Inconsistent period, relation to infertility? *xposted in infertility* - Mothering Forums
Birth Professionals > Inconsistent period, relation to infertility? *xposted in infertility*
MiaMarsh's Avatar MiaMarsh 01:11 AM 01-19-2009
First off, I'm not TTC. I've never been pregnant or tried to be pregnant. It's just that lately I've been contemplating pregnancy as something that is in the foreseeable future for the first time ever (I'm 21). This is speculation. I know you can't tell me much based on what I'm going to say, but I'd appreciate any input/experiences!

I began menstruating when I was 11. It was never regular. Not that I ever charted, but it was rare that I got it on a monthly basis, although it did happen occasionally; sometimes every 2 months, sometimes every three or four months or occasionally longer. It didn't matter much to me because I could always tell when it was coming by a particular feeling in my lower back.

Just after I turned 17 I became sexually active and started hormonal BC-- the pill at first, then the patch briefly, and NuvaRing in the past few years. Within a month or maybe two AF was visiting monthly, predictable almost by the hour.

Now for the first time I'm off BC, for various reasons, and relying on condoms. It's been about 3 months and I have yet to menstruate (yes I have tested just to be sure and I'm not pregnant!). I know that this could be a part of my body re-regulating itself, but it's also a possibility that I will never menstruate regularly (i.e. on a monthly basis) on my own.

If the latter was the case is it possible that there would be implications for my future fertility? What is the range of possibilities? There's no history of infertility in my family that I know of, and I think I'm pretty well informed. If there's any more info I could give let me know. Thanks guys!!

JessicaE's Avatar JessicaE 09:55 AM 01-19-2009
This sounds remarkably similar to my own journey with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). You might try googling PCOS and seeing if any of the other symptoms match what you have experienced in your own body.

Best wishes to you! Knowledge is power.
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack 10:43 AM 01-19-2009
ITA with the pp--wouldn't hurt to look into PCOS.

I also wonder about your weight and level of exercise; if you are very thin, you may need to gain some weight because it takes a certain % of available body fat to produce sufficient estrogenic hormones for fertility. Also, whether or not you are extra thin, if you exercise 'too much' (for you), that can also interfere with normal cycling/ovulation--I believe that is also related to % of body fat. Women who exercise too much may have a more/less normal weight for their frame, but more of that weight is in muscle than in fat. Having no idea of your weight or exercise habits, I just put this out there to consider.

However, some women never menstruate regularly, and it doesn't always mean they will have difficulty conceiving.

You might want to consult with a Naturapath, or Chinese Med Practitioner, Homeopath or other natural health provider--someone who will take a careful look at you and your eating/lifestyle habits and may have very good advice about the best way for you to reach optimal health, including menstrual-ly and fertility wise.
txgal's Avatar txgal 03:48 PM 01-19-2009
My history is very similar to yours, very long cycles included. When I stopped taking birth control pills, Dh and I spent a year using the FAM method (Taking Charge of Your Fertility) to avoid getting pregnant. I had one cycle during that year that lasted 160 days, since I was temping I knew I wasn't pregnant. I learned a lot about my body during that year and once we decided to TTC I was pregnant the first month. After my son was born my cycles returned at 10 mo. post partum (I was breastfeeding), they were completely normal (28-30 days). I got pregnant easily the second time as well, even though I lost a fallopian tube during my first pregnancy, so was only working with one ovary. My period is back to normal again. My mom had a similar experience, very irregular before babies and then normal after. The PCOS is worth looking into, but just wanted to share my story too.
maxmama's Avatar maxmama 05:19 PM 01-19-2009
Irregular cycles have implications for fertility in that they imply anovulation. That doesn't mean you never ovulate, but that it can be rare (oligo) or absent (an). The other concern I have is that if you have too much unopposed estrogen (from anovulatory long cycles) you may have too much buildup of the uterine lining (hyperplastic endometrium), which is a known risk factor for endometrial/uterine cancer.

Unless you are known to have hypotrophic endometrium (from ultrasound), most providers recommend a withdrawal bleed every 6-12 weeks, using five days of progesterone.

