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How Does My Irregular Period Affect Ovulation?

By now, you’ve read that ovulation generally occurs around Day 14 of your cycle--if your periods are regular. But what if your cycles are irregular? Does that affect ovulation?

Typical menstrual cycles are between 24 and 35 days—they don’t need to necessarily hit that 28-day benchmark. If your menstrual cycles are shorter or longer than 28 days, or come at irregular intervals, this could pose problems with ovulation or implantation.

Having no periods, or irregular periods, typically indicates that you are not ovulating. This abnormal ovulation can account for about 30 to 40 percent of all cases of infertility.

Irregular periods are common in adolescents, but they can indicate a problem in women. Some common reasons for irregular menstrual cycles include Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, uncontrolled diabetes, perimenopause, Diminished Ovarian Reserve, or Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.

If you have an irregular menstrual cycle, it is important to talk to a fertility doctor about your menstrual cycle. He or she may order diagnostic tests like hormone level checks or ultrasounds to determine if you are ovulating each month.

Depending on the cause of your irregular periods, your fertility doctor may prescribe fertility drugs like Clomid, Femara, or injectable gonadotropins for ovulation induction.

There are a number of reasons a woman may not be ovulating or ovulating regularly - from thyroid issues to PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Dr. David Keenan, a fertility doctor with Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine explains how these conditions may be treated:

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