When you have irregular periods or abnormal bleeding, this is a sign that you are not ovulating. This condition is known as anovulation.
There are other reasons that may cause irregular periods, therefore it is important that you go for a checkup to determine the cause. The good news is that anovulation is treatable and it is possible to get pregnant with irregular periods.
Causes of Anovulation
If your periods are irregular or you are experiencing abnormal bleeding, there could be a few reasons why it is happening. Some of these reasons include:
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (also known as PCOS) is one of the most common causes of anovulation. It is a condition whereby the body of people with periods produces too many male sex hormones known as androgens.
Although the condition cannot be cured, it can be treated with medication. If you are overweight and you also have polycystic ovarian syndrome, your doctor may recommend losing weight as part of your treatment regimen.
Studies have shown that stress can affect ovulation. High levels of stress can cause menstrual problems.
To help prevent anovulation, your doctor may suggest ways in which you can reduce your stress levels such as:
- Talking to someone
- Exercising regularly
- Getting emotional support
You can also try out some relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga to help lower your stress levels.
Thyroid and adrenal problems
Thyroid disease can cause anovulation especially if it goes untreated. Studies have shown that women who have thyroid problems are more likely to have irregular periods. And adrenal-related disease may also cause anovulation.
Women who are overweight, obese or underweight may experience absent periods or irregular periods. This is because abnormal weight interferes with the hormones that regulate ovulation.
According to studies, women whose body mass index is below 18 or is above 25 may experience abnormal bleeding or irregular periods.
How is Anovulation Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing irregular periods, visit your doctor to get diagnosed and investigate what is causing the problem.
Your doctor may conduct some tests to check your progesterone levels or to check for specific antibodies in your blood. He may also check the lining of your uterus for any abnormalities.
If you have ovulation problems, your doctor may prescribe fertility drugs to induce ovulation. The fertility drugs may be injected or can be taken orally.
Your doctor may also prescribe a combination of fertility drugs, but this is if your case is severe.
If the cause of the anovulation is due to your weight or poor eating habits, your doctor may recommend a regimen to improve your eating habits and balance your weight.
If stress is causing you to experience irregular periods, your health care provider may suggest ways that can help you handle stressful situations. Yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques are known to reduce stress.
In some cases where there are benign tumours or cancers in your reproductive system that are causing anovulation, your doctor may suggest surgery or other treatment regimes.
Getting Pregnant with Irregular Periods
If you have irregular periods, the chances of getting pregnant are lower compared to someone who has regular periods. But it is not impossible to get pregnant even when you have irregular periods.
You can achieve this by treating the cause of anovulation and having sexual intercourse more often, or your doctor may also prescribe drugs that contain clomiphene citrate, which is effective at inducing ovulation.