Hey, I've been having problems with irregular periods eversince I first started having them at 14. I'm almost 22 now and still have trouble starting my periods. For a while the doctors I've seen have put me on birth control because the hormones were the only solution to get my body to start on its own. I haven't been on the pill for quite some time now, (since July), and I haven't had a single period since August but recently I've been having sharp pains in the lower abdominal area like I'm having period cramps, but no bleeding. And yes, I took a home pregnancy test just to be sure and it was negative. I want to have kids in the future but I'm worried that becoming pregnant is going to be a difficult (if not impossible) task. I mean, I believe I'm ovuating because I went five months without a period then finally got the pill again and a week into it I started my period but it was so painful and the bleeding was so heavy from all of the build up in my uterus. I remember being doubled over and crying because it was so bad... Anyway, sorry this is a lot to read, but I really need a professional opinion. Two doctors told me I could definately get pregnant, but I'm not so sure... (My husband and I have had unprotected intercourse on a number of occasions and still nothing). Please help!
I can understand your concern, as I too have always had irregular periods and really worried about whether I can fall pregnant.
There are a few Dr/professional responses on here to questions similar and they are really interesting. Look up some of Jane's answers. She explains how ovulation works and how conception can happen anytime but there are certain times during the menstrual cycle that it is more likely to happen, also about how ovulation needs to happen, to be able to conceive. Also remember there are medications that can help bring about ovulation, so after youve been trying a while and have had no luck then see your Dr and you should be able to get some help Good luck!
Dear JenSerrano: Both An_241258 and tlkittycat have given you correct information. Having re-read your original post I would like to add some information specific to you, OK?
You are correct, one needs to ovulate (release an egg) in order to conceive. It is also true that women with irregular periods tend to ovulate less frequently so it can take them longer to get pregnant when they want to. Lastly, it is also true that one can conceive even before her next "real period" arrives if she happens to ovulate and have intercourse around the same time.
The hassle is it can be so frustrating trying to guess when ovulation is going to occur. That is where the use of ovulation induction medications can be helpful. After taking an ovulation inducing medication (eg Clomid) one then uses an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) to identify the LH surge and the likely time to have sex.
One important point would be that one does not need to have an ovulation to have a thick lining build up inside the uterus. In a normal cycle, estrogen is produced all month. Estrogen is responsible for building up the lining of your uterus so you have something to shed each month. In a normal cycle, progesterone production increases following ovulation. Progesterone "stabilizes" the uterine lining in preparation for a possible implantation of a new pregnancy. If you are not pregnant that month the levels of estrogen and progesterone fall, triggering the release of the uterine lining—your period.
So, if you do not ovulate, the estrogen build up of the lining continues, but without the usual ovulation associated progesterone. Thus, the hormone levels don't decline, and the lining stays up inside the uterus—your missed period.
If you have been several months without a period, a gynecologist may give you some progesterone in a pill form (eg Provera 10 mg for 5 days). Within 48-72 hours after stopping the progesterone your "progesterone blood level" will fall, triggering the release of the lining that has been building up. Many women report that these periods are very heavy-- as though several months of lining are shed. In your case this thick lining was shed during the initial cycle of birth control pill use.
Causes for not ovulating are multifold: thyroid problems, pituitary problems, ovarian cysts, physical stressors (eg sudden increases in exercise, crash dieting), emotional stressors (problems with partner, finances), increased body weight, anorexia, rotating shifts at work, etc.
Bottom line, if you have seen having regular unprotected sex for 6-12 months without a conception, then it would be time to see a GYN or fertility MD for a preliminary work up.