What Does Your Menstrual Cycle Say About Your Fertility? - Dr Hrishikesh Pai

What Does Your Menstrual Cycle Say About Your Fertility?

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We all have heard of the proverb “There’s no gain without pain,” and who can better understand this than a woman. This proverb perfectly describes the 2 most important phases in a woman’s life, i.e., her menstrual phase and her pregnancy phase. When women visit any IVF centre in India, they are often concerned when the specialist asks them about their menstrual cycle.

Menstrual days are known to be the most difficult and painful days in a woman’s life. Bleeding, stomachache, mood swings, difficulty performing daily activities, restrictions on going out, wearing sanitary napkins 24/7. There are so many difficulties and pains women need to go through.But this pain is worth the joy a woman receives when she is pregnant.

Now let us move on to the main question about menstruation and its relationship with fertility.

What is the relationship between menstruation and fertility?

The menstruation cycle affects fertility, thus leading to pregnancy. Yes, because of the most painful phase in a woman’s life(menstruation), she can experience the most joyful phase of her life(pregnancy).

Now let us understand more about the menstrual cycle and what does it say about your fertility.

First, let us understand the phases of a menstrual cycle. The number of days between the first day of bleeding and the next menses determines the length of a menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is categorized into two phases- The follicular phase and Luteal phase.

  • Follicular phase

The first day of the menses-or period- is day 1 of the cycle, which commences the follicular phase. During this phase, the follicle releases estrogen, which enables the thickening of the uterus lining. With the onset of ovulation, the follicular phase comes to an end.

Ovulation is a part of the menstrual cycle when the egg is released from the ovary. A “fertile window” exists for the six days leading up to and including ovulation. This is the period when sexual intercourse can result in pregnancy.

  • Luteal phase

It is the second phase of the cycle- the luteal phase begins with ovulation and continues until the onset of menses. The ovary releases the hormone progesterone, making the uterine lining ready to implant a developing embryo while the egg travels down the fallopian tubes.

Women who have an irregular cycle find it harder to pinpoint key ovulation dates, where getting pregnant is most likely. Irregular menstruation cycle, missing periods, or not menstruating at all affects fertility. And it gets very difficult for women to conceive naturally.

Does the menstrual cycle length matter?

The number of days between the first day of bleeding and the onset of the next menses determines the duration of a menstrual cycle.

When not on any birth control pills, the duration of your cycle can be a primary indication of hormonal imbalances and whether ovulation occurs predictably.

Hormonal imbalances will influence when and how you ovulate during your cycle.Pregnancy is impossible without ovulation.

What causes menstrual problems?

Some female infertility problems like hormonal irregularities, medical conditions such as problems in the fallopian tubes or uterus, PCOD, stress, or extreme changes in diet can cause irregular menstrual cycles. It can affect your fertility and pose difficulties in pregnancy.

What to do about menstrual problems?

If you do not have a regular monthly period, regardless of how long you have been trying to conceive, you should see a specialist. Without medical attention, irregular or absent ovulation makes pregnancy very difficult.

Any woman below 35 with regular cycles but is unable to conceive after a year of trying should see an infertility specialist.You should still get help whether you are 35 or older, have a regular menstrual period, and have tried for 6 months without success.

Normal menstruation means that you are ovulating.But there might be other explanations that you are unable to conceive, and they should be considered as well.

So, menstruation, though painful, says a lot about your fertility and pregnancy and is responsible for bringing the most joyful phase in your life.

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