if i have an irregular period when do i ovulate

if i have an irregular period when do i ovulate

if i have an irregular period when do i ovulate

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How to get pregnant when you have an irregular period

If it’s always a bit of a mystery when your period is going to show up—perhaps your cycle is 35 days some months and 21 days others—you might find getting pregnant more challenging

because you never know when you’re ovulating. So what’s going on down there? Here’s what you need to know about your irregular periods.

What is an irregular period?

what an irregular period actually is. You don’t need a 28-day cycle to be regular. “Only about 15 percent of women have a 28-day cycle,” says George Carson, a Regina-based OB/GYN.

In fact, the normal length of a cycle can vary between 22 to 35 days. So, as long as your cycle falls within that window and runs about the same length each time, it’s regular.

But, if you can’t count your cycle and pinpoint within a day or two when your next period will come, you may be irregular. While there are conditions that can affect the regularity

of your period—including stress, thyroid conditions, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), fibroids and more—even if your irregular cycle isn’t the result of a health condition,

it can affect your fertility.

If it’s always a bit of a mystery when your period is going to show up—perhaps your cycle is 35 days some months and 21 days others—you might find getting pregnant more challenging

because you never know when you’re ovulating. So what’s going on down there? Here’s what you need to know about your irregular periods.

if i have an irregular period when do i ovulate
if i have an irregular period when do i ovulate

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Do irregular periods affect ovulation?

No matter the length of her period, every woman ovulates about 14 days before her next period. So, if you have a 28-day cycle, you’ll ovulate on day 14, and if you have a 32-day cycle,

you’ll ovulate on day 18. But, when you have an irregular cycle, identifying an ovulation date isn’t so easy, because without knowing when you’re going to get your period, you don’t know

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when to count back 14 days from.

Women with irregular periods are also more likely to be anovulatory, which means they simply don’t ovulate. They may bleed on occasion, but the menstruation isn’t following the release

of an egg. Carson says women experiencing anovulation likely won’t feel typical period pains, such as cramping, and their periods can be light or heavy in flow.

Some women ovulate occasionally but it’s irregular and unpredictable, which can also make it a challenge to conceive. “A woman ovulating with a 28-day cycle ovulates 13 times a year.

So there are 13 times in which she can get pregnant and she can figure out when they are,” says Carson. “But if she ovulates six times a year, right away it’s half as likely that she’ll get pregnant.” And being irregular will make it a challenge to even track down those six times when you’re actually fertile.

irregular period
irregular period

How to track ovulation when you have an irregular period

While women with regular cycles can simply assume they’re ovulating at the same time each month, it’s a bit trickier for those with irregular periods. Fortunately, there are a few ways to figure out your body’s schedule.

The first sign to look for is mucus. “If you get a lot of clear, sticky mucus in the middle of your menstrual cycle, then you’re probably ovulating,” says Beth Taylor, an OB/GYN with the Vancouver-based Olive Fertility Centre. The mucus, which is secreted thanks to an increase in estrogen, means your cervix is ready to be penetrated by sperm to get pregnant.

Another way to determine if you’re ovulating at all is to track your temperature each morning with a basal body temperature thermometer, which can hone in on small changes up to 1/100th of a degree. After the egg is released in your body, both estrogen and progesterone are flowing. The progesterone causes your body’s temperature to increase by half a degree Celsius (or a full degree Fahrenheit).

But this method is a bit tricky for women with irregular cycles. Because the temperature change indicates the egg has already released, it means you need to have sex just before the increase in order to hit your fertile window. Most women track their temperature and use the data to predict when it’s going to rise in future months. But even if your cycle is a little unpredictable, “It can be useful in looking backwards to see: am I likely to ovulate? And when?” says Carson.

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You can also use ovulation predictor kits that test your urine to figure out when to have sex. Before ovulation, women produce a surge of luteinizing hormones (LH), which triggers the drop of an egg from the ovary. “When a strip indicates an LH surge, she’s going to ovulate that day or the next day and she can use this information to time intercourse,” says Carson.

irregular period
irregular period

Why tracking ovulation is vital to your TTC journey

Tracking ovulation while trying to conceive (TTC) might be crucial in your fertility journey, as it helps us to understands how our body works.  It is also useful in identifying our fertile window to plan sex to pregnancy in those days.

In a 28-day-cycle, a woman normally ovulates 14 days before her next period… but not everyone has clockwork-cycles, in fact, just 12% of women have a 28-day cycle. Actually, a normal cycle length is between 21 to 35 days, and ovulation might not be on the same day every month.

How do ovulation trackers work?

There are different types of trackers, but all of them detect the rise of Luteinising hormone (LH), which peaks 24-36 hours before the egg is released from the ovaries. Therefore, they tell you the perfect time to have sex and hopefully get pregnant.

Why should we track ovulation when TTC?

Tracking ovulation has many benefits on your fertility journey.

  • It is much more accurate than measuring basal body temperature or checking your cervical mucus.
  • It increases your chances to conceive as it tells you when you are about to ovulate.
  • It helps to get to know what is normal for you, which is not always the textbook version.
  • It is also useful when you are undergoing fertility treatment such as ovulation induction or intrauterine insemination.

How do I check my ovulation if I´ve got irregular periods?

Usually, when we have a 28-day cycle, we start checking our monitor around day 8-9 of the cycle, which is approximately 5 days before the ovulation day. Finding out what day to start might be tricky if we have irregular periods as you don’t really know.

What doctors recommend in this case is to check which your shortest cycle in the last 6 months and think that your current cycle will be like that.

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For example, suppose your shortest period was 21 days and the luteal phase (the period between ovulation and your next period) is about 14 days. In that case, that means that you

might be ovulating around day 7. Therefore, you should start getting busy with your monitor around day 4 of the cycle to catch the surge and not miss the ovulation. If we started

monitoring on day 8, we would’ve missed our surge, and therefore we would’ve thought we didn’t ovulate that month!

Your monitor will also be helpful to identify the length of your luteal phase, whether it’s shorter or longer than 14 days.

if i have an irregular period when do i ovulate
if i have an irregular period when do i ovulate

Why is tracking ovulation in irregular periods essential when you are TTC?

Because the more we know about our body, the better. It helps us to understand what it is normal for us, for example our cycle length, how long our luteal phase is. And with that information in mind we can identify when something is not right…

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of irregular periods or anovulation. However, many women with PCOS do ovulate. Lifestyle changes or medications help to recover menstrual cycles, and you will know by checking your monitor, which allows you to keep control of your treatments.

What if I did not get a surge? Did I miss my ovulation?

First things first, if you missed your ovulation, we need to rule out whether you used your monitor wrongly. Probably you started checking it too early or too late, or you missed days…

so, go back to the instructions and start next month better.

If you are using conventional ovulation kit predictors, you might need to use them twice a day, as sometimes the surge is very sharp and we can easily miss it. If you are not able to

find a surge in a couple of cycles, these tests might not be for you.

 

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