In the end though, you want to find out why you're not ovulating regularly.
burdock's Avatar burdock 06:03 PM 01-19-2009
Artificial hormones such as the pill deplete our bodies of nutrients. Particularly B-vitamins and minerals (mag, zinc). Essential Fatty Acids are also important to menstural health. Whether through supplements or eating whole foods high in these nutrients it may help regulate your hormones. Nutrition is always a good place to start. Best wishes!
CanidFL's Avatar CanidFL 07:18 PM 01-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaE View Post
This sounds remarkably similar to my own journey with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). You might try googling PCOS and seeing if any of the other symptoms match what you have experienced in your own body.

Best wishes to you! Knowledge is power.
Yep, me too. It sounds a lot like my journey.

If you do have PCOS and you are actually ovulating even if it's not predictable, you can get pregnant. You will need to have your hormones monitored probably.

I got pregnant naturally with PCOS. Some women need meds to get pregnant with PCOS.

Good Luck.
astar326's Avatar astar326 07:36 PM 01-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaE View Post
This sounds remarkably similar to my own journey with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). You might try googling PCOS and seeing if any of the other symptoms match what you have experienced in your own body.

Best wishes to you! Knowledge is power.
your story sounds like mine as well. i was on bc pill for 9 years and then went off and after a few months af was no where around so i induced my cycle with progesterone. i used tcm (including acupuncture & natural plant derived hormones) to help regulate my cycle (over 119cd-39cd in a little over a year).

best of luck to you.
April422's Avatar April422 09:09 PM 01-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmama View Post
Irregular cycles have implications for fertility in that they imply anovulation. That doesn't mean you never ovulate, but that it can be rare (oligo) or absent (an). The other concern I have is that if you have too much unopposed estrogen (from anovulatory long cycles) you may have too much buildup of the uterine lining (hyperplastic endometrium), which is a known risk factor for endometrial/uterine cancer.

Unless you are known to have hypotrophic endometrium (from ultrasound), most providers recommend a withdrawal bleed every 6-12 weeks, using five days of progesterone.

In the end though, you want to find out why you're not ovulating regularly.
And then you have people like me who have 90 day cycles, who are ovulatory and that do result in pregnancy.

My periods are heavier than when I use birth control and cycle every 30 days, but with or without birth control I bleed for 6-7 days.
maxmama's Avatar maxmama 11:27 PM 01-19-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by April422 View Post
And then you have people like me who have 90 day cycles, who are ovulatory and that do result in pregnancy.

My periods are heavier than when I use birth control and cycle every 30 days, but with or without birth control I bleed for 6-7 days.
90 day cycles do count as oligomenorrhea. They can be ovulatory, but the lengthy follicular phase can create hyperplastic endometrium. It's something to watch for, because endometrial carcinoma sucks.
astrophe27's Avatar astrophe27 11:35 PM 01-19-2009
I'm another with PCOS and I'm hypothryoid. Both could mess with cycles being regular.

I'd suggest seeing the doc to find out what it is in your case before trying to determine how it impacts your fertility.

In mine, I had to go on Glucophage to help regulate period and was about to add Clomid to the mix when I found out I had conceived.

A.
MiaMarsh's Avatar MiaMarsh 11:40 PM 01-19-2009
Thanks for all the ideas everyone! I have looked up PCOS before but 5 don't have any other symptoms-- besides weight gain, but there are rational explanations for that (eating too much and not moving around enough! : ).
I will definitely bring it up the next time I see my OB and ask for other ideas from her. Or it could be 'just the way I am' which I would love.
Any more feedback?
RobynFL's Avatar RobynFL 01:08 AM 01-20-2009
That sounds very similar to me. My cycles were never under 35 days and usually over 45 - different for each cycle. However, my dr never seemed concerned about the irregular cycles. I would have pushed for more answers, but TCOYF gave me everything I needed to know. (I'm expecting my third now.) I know for others that interventions may be necessary, but TCOYF is the best first start IMHO. It will definitely help you discover if something more is going on.
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