The typical menstrual period arrives every 28 days or so, and most women have anywhere from 11 to 13 periods per year. But for some women, their menstrual cycle is totally unpredictable. This means that ovulation may occur infrequently, too frequently, or not at all. If you are trying to start a family, it can seem next to impossible to figure out how to get pregnant with irregular periods especially if you are unsure of when or if you are even ovulating.
If you suffer from irregular periods, a visit to your OB-GYN may be in order the moment you start considering trying to get pregnant. Your doctor can prescribe prenatal vitamins, perform a wellness exam, and advise you how to discontinue any current contraceptive use. Hormonal birth control, such as the hormone-releasing IUD, placebo-less birth control pills, and the Depo-Provera shot can oftentimes cause you not have a period at all. Your OB-GYN will let you know when you should expect your regular periods to return. If your cycle is still out of whack after the allotted time, you may need to change your lifestyle or seek medical intervention.
Here are some things that can help you regulate your menstrual cycle in order to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
1. Fertility Drugs
According to WebMD, many doctors will prescribe women with abnormal or no ovulation fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation. The drug clomiphene which is contained in both Clomid and Serophenes is often prescribed because it's effective and can be taken orally.
2. Weight Loss
Being overweight can cause you to have irregular periods. According to What To Expect obesity can cause an accumulation of fat cells that produce a form of estrogen called estrone. These cells mimic pregnancy which can prevent ovulating. Losing as little as five percent of your body weight can get help your body resume ovulation so that you can get pregnant.
3. Ovulation Predictor Kits
The American Pregnancy Association recommends tracking your ovulation manually or by using ovulation predictor kits. These tests can let you know when you are most likely to ovulate, and which days you are most likely to conceive.
4. Treatment For Stress
Irregular periods can be caused by stress. WebMD recommended stress-reducing activities such as meditation or yoga. You can also try cutting out caffeine, exercising regularly, or making an appointment with a counselor to help you cope with your stress which can help get your period back on track.
5. More Sex
Having irregular periods doesn’t always mean not ovulating. Having sex more often than just around the date you expect to ovulate can increase your chance of pregnancy according to What To Expect.
6. Weight Gain
Women who are underweight, especially those with anorexia or bulimia experience period irregularity. According to Everyday Health, most women who are anorexic and about 50 percent of bulimic women stop having their periods. Those who seek help for their eating disorder usually resume getting regular periods within six months of achieving an idea body weight.
7. See A Specialist
A condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects one in 20 women of childbearing age according to Women’s Health. This condition often prevents ovulation and can cause irregular periods. It’s important to make an appointment with your OB-GYN to learn whether your irregular periods are caused by PCOS, and begin treatment. Although there is no cure, the symptoms can be managed.