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Anovulation - does anyone suspect they also suffer from this?

(40 Posts)
canttouchthis Fri 26-Jun-09 15:45:03

I was googling earlier which came up with something I've suspected for a while now. I think because my periods are of varying lengths each month (from 30 to 35 days) and even doing the deed regularly isn't bringing about any pregnancy, so there has to be an underlying cause for this. I suspect it could be anovulation (where ovulation doesn't always take place each month) so obviously no ovulation= no egg=diddly squat chance of producing a baby...

anyone else feel like this may be happening to them?

babyboom1979 Fri 26-Jun-09 17:16:22

Make an appointment with your GP -- testing for anovulation is very easy. It consists of taking blood tests on day 3 and 21 of your cycle to check your progesterone levels.

It is common to not ovulate every once in a while but if it is happenning consistently then it may be caused by PCOS.

Don't hang around here guessing......just get tested. There are several remedies for this so don't start to worry. Women with irregular/anovulatory cycles become pregnant all the time once their condition is addressed.

Btw, I think most women have worried themselves silly about not ovulating -- especially when the ttc process is taking longer than expected. You may be ovulating just fine for all you know.

Best of luck to you.

sweetfall Fri 26-Jun-09 17:28:08

Every woman has anovulatory cycles.

Irregular cycles are also normal, it is less common to have regular predictable periods.

Have you used Ovulation Predictor Kits to show when in your cycle you are ovulating? This would most probably be the best step to take if you don't wish to consult a GP yet.

babyboom1979 Fri 26-Jun-09 18:40:50

I would have to strongly disagree with sweetfall. Having consistently irregular periods is NOT normal and should be looked at by a GP -- especially if you are trying to fall pregnant.

However, a period ranging from 30-35 days does not sound overly irregular to me and I would be suprised if you weren't ovulating --but still this can only be confirmed by your doctor.

Regarding OPKs, I wouldn't use them until you have had blood tests confirming you do ovulate. This is because they rely on one misleading assumption: that there is only one LH surge every month and that this surge is followed by ovulation. This is simply not true. You can easily get a positive OPK and not ovulate at all.

I'm sure everything is fine and I would not worry overly so. You will feel a great sense of relief once it is most likely confirmed that everything is fine!

sweetfall Fri 26-Jun-09 20:09:09

disagree away - as you point out the 30 - 35 day range quoted is not something that is worrisome whereas a truly irregular period is worth checking out smile

canttouchthis Sat 27-Jun-09 18:27:29

I have a period every month, but it's just that it varies, some times it's 31 days then the next month it can be 33 etc etc. That's what bothers me. Thanks for your advice everyone.
If I don't get a positive HPT rest this year then I will definately be making a point of seeing a GP to have the blood tests done to find out one way or the other.

canttouchthis Sat 27-Jun-09 18:29:55

I just can't get what I haven't fallen pg yet, been at it for at least a year now, no contraception whatsoever, yet people around me are falling pg left right and centre I am happy for friend who tell me the good news, I just wish it was my turn now. If I stopped worrying then it will probably happen...hmm

sunburntats Sat 27-Jun-09 18:45:43

ME, sunburn puts her hand up feverishly!!!

Been trying for 2.5 years now.
Time right according to all of the physical ovulation signs described on here by experts.

Do the deed.....nil, absolutely nothing every month.
My periods are like yours, sometimes 28 days, sometimes 26 days, sometimes 35 days.

tis rubbish sad

FanjolinaJolie Sat 27-Jun-09 19:48:00

Canttouchthis

IMHO a period which is varying by a couple of days is not really irregular.

Do you experience changes in your cervical mucus? By this I mean the presence of fertile EWCM (looks like raw egg white and is stretchy) which occurs a few days before ovulation. That is a clear indicator that you are ovulating.

I would strongly suggest that you start using fertility awareness methods which will show you clearly if you are ovulating or not. By this I mean symptothermal family planning, where you take your temperature every morning and note your cervical mucus (or lack thereof).

The book 'How to Take Charge of your Fertility' is fantastic, I can highly recommend it. As is the website www.fertilityfriend.com which has an online 'tutorial' to teach you basics about temping. This website is free and easy to use and will teach you so much about your natural cycle.

