Why Irregular Cycles Don’t Have To Be a Problem When Trying to Conceive
As long as you're ovulating, having an irregular cycle in and of itself is not necessarily detrimental to TTC (trying to conceive), provided you're using the right tools to support your efforts.
However, what's causing your cycles to be irregular matters far more than the fact that they're not all the same length.
Let's delve into some common beliefs regarding the challenges of irregular menstrual cycles when it comes to trying to conceive.
Belief: timing sex to ovulation will be more difficult
While I'm not usually an advocate for relying on period tracking apps to predict ovulation accurately, as they often depend on historical cycle data to project future fertility, chances are, if you have a highly regular cycle with only a 1-2 day variation each cycle, your app's prediction of your ovulation may be reasonably accurate for achieving pregnancy. To clarify, this method won't maximize your chances of conception, but it's likely that you'll still be able to identify some fertile days.
On the flip side, if you have irregular cycles, relying on a period tracking app’s prediction for timing intercourse is a risky proposition. The likelihood of missing your fertile window entirely is high.
The good news is that when you use the methods taught in our Fertility Roadmap Course, whether you have regular or irregular cycles makes no difference in terms of your ability to time things correctly. Everyone has the same opportunity to experience the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're maximizing your chances of conception every single time.
Belief: TTC with irregular periods will be more stressful
Here's the thing: if you don't have absolute certainty about when you ovulated (period tracking apps predicting ovulation don't provide that certainty; they make educated guesses), then you can't pinpoint precisely when your period might be considered "late," or when it's appropriate to take a pregnancy test.
Why does this matter?
It might mean getting your hopes up when you believe your period is overdue, when in reality, you just ovulated later than expected, leading to a delayed period.
It might mean testing too early and feeling disappointed when the result is negative.
Essentially, you're subjecting yourself to an emotional roller coaster that's entirely avoidable, and I'd like to offer you an alternative. Here's what's available to you if you're interested.
When you have absolute certainty about when you ovulated, if you are pregnant, it's unlikely that you'll receive a positive result before 7 days past ovulation. It's possible to get a positive result between 7-14 days past ovulation, and it's probable that you'll receive a positive result 14 days past ovulation.
Talk about reducing stress and managing expectations appropriately! Knowledge is empowering, baby!
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The Ultimate Guide to Getting Pregnant Naturally and Quickly
Belief: Having irregular periods means I am less fertile
The clinical definition of an irregular cycle is a cycle shorter than 21 days, longer than 35 days, or one that varies by more than 20 days in length between the longest and shortest of the last six cycles.
This threshold might be higher than what you were expecting. We've been conditioned to believe that our cycles should be exactly 28 days long every single time. And if they're not, whatever length they usually are, they should always be consistent.
However, most of us experience some level of stress, and the most common cause of cycles that slightly vary in length is delayed ovulation due to stress.
Stress can manifest as mental anxiety, excessive physical activity, undereating, illness—basically, anything that might signal to your body, "Hmm, something's not quite right internally, so maybe it's not the best time to get pregnant."
Delayed ovulation due to stress is a normal part of life and is likely to affect everyone at some point. Delayed ovulation doesn't make you "less fertile," but it does impact your ability to conceive by reducing your chances of conception and making them less frequent.
However, when we're discussing cycles that consistently exceed 35 days in length, cycle after cycle, it's time to investigate. An irregular period in itself is not the issue, but chronically irregular periods as defined clinically are a symptom. Irregular periods won't directly cause you to be "less fertile," but whatever is causing those irregular periods might be the culprit.
A common cause of consistently long cycles is PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). One of the most prevalent symptoms of PCOS is anovulatory cycles, which significantly hinder your ability to conceive. No ovulation means no possibility of getting pregnant.
Charting your fertility biomarkers can help you uncover the root cause of your irregular cycles. If you notice an abnormal pattern repeating itself for 2-3 cycles, you should ask your healthcare practitioner to investigate further.
That's the beauty of The Fertility Roadmap; even with irregular cycles, you can still have peace of mind by maximizing your chances of conception every time while simultaneously addressing the underlying root cause of those irregular cycles.