5 Steps to Getting Pregnant With Irregular Periods: A TTC Guide
Sometimes you wonder if you’re meant to be the Fun Aunt forever. Each weekend you put on your auntie uniform — sneakers and a t-shirt that can handle a little puke — and chase your friends’ kids around the park. You giggle, play, and love them like your own.
Deep down, you’re yearning for a baby of your own. You’d give anything to be the mama responding to a freshly scraped knee when little man cries “Mom-meeee!” on the playground. But while your girlfriends are charting out their toddlers’ snack schedules, you’re staring at a blank calendar. Your period is unpredictable. It could show up next week or in three months.
You worry you’ll never get pregnant with such irregular periods. You downplay the recurring thought with jokes like, “I like being able to give them back at the end of the day.”
Before you commit yourself to a lifetime of fun-auntiness, there’s something we want you to know: You *can* get pregnant with irregular periods.
In this guide, we cover the reasons your period could be off — and the steps you can start taking today to become the amazing mama you’re meant to be.
What Is an Irregular Period?
How do you know if you have an irregular period? It depends on your cycle length and how much you bleed during a cycle.
A new menstrual cycle begins each time you get a period. So if you get your period today and the next one comes in 2 months, that’s a 60-day cycle. The average length of a menstrual cycle lasts between 21-35 days. It’s typical to bleed for 4-7 days during a menstrual period.
Here are some scenarios that would be considered abnormal menstruation: 
Periods less than 21 days apart
Periods more than 35 days apart
When your periods have stopped altogether
Painful periods with severe menstrual cramps.
Having to change a pad or tampon more than every 2 hours, or periods lasting more than 7 days
Spotting between periods or after sex.
If you go more than 90 days without a period, you may be told you have an absent period. It’s normal to have an absent period if you’re pregnant or going through menopause.
Causes of Irregular Menstrual Periods
You can have irregular periods for a number of reasons – from underlying health conditions to lifestyle factors.
Your menstrual cycle is ruled by hormones originating in the brain and ovaries. Health conditions affecting these organs can disrupt hormone production. Irregular periods may be a sign you have an underlying health condition.
Lifestyle risk factors can also affect your menstrual cycle. Things like smoking or eating patterns could be causing a hormone imbalance that affects your cycle.
Issues With Ovulation
To get a period, you need to ovulate. Ovulation occurs when the ovary releases an egg each month. After the egg is released, a temporary structure called the corpus luteum forms.
If the egg isn’t fertilized, the corpus luteum breaks down and you get a period.
If an egg was never released, you won’t get a period. This is called anovulation. If you have multiple anovulatory cycles, the uterine lining can get too thick. This causes irregular, heavy periods when they do come.
Problems with ovulation are referred to as ovulatory dysfunction. Common causes of ovulatory dysfunction  are:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a condition characterized by imbalanced sex hormones. People with PCOS often have increased androgens (male sex hormones). These hormone imbalances prevent the ovarian follicles from maturing to effectively release an egg. The immature follicles can collect in the ovaries and turn into ovarian cysts. 
Hypothyroidism. Decreased thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, may lead to hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation, like high prolactin levels. 
High prolactin. Prolactin helps support milk production and it’s why you may notice breast tenderness when you’re PMS’ing. When your prolactin levels are elevated and you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding, it can cause your period to stop.
- Hypothalmic dysfunction. The hypothalamus is a part of your brain that works closely with the thyroid to balance hormones. Problems with the hypothalamus can cause hormone imbalances. 
Underlying Health Conditions That Can Cause Irregular Periods
Abnormal period symptoms like severe pain and heavy bleeding can be a sign of an underlying condition. Talk to your doctor if you have irregular periods or abnormal symptoms.
These are some underlying health conditions  that may cause irregular periods:
Endometriosis. The uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, causing severe menstrual pain and cysts. Endometriosis may cause heavier periods and shorter cycles.
PCOS. Excess androgens may prevent ovulation, causing irregular menstrual periods.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is a bacterial infection affecting the reproductive system. One of the symptoms is irregular periods.
Uterine or cervical cancer. Irregular periods are symptoms of both of these types of cancer. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and getting screened.
Thyroid disease. Thyroid problems can cause disruption to hormones that affect your menstrual cycle. 
