Is It Possible to Get Pregnant with Irregular Cycles?

Irregular cycles are very common among women. Sometimes these are due to transitory phenomena that resolve spontaneously. Learn more in the following article.
Is It Possible to Get Pregnant with Irregular Cycles?
Marcela Alejandra Caffulli

Reviewed and approved by the pediatrician Marcela Alejandra Caffulli.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

You’ve probably wondered more than once if it’s possible to get pregnant with irregular cycles or if this makes you sterile. If you’re looking to get pregnant, then you can’t miss all the information that we have prepared for you.

I want to get pregnant but I have irregular cycles, is this compatible?

Despite popular beliefs, its possible to get pregnant even with irregular menstrual cycles. Although it’s more difficult to calculate your fertile days, this doesn’t mean that all the alterations of the cycle are accompanied by a lack of ovulation.

However, some researchers have observed that those women who have regular cycles take less time to get pregnant than those who have some type of irregularity.

Finally, although it’s expected that all women will present an alteration in uterine bleeding at some point in their reproductive life, this doesn’t always imply normality.

1 in 3 women in the world suffers from problems with periods at some point in their fertile stage.

When this phenomenon is repeated with a certain frequency or continues over several months, you need to know why it occurs. In these cases, medical consultation is essential to rule out certain illnesses that can manifest themselves through this sign.

Menstrual cycles

First of all, we must know the normal characteristics of female sexual cycles in order to detect those signs that suggest some imbalance.

There are some aspects of menstruation that allow us to assess its normality:

  • Frequency: Menstrual cycles usually last between 24 and 38 days, so the best known average duration is 28-30 days. This is the time span between menstrual bleeding.
  • Regularity: This parameter has to do with the differences between the frequencies from one cycle to another, as they’re not usually 28 exact days all the time. In general, variations between 2 and 7 days are accepted.
  • Duration: The number of days of menstrual bleeding is usually between 4 and 8 days.
  • Quantity: Although the quantity of dressings used is a subjective parameter, it’s used to estimate blood loss. In general, this measurement ranges from 5 to 80 ml per cycle.

In addition to these data, it’s also important to know the symptoms that are associated with menstruation. For example, disabling pain or the occurrence of vomiting, headaches, or fainting spells may indicate some type of menstrual disorder.

A woman looking at her menstrual calender.

Regular cycles

When we take into account a regular cycle, we can estimate that ovulation takes place around the same time of the month. However, as we’ve mentioned, there are minimal variations that are expected and that justify this event not falling on the exact date each month.

Normal cycles have phases of stable duration, as they reflect the successive hormonal processes that are carried out for conception:

  1. Follicular: Comprises the first part of the cycle (days 1 to 11) and is the growth stage of the ovarian follicle that will give rise to the oocyte.
  2. Periovulatory: This is in the middle of the cycle (day 12 to 14) and is characterized by the preparation of the oocyte for release from the ovary (ovulation).
  3. Luteal: This is the final stage, which varies depending on whether or not fertilization has taken place. In the event that you haven’t become pregnant, it ends on day 28 with the uterine bleeding of menstruation.

You may be interested: Why Can’t I Get Pregnant?

Irregular cycles

According to the 2018 consensus of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), uterine bleeding abnormalities are defined from the following points:
  • A difference between the frequency of the different cycles that’s greater than 7 to 9 days (these are the irregular cycles).
  • A periodicity that’s less than 24 days (frequent cycles) or greater than 38 days (infrequent cycles).

In these types of cycles, ovulation may or may not occur depending on the condition that causes the irregularity. Some prolonged cycles (of more than 38 days) consist of a single phase, and in them, the oocyte can’t be released. In other cases, the cycle has two phases and ovulation does occur.

Some pathologies related to menstrual irregularities are thyroid diseases, hyperprolactinemia, and polycystic ovarian disease.

How to get pregnant with irregular cycles?

We’ve already mentioned that getting pregnant with irregular cycles is possible, although it may be a bit more laborious. Next, we’ll share some techniques to implement in order to conceive a baby.

Methods for calculating ovulation

The calculation of the fertile days can be carried out in different ways:

  • Basal temperature control: Your body raises its temperature by one degree Fahrenheit when the luteal phase begins. During the next 72 hours, you’ll be ready to conceive.
  • Changes in cervical mucus (Billings method): On the most fertile days of the cycle, your flow is abundant and fluid, with a mucus-like consistency. Your entire genital tract naturally becomes more lubricated.
  • Rhythm method: Through a mathematical formula that takes into account the variations in your period, it’s possible to estimate the day of ovulation.
  • Tests to determine the level of luteinizing hormone (responsible for ovulation) in your urine.
A doctor explaining the menstrual cycle to a patient.

Other tips for conceiving with irregular cycles

In addition to the tests discussed above, it’s important to consider other tips to get pregnant.

First, try to have sex with your partner every 2 or 3 days. This increases the chances that the sperm coincides with the ovum and at the same time, ensures that the quality of the male gametes doesn’t decline. In this sense, having sex on a daily basis can exceed the ability of the testicles to recover to produce good sperm.

Last but not least, it’s essential to consult with your doctor in the presence of menstrual irregularities. Not only to get pregnant but also to keep your body in the best possible health.

Remember that many of the diseases related to menstrual irregularities affect the entire body.

Don’t give up on getting pregnant!

Thousands of women suffer some type of irregularity throughout their lives and, in general, this doesn’t absolutely condition the possibility of becoming a mother.

As with any other aspect of your health, it’s important to have a preconception consultation with your gynecologist in order to assess your state prior to motherhood. From a complete questioning, a good physical examination, and some complementary tests, it’s possible to verify that you’re ready to become pregnant.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.