I continue to “stalk” the fertility discussions online, and am continuing to be surprised that so many women report irregular periods. It seems even epidemic, and likely something that many women don’t think about much if they are not trying to conceive.
I had 40-60 day periods all of my adult life. Until I worked on it, feverishly, optimizing my chances in TTC.
In my early twenties,”they” diagnosed me with PCOS but I was not even thinking of getting pregnant then, in my twenties, and I simply did not “buy” it anyway. Their collection of symptoms did not make sense to me as diagnosis. I trusted my body. And, thought longer cycles just meant less hastle.
At 40, after extensive consults with 2 expert holistic MDs in the fertility field, I realized –
the length of my cycle mattered.
I needed to pay attention. I needed to learn all I could about DIY and natural methods.
In short, by 41.5 I had right-on-time ovulation and crisp cycles: 29-32 days, every time.
This is stuff I wish I had paid attention to, before it mattered. At 40 it was too much pressure to take on such a “project”.
I want to help younger women who are TTC or even thinking about TTC, to get their cycles on track – and that is – with or without a PCOS diagnosis.
Do You have irregular periods and want to get pregnant?
I keep learning from women that their Docs are not expressing concern about long periods or late ovulation when TTC.
However, my research tells me differently. Many reproductive experts, here and in Greece where I conceived, do believe that eggs can be “over-ripe” if they are not “dropped” from the ovary on-time – that is – at CD12-16. The ideal timing, of course, is right around CD14.
When we are trying to optimize our fertility for TTC, there is only reason to believe and make use of this common belief of experts. Read on to learn about taking charge of all you can do to regulate your cycle.
Why is this so easily overlooked by many medical professionals?
It seems that many GYNs, GPs, and even infertility doctors are not pointing to regular cycles and on-time ovulation as important for women who are TTC.
Strange as it seems to me, we can really only speculate why this is. In general, I find that the average GP and GYN do not know enough on these basics and do not focus on them either. Getting pregnant is just not the typical area of expertise for even the best Docs with the above titles.
In addition, infertility docs have become experts in intervention methods – that is – procedures and/or meds that intervene with the body and make things happen. For instance, drugs that push follicle growth, or force ovulation or menstruation, and of course, IVF where eggs are harvested and embryos made in the lab. This is not only their expertise, but their livelihood. There is no reason or incentive for them to know more about or teach their clients about optimizing fertility at-home and DIY (this is my job:-))
Why does a regular period of 26-32 days matter?
This answer focuses on the issue of ripe and over-ripe eggs.
Every month, in a healthy reproductive system, both ovaries grow follicles that are gearing up to release an egg. Typically one egg -yet, if 2 are released, and both are inseminated, then one gets twins:-)
If you do not ovulate until let’s say CD 17, 18, 19….that means the egg was “cooking” in the follicle that much time. The experts that I spoke to, particularly in Europe had been schooled in research findings that eggs can get, in this case, over-ripe. It also can point to the Estrogen surge not accurately firing off the LH surge which itself makes a follicle rupture and drop an egg.
In addition, if there is a slight hormonal imbalance, causing late ovulation (and long cycles therefore), you might have your best fertile CF days before you ovulate. This is not ideal for TTC. You want your fertile CF to be for a number of days prior to, as well as during, your ovulation.
What can you do to regulate your cycle?
For more on this please see other posts here, such as –
Basically, there are key things to attend to that do not involve any meds or interventions. They include:
- become rhythmic in your lifestyle: balance rest & activity, sleep & waking in predictable and healthy ways.
- make your night-sleep hours, as much as possible, from dark to sunrise. for example : 9p-5a, or so
- do not skimp on sleep
- exercise daily
- eat every 2-3 hours, a meal or snack
- eat whole foods
- use herbs such as vitex, which works on pituitary tonification
- check your LH at home, and your E levels via blood draw, around CD9/10 to see if you need herbs/foods to boost estrogen.