Being a woman can be the worst. If a woman manages to forget that for hmm, well like, 28 days or something - she is reminded with much ceremony soon after, otherwise known as her period. Though periods are often times annoying and uncomfortable, a woman's time of the month can also give many clues to her overall health. Within that health knowledge is the ability to have some insight into her fertility and ability to become pregnant.
In this article there will be some discussions on how a woman's menstrual cycle can affect future pregnancies. In order to follow through this article, a brief explanation of the cycle might be in order. After all, it may have been a few years since you've had a Health 101.
There are basically 4 phases in the cycle. Phase one begins the day that a woman starts her period. This is referred to as Day 1. Menstruation is the shedding of the uterus lining. The lining builds up throughout the month and becomes a place for a fertilized egg to attach to. If no egg attaches, the hormones signal for it to shed. That is what causes the bleeding to start. Phase two is the Follicular phase where the follicles or eggs reach maturity. The best egg reaches it's maturity and is released in the third phase which is called ovulation. After ovulation occurs than the last stage or phase four is the luteal phase. The Luteal phase is where the uterus lining works on getting thick enough to support the potential fertilized egg. If no egg is received, than the lining is shed again and the cycle starts over.
This knowledge will help as we review the 15 things that a woman's time of the month can say about pregnancy.
15 Pain Outside Of Uterus Can Prevent Pregnancy
There is a condition referred to as endometriosis. In that particular condition, the body is actually growing endometrial tissue in parts other than the uterus. If you notice that you are having a lot of pain during your period in places that don't necessarily correspond with your period, you may have endometriosis. Why does this even matter? If endometrial tissue attaches to some place like the stomach, it will still be signalled by hormones to shed when it's time for your period. Therefore, your stomach will be painfully trying to shed the tissue. The reason this is particularly important when it comes to what it says about pregnancy is that endometriosis can prohibit pregnancy from occurring. Depending on where the misplaced tissue decides to attach, it can block off areas that are necessary for the egg to be released. In this instance it's important to check this out with your doctor if you have pain that is stopping you from living your life.
14 Hormone Levels Ruin Chance Of Having A Baby
This may seem like a no brainer, but it's not always that simple. There are many hormone levels in the body that regulate processes that are associated with a woman's period. One condition in particular referred to as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) seems to be more prevalent or at least is finally being recognized. With PCOS, the hormones are out of balance in a way that also make processing sugar difficult for the woman. This can cause weight gain, facial hair, balding, cysts forming on ovaries and many other side effects. PCOS can be treated with diet, medication or with losing some weight if possible. PCOS can have a decidedly bad affect on the becoming pregnant in the future and thus is important to talk to your doctor if you suspect that this could be something you have.
13 Spotting Between Periods Can Be A Sign Of Ovulation
A sign of ovulation is a great thing when you are trying to get pregnant. If you have just a bit of bleeding after ovulation occurs it could be a sign that it was a strong ovulation. The little egg shot out with so much force that it threw the hormone levels out of whack a little bit. In this part of the cycle there is a switch off between estrogen and progesterone. When the estrogen level takes that dip, it might allow some small amount of blood to be released. The consensus is that this is pretty normal stuff. This should serve as reassurance if you have this problem that it doesn't mean that your body is in revolt and pregnancy can't happen. Quite the opposite. Always check with your doctor if you have lingering concerns about any of the things that your body is doing.
12 Cycles Greater Than 35 Days Apart Can Make Fertility Questionable
Having only a few cycles a year seems like quite the envious position when you aren't attempting to get pregnant. I mean who doesn't want to spend less on tampons and pads? However, it turns out if your cycle length is greater than 35 days from first day of your period to the day before you start bleeding again, there could be a problem. If your cycle length is long and unpredictable this could signal that you are not ovulating regularly or even at all. If you want to have a baby there needs to be ovulation eventually. Speak to your doctor about what could be causing your cycles to stretch on so long. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is one condition that can cause abnormal ovulation in a woman. Excessive exercise or eating too little can also cause your period to disappear. If it's a new development see if there are any habits changed that could be affecting you.
11 Heavy Bleeding Can Make Getting Pregnant More Complicated
There are things called fibroids that occasionally pop up in the uterus. They are small little growths that are benign that form in and around the uterus. They can cause excessive bleeding during your time of the month. Also, endometriosis has been known to amp up the bleeding go time with it's excess tissue. If you find that you are soaking pads and tampons through in an hour, this could be a thing to ask your doctor about. Not only because - holy cow that would suck, but also because it could potentially be something that could affect your pregnancies or ability to have pregnancies down the road. There isn't always something your doctor can do to make your period more bearable, but if there is the sooner you know what's going on in that war torn uterus of yours, the better.
10 Weight Can Affect Periods And In Turn Fertility
This is one of those things that I hate even typing. We all know that weight can affect all of the functions of our body. This is included purely for the fact that PCOS can cause weight gain and it can cause your body to hold on to weight stubbornly. Therefore, talk to your doctor if you suspect there is anything going on which is affecting your periods or weight. That is going to be a good way to ensure your future pregnancies. Excess weight can cause a woman to stop having her period or begin to have irregular periods. Ovulation is the key to getting pregnant, so this will significantly affect your ability to try for a baby if you are unsure when you will ovulate. Also, the uncertainty of when your period is around the corner might drive you batty. Or is that just me?
