Menstruation & Fertility
For many women, their menstrual cycle occurs in a regular rhythm — approximately every 28 days. For others, they experience irregularities in terms of the length, timing, and characteristics of their cycle. Depending on the condition and severity, it can impact one’s ability to conceive.
What are Menstrual Disorders?
Menstrual disorders include abnormal uterine bleeding, amenorrhea (the absence of your period), oligomenorrhea (infrequent menstrual periods), anovulation (failure to ovulate)PMS (premenstrual syndrome causing mood swings, bloating, fatigue, and other symptoms), PMDD (a premenstrual dysphoric disorder which is similar to PMS but more severe), and other similar irregularities such as ovulation disorders.
How is it Diagnosed?
If you are concerned that you may have a menstrual disorder or irregularity, it’s important to book an appointment with your health practitioner. From there, your doctor will perform an exam, beginning with questions about your symptoms and the length of time you’ve had them. In addition to these questions, a pelvic exam will likely be performed. You may also need a pap smear and blood work. Your doctor may also recommend the following tests:
- Ultrasound – This produces an image of your uterus which can also help determine if there are any abnormalities.
- Sonohysterogram – Fluid is inserted into the uterus through the cervix to examine the uterine lining.
- Endometrial biopsy – This requires a sample of your uterine lining which is taken for testing.
- Hysteroscopy – This involves the insertion of a camera to detect any abnormalities.
Can menstrual disorders cause infertility?
- Any irregularities in a woman’s cycle can impact her ability to get pregnant since it may indicate that ovulation is not happening regularly. Ovulation is necessary for a pregnancy to occur naturally.
Do regular periods indicate fertility?
While regular periods may indicate that you are ovulating, and are definitely a good sign, there are various other factors that may contribute to fertility or infertility.
Does not having a period mean I’m infertile?
- Any irregularities in a woman’s menstrual cycle may indicate that ovulation is not happening or not happening at regular intervals. Without ovulation, you will not be able to get pregnant.
Can PMS cause infertility?
- PMS by itself is unlikely to cause serious infertility issues.
Why does oligomenorrhea (infrequent menstrual periods) happen?
- This type of menstrual disorder is often caused by ovarian, pituitary, or hypothalamic dysfunction. In other words, it frequently indicates that your hormones are imbalanced or the glands are producing the incorrect amount of these hormones.
Why does oligomenorrhea cause infertility?
- Irregular periods frequently indicate that you are not ovulating. Without ovulation, pregnancy cannot occur. Oligomenorrhea may also indicate PCOS, which impacts 1 in 5 women of reproductive age.
Are menstrual disorders treatable?
- In many cases, menstrual disorders indicate an underlying medical condition, such as PCOS, obesity, being underweight, nutrient deficiencies, or thyroid issues. By fixing these underlying issues, usually, menstrual disorders can be resolved with time and proper attention.
What natural treatments can help regulate my menstrual cycle?
- Natural treatments that can contribute to a healthy and regular menstrual cycle include maintaining a healthy weight, ensuring you are eating a healthy and balanced diet, exercising regularly, acupuncture, and practicing yoga.
Can acupuncture help with my menstrual disorder?
- Acupuncture, alongside other treatment methods, can contribute to a healthy and regular cycle. At Conceive Health, we are proud to offer acupuncture as one of our many fertility support treatments.
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