of an egg to prepare the uterine lining for an embryo to implant.
How do irregular menstrual cycles affect a person’s ability to conceive?
While most people with ovaries have a period every 21-35 days, with ovulation typically occurring 14 days before the next period, some people go months without a period. Other people may have periods at irregular intervals. In fact, it’s estimated that 14% to 25% of people with ovaries have cycles that are irregular.
Our Indianapolis fertility doctors find that irregularities in menstrual cycles commonly occur because of hormonal imbalances. Because people with these imbalances might not ovulate or produce eggs, it can be difficult for them to become pregnant.
What are the potential causes of irregular periods and how can we help?
A blood test allows our Indianapolis fertility doctors to assess a patient’s reproductive hormones. This information can help them determine what might be causing irregular menstrual cycles. Our doctors will also take a medical history from each patient to see if other health or lifestyle issues could be contributing to the problem.
Below are a few examples of issues that can cause irregular periods.
- High stress levels
- Uterine fibroids
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid issues
- Diminished ovarian reserve (egg supply)
- Excessive weight gain or loss
- Very strenuous physical exercise
Certain lifestyle changes, including stress management, exercise and nutrition, can sometimes help regulate a person’s cycle. When these changes don’t resolve irregular menstrual cycles, doctors can often prescribe medication to help regulate a patient’s cycle.
A fertility doctor might recommend that a person trying to conceive take clomiphene citrate, also called Clomid. This medication can stimulate the release of hormones that cause the growth and release of an egg. If medication alone isn’t enough to achieve pregnancy, fertility treatments like IUI and IVF can often help make parenthood possible.
Our fertility specialists recommend a person seek support if issues with their menstrual cycle don’t resolve after about a month. This support can be especially important for those trying to become pregnant. Contact us for more information about ovulation disorders.