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Irregular periods and TTC - worried before I start!

(8 Posts)
TenthMuse Wed 24-Oct-12 15:35:37

I'm a newbie on this forum, so please be gentle!
My partner and I are planning to ttc our first child soon. Have been putting things off for a while because I'm studying for a Master's, but I'm slowly realising there's never a right time! However, I've had pretty irregular periods for the past couple of years (I'm 32) and, having putting this down to stress for a quite a while, I recently saw a doctor about it. I've now been referred for blood tests to check my hormone levels, and for an ultrasound scan. I do bleed every month, but my periods are very light and short (2-3 days max) and cycle can be anywhere from 21 to 29 days (I know this isn't irregular by some standards, but it's unusual for me!). The doctor did mention possible PCOS, and said that if i wanted to ttc I should get on with it sharpish in case we experienced problems.

So anyway, now I'm a bit worried about it all. Would appreciate advice on how to proceed from anyone who's in the same boat - irregular periods or PCOS. Have lots of vague notions about the whole conception thing, but am a bit clueless really - for example, how do I know when I'm ovulating? Any stories from people in a similar boat would be very welcome!

RufousBartleby Wed 24-Oct-12 15:51:03

Tenth I had very irregular periods (think 60 days apart) had scan and blood tests which showed altered hormone levels and although no cysts on scan was diagnosed with pcos. I think it can obviously mean it takes longer to conceive - For me to conceive DS took over a year.

On a practical level I did a few things in the mean time to give myself the best chance - if you google 'Marilyn Glenville' - I pretty much did what she said. Really tried to be healthy, took vitamin supplements (not just a general supplement) and used Agnus Castus. How much all this helped I obviously can't be sure, but it certainly made me feel better to be proactive, and I got the result I wanted.

On the other hand, another friend who was diagnosed with pcos conceived 2nd month and first month respectively for her two girls, so you never know!

TenthMuse Wed 24-Oct-12 16:09:56

Thanks a lot Rufous, that's really reassuring. I do tend to be a bit of a worrier, but I have to admit the minute the GP said 'PCOS' I thought 'infertility'. Having done a bit more research, I now realise it's not as clear-cut as that. It's just weird, after years of trying not to get pregnant, now worrying about the opposite side of the coin!

Marmiteisyummy Wed 24-Oct-12 16:14:05

I had very irregular periods after having DS (now 2.5), anything from 16-48 days. Conceived after 3 months trying, early mc but then conceived again after another 3 months and now 15+5. And I'm no spring chicken (37).
I had tests for my irregularity and all bang normal, so it doesn't have to be pcos. You're cycles really aren't that bad, try not to worry.

Maybe take some prenatal vitamins, good to have for 3 months before trying, and some zinc or DP (very good for super sperm!). Both reduce alcohol and caffeine. Some people swear by vit b6 for regulating cycles, but there's no objective evidence.

Best thing for me for understanding my cycle was temping. I then figured out I was ovulating which was very reassuring.

Very best of luck.

TenthMuse Wed 24-Oct-12 16:22:45

Thanks for super responses to far! Thanks for tips Marmitei. Yes, the doctor also said weird cycles could just be 'one of those things', so not necessarily PCOS I suppose. We'll see.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 24-Oct-12 16:30:36

You need a diagnosis first and foremost.

Stress is likely the cause as to why your periods have become more irregular in the last couple of years. Irregular periods are caused mainly by hormonal imbalances; in this respect polycystic ovaries and thyroid imbalance should be looked for.

I would certainly have the blood tests and internal ultrasound scan done as this will give you more answers. With regards to the blood tests they should initially do a day 2 test to check and compare your LH level against that of your FSH level (in PCOS the LH is often elevated compared to that of FSH).

PCOS does not automatically mean subfertility but many women with PCOS do need some medical assistance in order to conceive. If PCOS is an issue then it is better to seek treatment sooner rather than later. PCOS is a very individualistic disorder however, and affects each woman with it very differently.

TenthMuse Wed 24-Oct-12 18:04:47

Thanks Attila - trust Mumsnetters to come up with such wise and reassuring responses!

wrighty2010 Wed 24-Oct-12 21:13:57

Hi, my periods were all over the place too and tried taking vitamins etc, I did read a good post from a natural fertility expert which explained how to read your bodies signs to know when you were fertile, this was even more important for me as I was using a sperm donor. It may be worth reading the post as it helps to recognise signs for ovulation, I will pt the link to the post at the end of my message. Anyway, try not to get to stressed over it, it may just be one of those things!! Take care and good luck, let us know how you get on.

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