K.E. asks from Eielson AFB, AK on November 24, 2006
Trying to Get Pregnant - Bossier City,LA
My husband and I decided that we wanted to have another baby so I went off my birth control (Nuvaring) in September. As expected I suppose, my periods have gone haywire. My current period came 7 days early and has lasted for 9 days so far. I know that to predict your ovulation you count 12-14 days after the first day of your period, but that's assuming most periods last from 5-7 days. Right? What if my periods continue to be so long? Does that affect when I am ovulating? If I am still on my period on the day I am supposed to be ovulating does ovulation still happen? I hope this wasn't to much information about my reproductive system, but I'm so confused. Help!
A.D. answers from Houma on November 25, 2006
Q & A
Questions and Answers About Your Period
Endometrium (n.) – The lining of the uterus that provides nourishment to a fertilized egg during pregnancy. The uterine lining is the substance that provides nourishment to a fertilized egg during pregnancy. If the egg is left unfertilized, the uterine lining will shed from the body resulting in menstruation.
When it comes to their periods, every woman’s experience is different. Periods can be irregular in teenage women and in women approaching menopause. 3, p. 384 A Some women experience periods that are absent, scanty, infrequent, too frequent, heavy or prolonged, or painful.3, p. 382 A Some of these differences are completely normal, while others may require a health care professional’s attention. The key is to be aware of any changes, and to talk to your health care professional if you have concerns with your menstrual cycle or if you have symptoms that interrupt your daily living.
Do any of these questions relate to your experience? If you’re not sure, start using the cycle calendar to chart differences that might take place from month to month. You may even find that your cycle affects your body throughout the month in more ways than just your period.
* What if my period is infrequent?
Also called oligomenorrhea, infrequent menstruation is defined as having menstrual periods that occur 6 weeks or more apart.3, p. 384 D This condition is often due to hormonal imbalances, and is particularly common in the few years after a woman gets her first period. 3, p. 384 E In women who have had regular periods in the past, this condition may be due to stress, anxiety, poor nutrition, excessive exercise or anorexia.3, p. 384, F
* What if my period is irregular?
Women with irregular periods have menstrual cycles of inconsistent length, usually involving some combination of short, long, and normal intervals between periods. Irregular periods are most common in the early years and before menopause. 3, p. 384 A Some women continue to have irregular periods throughout their childbearing years, which usually poses no problem other than making it difficult to predict when they are ovulating.3, p. 384 G
* What if my period is too frequent?
Some women have periods that occur more frequently than every 21 days. This is known as polymenorrhea. Frequent periods are most common in young women and women in their late 30s and 40s, when hormonal adjustments and imbalances can occur. 3, p. 384 H Any woman who has frequent periods should consider that what may appear to be menstrual bleeding could actually be breakthrough bleeding associated with nonmenstrual causes such as fibroids or cancer of the reproductive system.3, p. 384 H For women who have frequent periods, a health care professional may recommend oral contraceptives to help lengthen the cycle.3, p. 384 I
Be aware of any changes in your monthly cycle, and to talk to your doctor or health care professional if you have any concerns.
What if my period is heavy or prolonged?
Having heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding is called menorrhagia. Soaking a sanitary napkin or tampon every hour or so or menstruating for longer than 7 days are both considered forms of menorrhagia.3, p. 385 A Heavy bleeding is generally little more than an inconvenience that at worst may cause anemia because of excessive blood loss. Occasionally heavy periods can indicate a more serious health problem.3, p. 385 B Talk to your health care professional if you experience heavy bleeding with clotting. He or she can conduct tests to rule out fibroids or some forms of cancer.3, p. 385 B
* What if my period is painful?
Painful periods (also called dysmenorrhea) involve crampy, spasmodic pain in the abdomen, hips, lower back, or thighs. Women with dysmenorrhea may also experience nausea or bowel irregularities like constipation or diarrhea.3, p. 385 C For some women, painful periods subside after their first pregnancy.3, p. 385 D Talk to your health care professional about what you can do to treat painful periods.
* Does getting your period every month guarantee that you’re not pregnant?
Not necessarily. Even though many of us have been taught that a period means we’re not pregnant, some women may experience spotting, that seems like a period, very early on in a pregnancy.3, p. 483 Even when you have your period, you may want to keep an eye out for other symptoms of pregnancy, including unusual tingling or aching in the breasts, unusual fatigue, nausea or vomiting before a period is expected, or more frequent urination than usual.3, p. 489
* What is a withdrawal period?
When a woman is taking an oral contraceptive, her period is called a withdrawal bleed, because it happens during the time when she’s taking placebo pills (inactive pills, without hormones).22, p.1344A; 23, p. 904A The Pill was designed this way so that it would more closely mimic the experience of menstruation when not on the Pill.24, p. 487C
* What about extended cycle contraceptives — is it safe to skip periods by using an oral contraceptive?