I have a long cycle, about 31-33 days but have been as long as 35 days and I ovulate on day 19, later than most, I imagine, if you think that the average woman ovulates on roughly day 14. It took me 13 months TTC to conceive dd1 and 5 months for dd2.

I would also ask your GP to get you the basic fertility tests to check your various hormone levels.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 28-Jun-09 07:42:58

canttouchthis

I would be visiting your GP and explaining this situation to him. Gynaes generally like to see people if they have been ttc for 12 months without success.

As you have also been trying for this length of time I would refrain from using temp charting and such like; they are not completely reliable as methods. At 12 months plus of ttc without success you are beyond those initial stages anyway.

Subfertility is not the sole preserve of the woman. It may be that there is a problem with either one or both of you equally. You should be referred as a couple to the subfertility unit at hospital where both of you should be tested in tandem.

You need a diagnosis first and foremost. A visit your GP asap is in order.

decafgirl Sun 28-Jun-09 13:10:57

My cycles were like yours although mine ranged from 32 to 67 days. I never knew when I was due on or ovulating. I had blood tests on day 3 of one of my cycles which showed that everything was normal but they weren't repeated at day 21 as one of the other posters suggests they should be.

I conceived my little boy after a year of trying on a cycle that would have been a 28 dayer (an utter miracle) I put it down to checking my temperature every morning (the first month I'd done that) and taking a pregnancy multivitamin instead of my usual folic acid. Not the most scientific advice I know but I wanted to share because I know the agony of BFN after BFN and you never know, it might just work for someone else too!

Good luck, Decaf x

londonlottie Sun 28-Jun-09 14:59:27

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babyboom1979 Sun 28-Jun-09 23:44:55

I would agree with Londonlottie that temping might be worth a try to familiarise yourself with your cycles. However, I also agree wholeheartedly with Attila that it is more than time you saw a doctor. If you are under 35 and have been trying for a year without success, a gyne will definitely want to see you. If you are over 35, they will want to see you much earlier. The sooner you get answers, the more quickly you will be on your way to that BFP. It will happen!!

Best of luck.

FanjolinaJolie Mon 29-Jun-09 08:24:21

LondonLottie - it's true many GP's don't have a lot of knowledge in this area, past the textbook stuff. My GP also told me every woman's luteal phase is 14 days, it never varies at all. Load of crap.

Anyway, find someone who is knowledgable and sympathetic. Your local practice may well have one Dr (more than the others) with an interest in gynae/womens reproductive health.

Get your day 3 and day 21 tests done firstly, but I would still recommend temping anf noting cervical mucus as well.

All the best to you

londonlottie Mon 29-Jun-09 10:41:19

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ShowOfHands Mon 29-Jun-09 10:50:52

Can I just add that it does often take this long to get pregnant. For a normal, healthy, fertile couple having sex at exactly the right time, your chances of making a baby are around 25%. I am young, fit, sporty, teetotal, normal cycle (sometimes anovulatory, often a couple of days longer or shorter than other days) and it took 14 months and a miscarriage for me to have dd.

I saw a very lovely doctor after the miscarriage who said he had worked in many countries and it was only in the UK that we thought a year of trying was an indicator of something abnormal. He was used to guidelines in other countries saying that 2 years of trying was more of an indicator of possible problems. He said it made utter sense that it took a year or more to get pregnant as the odds are against you. He was right.

Of course you must see a GP if you suspect you are not ovulating. I charted, using Taking Charge Of Your Fertilit (wonderful book) and it opened my eyes.

I know how frustrating it is and get checked out to ease your concerns but don't necessarily assume the worst.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 29-Jun-09 11:37:57

"It was only in the UK that we thought a year of trying was an indicator of something abnormal. He was used to guidelines in other countries saying that 2 years of trying was more of an indicator of possible problems. He said it made utter sense that it took a year or more to get pregnant as the odds are against you".

I feel that such "advice" given by doctors can do more harm than good. Thank goodness for the 12 months usual guideline in the UK. In my case I had very infrequent periods and when they did came they were bloody painful to boot as well. I hope this man would not have told me to wait two years because I would have given him short shrift and would then try and get a second opinion.

