Five Ways Your Period Can Impact Fertility and When to Visit Your Doctor
Even though women start to menstruate in their early teens and continue until they reach menopause, most do not consider the impact their period has on fertility until they try to conceive.
Is my period normal?
Yes, it is true that the experience of having a period can vary from one woman to another, but generally speaking, there are aspects of a period that can be considered consistent across all women so that it can be determined whether a period is abnormal and if an underlying health issue is present.
- The length of your cycle – most women have a cycle of around 28 days. Is yours significantly shorter or longer?
- Skipped periods – have you ever skipped a period without pregnancy? How often do you skip a period?
- Spotting – do you experience spotting between cycles? How often and how heavy is the spotting?
- Heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) – is bleeding associated with your period heavy? How many times do you need to change feminine products during a given day? Is your daily routine ever interrupted because of bleeding?
It’s important for women to discuss any issues associated with the above with their gynecologist or fertility specialist. Women who experience these issues may simply be “used to” or expect such difficulties from month to month, believing that they are a normal part of having a period. However, moderate to severe symptoms should be discussed with a medical professional. You could have an underlying health issue that requires treatment, or treatment may be available to relieve symptoms and better regulate your cycle.
How does my period affect fertility?
If your period is longer or shorter than the average cycle length, it may mean you are not ovulating regularly. Other issues, such as missed periods, spotting, and heavy bleeding, are also indicative of ovulation concerns. Many women attempting to conceive will wish to track their ovulation cycle to best estimate when they are most likely to conceive, but this can be thrown off when issues with your period are present.
Additionally, as noted above, an abnormal period can be indicative of another health concern, one that may negatively impact your ability to conceive without reproductive assistance.
Should I be worried about my period?
Firstly, please do not panic if your period does not perfectly sync from one month to another with no spotting and average bleeding. Once more, every woman is different. The point of highlighting symptoms is to help make women more aware that they do not have to live with unpleasant, routine-altering periods; that fertility quality is part of discussions concerning menstruation; and that you should contact your provider to discuss any abnormalities. This is especially true if you wish to start trying for a pregnancy in the near future.
Do you have questions about menstruation, ovulation, or fertility testing? Please contact Washington Fertility Center today.