It is medically accepted for women who are not trying to become pregnant to suppress their periods with use of hormonal medications or therapies like oral contraceptives, without any known adverse effects on health beyond those associated with oral contraceptive use.2, p. 434 B; 10, p. 7
Health care professionals sometimes prescribe oral contraceptives to help regulate irregular periods or to help address other menstrual irregularities.3, p. 384 I Oral contraceptives may help because they block the hormones associated with the menstrual cycle.2, p. 434 C
Talk to your health care professional if you have concerns about your monthly cycle or if you’re experiencing symptoms that interrupt your life. Use the Annual Visit Checklist to help guide your conversation.
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I got this information at a website:
Good Luck to you and your husband. My husband and I are trying. So I know how you feel. The anticipation and stress can cause your cycle to be acting this way. God Bless.
1 mom found this helpful
C.G. answers from Memphis on November 25, 2006
i say just have sex every night and you'll get pregnant soon enough. you're still in your best childbearing years and stressing out about it can actually cause fertility problems. so destress and have fun.
W.P. answers from Houston on November 24, 2006
If my high school biology memories are correct, the 'period' is the shedding of the blood lining inside the uterus. Ovulation is the transition of the egg into the tubes. Both are unrelated, although spaced apart in the cycle. It takes the egg nearly two weeks to make it into the uterus, by which time a new blood lining needs to build up. That should be enough time, even if it has only been 10 days since the shedding. In the worst case, the egg won't settle and you'll have to try again during the next cycle. It shouldn't hurt to try more often though - to most it's fun. Unless your hubby is a sniper, he may be used to shooting more than one bullet. :-)
J.R. answers from Houston on November 25, 2006
Hi, I am a nurse who has worked in OBGYN for about 8 yrs. The best way for you to determine your cycle is to take your temperature. Not everyone ovulates on day 14. Now a days, many women have found out after years of trying to conceive, that they in fact ovulate on a different day. I, for example ovulate on day 18 of my cycle. Many women have come into our office to try and get pregnant. The Dr. makes them take their temp. for 3 months and log it on a chart and then bring it into the office for her to review. About 90 % of the women didn't ovulate on day 14 which was when they were having sex. The other 10 % were infertility issues. You should take your temperature every morning before even stepping foot out of the bed. Before you pee or anything. That will give you the most accurate basal body temperature. There is a website you can track your temp. and it shows you a chart. It is what we recomend. www.fertilityfriend.com
It is really simple.
Anyway, that is the best, most accurate and cheapest way to find out when you are ovulating. If you go to see a specialist, it will be expensive and they will most likely tell you the same thing if you were to chart your cycles yourself. After 2-3 months of charting, you will know how your body works for sure.
Good luck, and if you are confused or have questions, feel free to email me.
M.R. answers from Houston on November 25, 2006
My doctor told me about ovulation kit that you can get at your local drug store. It's pretty correct. I hope it helps.
S.H. answers from Houston on November 25, 2006
Women with a "regular" 28-day cycle "usually" ovulate on the 14th day after the menstral cycle BEGINS. It doesn't matter how many days your period lasts. Those with "regular" cycles that are NOT 28 days "usually" ovulate 14 days before starting their next cycle. However, if you have irregular cycles, it is nearly impossible to tell when you will ovulate by counting days alone. And some women, like me, don't ovulate every month. The best way to know for sure is to get a basal thermometer and start charting. There are SEVERAL websites that tell you exactly how to do it. There are books at the library that go into all sorts of details on what to look for and how to know your most fertile days. Now there are ovulation kits you can buy like home pregnancy kits. Just read up and determine which will work best for you.
Good luck and happy baby-making!!!!!
A.V. answers from Beaumont on November 24, 2006
I would talk to your doctor about your periods and about the ovulation since your periods aren't regular every month. But as far as getting pregnant, me and my husband have been trying for almost six months and then we just quit worrying about it and pretty much quit trying like we normally did, by counting my days and having sex on my ovulation day, and we ended up pregnant. I am now almost 8 weeks pregnant with my third child, so when they say that when you quit trying then you will end up getting pregnant. Good Luck and Have Fun trying!!!
D.S. answers from Houston on November 25, 2006
Ovulation happens 14 days prior to your next period. My cycles are crazy too. They vary from 35 days to 60 days, so I never know when I am ovulating. For example, if I start my period on day 40, my ovulation time is on day 26. My best suggestion to you is go to a specialist who can get your cycles regulated. One thing to watch out for if you end up with a fertility specialist....make sure you are aware of how many fertile eggs you have, because you could end up pregnant with twins, triplets, quads, etc. and believe me nursing and raising twins is very hard, especially when I already have an older child. Be very aware of how many fertile eggs you have.