I was eventually given two diagnoses; PCOS and endometriosis (that was why it was so painful). What I am saying is that there is always a reason as to why periods are irregular and it is always in a woman's best interests to find out why. Not listen to some doc saying wait two years, besides which fertility declines with age also. It can make a hell of a lot of difference.

Would also not take much notice of this having sex at the "right time" business either. Timing of intercourse does more harm than good within relationships and can put undue pressure on the couple. I would just instead say make love when you both feel like it, not when you think its the "right time" because it is all too easy to get the date wrong. Also it is quite possible to have periods without ovulating and even normally fertile women have the occasional anovulatory cycle.

londonlottie Mon 29-Jun-09 12:16:39

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ShowOfHands Mon 29-Jun-09 12:24:12

Attila, you've misunderstood me. I went to that doctor and he started fertility investigations straightaway as I was concerned. All he was doing was reassuring me that not conceiving for a year is utterly normal, so normal in fact that other countries have the guidelines mentioned. He wasn't advising I wait for 2 years, he was merely discussing how interesting it was. We were chatting, he wasn't dismissing my concerns.

Hence why I said to OP of course see your GP if you suspect something wrong. Tis the beauty of having a too often maligned NHS, you can tackle these things appropriately.

I don't think the GP at all meant that people in pain or with very irregular cycles should hang around and wait some arbitrary number of months, he was merely pointing out that in healthy, normal couples, it can take that long.

GiraffeAHolic Mon 29-Jun-09 12:25:45

I would just like to add that even if you are having anovulatory cycles there is always the off chance that month you will randomly ovulate, especially if it turns out to be PCOS.

I had tests over multiple cycles that showed I wasn't ovulating, I had no periods for months on end.

One day I felt odd so took a HPT and after over two years of BFNs it was positive. It had been months since my last period, so I must have randomly ovulated and miraculously caught it

Am now TTC#2 and looks like the PCOS is playing up again as I had a 28 day cycle followed by a 37 day cycle

ShowOfHands Mon 29-Jun-09 12:27:57

And I think he's right. In a normal, healthy, young couple where tests such as day 3 and day 21 tests and basic sperm tests are normal, it's not always the best thing to rush straight into more invasive testing.

The GP in question suggested charting for 3 months alongside basic tests.

He was very, very good.

Can you tell I feel I've misrepresented an excellent GP?

canttouchthis Mon 29-Jun-09 20:03:54

hi folks, thanks for all your input and I've read your posts. Since we have been 'lazy' ttc (as in not timing it to perfection!) we are going to give it til around Christmas time/New Year and then see a GP. Ofcourse by that time I may have been lucky and fallen pg, who knows.
I had a MC (blighted ovum) in March this year, so I know I can get pregnant (like thousands out there!) but maybe I'm putting myself under stress from what happened then, and not realising it.
I'm in my mid-twenties so time enough yet, considering many have kids into their 40s.

rachxx Mon 29-Jun-09 20:36:45

Will they test anyone for the day 3-21? can you just ask for it? thanks

FanjolinaJolie Mon 29-Jun-09 21:57:45

Rach - you can ask for it by all means. Normally a GP will only request those tests if you have been TTC'ing without success for over 12 months, or over six months if you're 35 or older.

babyboom1979 Tue 30-Jun-09 00:24:04

*I think Attila* brings up a very good point that in the game of ttc, time is of the essence, especially if you are in your 30s. Waiting over a year before going to a doctor seems absurd, especially if you have conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis or blocked fallopian tubes -- all of which can stop one conceiving naturally no matter how much you temp, use opks and bd on the right days.

Londonlottie, I would agree that periods of between 28-33 are not really irregular. However, what I think Attila is referring to is completely unpredictable periods in which case, yes, there is always a cause which should be investigated.

And lastly, no advide garnered on mumsnet can replace the opinion of a qualified practioner. There will always be women who come on here and say they miraculously conceived after 4 years of trying. That is absolutely wonderful (and I love hearing those stories!)but it can give false hope to those who really need to get themselves to a doctor!

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