9 It's Possible To Have A Period Every Month And Still Not Be Ovulating
This one shocked me. I assumed that if you bled every month you obviously were producing the necessary egg and things were just not working out that month. Not true. There is something called "Silent Anovulation" in which a woman has a normal cycle length, but no egg has been released. There is a theory that this is the body's way of protecting us from pregnancy when our lives are amiss. This way in times of stress there isn't a baby added on to that. On the flip side there seems to be a lot of times where that doesn't happen...very interesting. This is why it's important once you start to try to have a baby to go to a doctor if it has been a year with no success. At that point they can look into these things.
8 If Period Began Prior To 12 Years Of Age Than Fertility Is Still All Good
As if we early bloomers haven't been punished enough, huh? Now we should worry that our getting our period early will make it harder to get pregnant. Women sometimes worry that there is a correlation between getting our periods at a young age and when we will start menopause. Oftentimes, it's assumed that early periods mean early menopause. Premature menopause is menopause prior to 40 years old. However, there doesn't seem to be a correlation. There was one study done on women from 1960 that may have shown correlation, but the study hasn't been repeated and there seems to be many mitigating factors. What you should know for certain though is that having your period prior to 12 years of age increases your risk for breast cancer and it increases risk for heart disease. Your fertility though is unaffected.
7 Cycles Less Than 21 Days Apart Do Not Increase Changes Of Pregnancy
Being the math whiz that I am, I really thought this was a no brainer when I was trying to get pregnant. I have 22 day cycles, so I have more chances to get pregnant in a year than most women. How lucky am I? Guys, that isn't how it works. Apparently if you have short cycles it can be the result of a short luteal phase. That means that the hormone called progesterone that sustains the second half of your cycles is waning. Why is this bad news? Well, in order to get a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus lining it has to be thick and inviting. If the luteal phase is only lasting 8 days, by the time the egg is trying to attach the hormones are already signalling it's time to close up shop. The lining is shed and there wasn't enough time for the egg to attach itself before it was swooped out. This is something to ask your doctor about checking on.
6 Consistently Irregular Cycles Can Have A Negative Affect
Maybe that seems obvious, but we all have people we know who ended up pregnant after not having regular periods for a long time. The lack of consistent cycles can be caused by hormone imbalances and that is something that you should likely talk to your doctor about. This can be related to the PCOS that we mentioned previously, it can be because you aren't eating enough, it can be because you are training for a marathon or a lot of other reasons. These are all things that can affect your future pregnancies, so don't be afraid to check in if your irregular. Oftentimes the treatment that is prescribed to get on tract might be birth control pills. Therefore, if you aren't ready to start a family quite yet, you shouldn't worry that they are going to pump you full of baby making potions. It's about being healthy all the way around.
5 Bad Cramping With Period Can Mean Fertility Is Affected
In my general experience bad cramping hasn't every really been something mY doctors have been worried about. However, the site Conceivable.com makes a pretty good case about why this might be an item of concern. The cramping that you feel is your uterine wall spasming in order to move out the lining. The stale, icky old blood doesn't want to move. It wants to hang on for dear life to your uterus (freeloader that it is). In that case your uterus gets a little more angry and starts to spasm more in order to get its point across. If your uterus has to get that worked up to get the lining to do what it supposed to it isn't conducive to a healthy lining that can have a fertilized egg attach to it.
4 Getting Clots
Another sign that the lining may not be the supple oasis that we would like to picture it as, is if you find that you have clotting. I'm sorry if this is graphic, but if you pass any clots during the course of your period that usually is not a positive sign. There are many places that note this can be normal and I think on occasion it is. The thought behind being slightly concerned is that again if there is clotting that is coming out, that means the uterus lining is fresh, nice real estate that is going to catch and hold on to a fertilized egg as it goes by. A clot is what happens when the blood supply is stopped, the lining of the uterus depends on flowing blood to nourish a fertilized egg in order to work out.
3 Scant Bleeding During Cycle Can Be A Bad Sign
Scant bleeding means not very much blood or not many days of bleeding occurring. Why would that be a concern? It seems like heaven not to have to worry about bleeding through tampons or pads? That's true, but if there isn't much blood being released, that means there wasn't a very thick lining that built up over the month. If there isn't much lining built up than a little egg isn't going to want to attach to the lining at all. There isn't enough of a blood supply from the uterus to nourish the egg, so the egg is going to to keep on looking. This scant bleeding may be more prevalent in women that tend to have shorter cycles, like the less than 25 days we discussed previously. You may want to start journaling your cycles a little bit to see how long they actually are.
2 Missing A Period (When Not Pregnant) Doesn't Mean A Woman Is Infertile
Now that I scared you above with all the reasons you shouldn't have irregular cycles or miss periods, let me assure you that an occasional missed period is normal. You may run into a month every so often in which you don't ovulate and in not ovulating your body doesn't trigger your cycle to occur. This is called an anovulatory cycle. This can happen if you are particularly stressed that week, if you didn't eat much, if you worked out too hard, or just because your body is being finicky. This doesn't mean that you are infertile or that you will have trouble conceiving in the future should this be an rare occasional occurrence. It would not be the worst idea to start keeping track of how long your cycles last and if you can see a pattern in when these strike.
1 PMS Is A Positive Sign For Fertility
If you have hulk like rage right before your period, don't worry. I mean worry enough not to take it out on anyone around you, but don't worry when it comes to pregnancy. It is actually a positive sign if you are having mood swings, breakouts, and bloating. That means your hormones are in action. If there is one thing that we have learned through all of this is that we want our hormones in the game. These symptoms that you get signalling that your period is on its way suggest that there is a cycle occurring in your body and there is a notable change in there. A little tip: you can get PMS even if you are pregnant. The fertilized egg is likely making it's way to your uterus lining about the time that your PMS is showing up.