Modifiable Risk Factors
A recent study found modifiable risk factors like stress, smoking, and a high or low BMI (body mass index) are directly linked to irregular periods.
The study found that women with a BMI below 17 have about the same risk of having irregular periods as women with a BMI over 30. 
A high BMI is associated with hormone imbalances like high testosterone and insulin levels that can interrupt ovulation. Being severely underweight and overexercising can cause anovulatory cycles or missed periods.
Other lifestyle factors like smoking and stress can increase your risk for irregular periods. The study found that lifetime smoking leads to early menopause.
The bottom line: lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, getting weight under control, and managing stress can help support a regular menstrual cycle.
5 Steps to Getting Pregnant With Irregular Periods
If you have an abnormal menstrual cycle, you may have fertility challenges that feel beyond your control. It’s frustrating to see everyone around you getting pregnant while you’re wondering if it’s possible for you.
Your day will come – and it may be sooner than you think. Let’s talk about the steps you can take today to get pregnant with irregular periods.
1. Treat the Underlying Cause
With any health condition, the most effective way to correct a problem is to identify the underlying cause. Talk to your doctor about what your typical menstrual cycle looks like. How often do you get a period? How much do you bleed with each cycle?
Discuss other symptoms like problems with weight or unwanted facial hair. This can guide your OBGYN or fertility specialist to uncover the cause of your irregular periods.
2. Make Diet and Lifestyle Changes to Get Your Period Back
Hormonal imbalances can cause your weight to fluctuate. If you struggle to keep weight off, it’s tempting to go on crash diets or binge exercise. This can disrupt your menstrual period.
Instead of going for extreme diets and workout routines, focus on nourishing your body to support balanced hormones.
Start by eating small, frequent meals throughout the day. Skipping meals can be harmful for your blood sugar. This is especially important for women with PCOS who have insulin resistance.
You can incorporate other foods into your diet to regulate blood sugar and improve your reproductive health. Consider adding foods like:
- Yams or sweet potatoes
- Flax, chia, or pumpkin seeds
Staying active is equally important for regulating your hormones to get a regular period. Overexercising can cause absent periods, so avoid binge-exercising. Focus on consistent activity to keep your blood sugar stable and get your blood pumping. Consider exercises like:
- Barre or pilates
- Weight lifting
- Running or jogging 30 minutes a day
Acupuncture may also improve your chances of getting pregnant with irregular periods. Acupuncturists use Traditional Chinese Medicine to correct imbalances in your system. They place needles on different parts of your body to increase blood flow and move stagnant blood. Fertility acupuncture has been proven to correct hormone imbalances and reduce the presence of ovarian cysts. 
3. Add Supplements to Support Regular Menstruation and Ovulation
You’re ready to incorporate new foods and exercises into your wellness routine. What are some other ways you can get pregnant naturally with irregular periods?
Certain minerals and vitamins can help with hormone balance. Many of these are found naturally in foods but are also available in supplement form.
Inositol is a sugar found in foods. It’s commonly used to help women with PCOS overcome fertility challenges and insulin resistance. Inositol tells your body to respond to the insulin circulating in your system. This helps keep blood sugar under control. In a recent study, 88% of women with PCOS who took Myo-inositol and folic acid got their periods back. An impressive 40% got pregnant after supplementation. 
Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is linked to menstrual irregularity. People may take vitamin D supplements to improve issues with insulin, androgens, and AMH (anti-mullerian hormone). 
- Zinc is an antioxidant. Research suggests zinc deficiency is linked to imbalanced follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. Zinc is believed to help with egg maturation. Zinc also helps regulate blood sugar. 
These are a few examples of vitamins and minerals that can improve infertility issues related to an irregular cycle. Always talk to your doctor before adding supplements to your health regimen.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find a supplement that rolls all of these nutrients into one? Check out S’moo Ovary Good Powder, which contains all of these nutrients. Taking one scoop a day will get you on the path to balanced hormones to improve your chances of getting pregnant.*
4. Track Ovulation
With irregular periods it can be tough to tell when you’re ovulating. Start by tracking your menstrual cycle each month. This will give you an idea of your typical menstrual cycle patterns.
Ovulation occurs about 14 days before your next menstrual period. To calculate the predicted ovulation day, subtract 14 days from the first day of your expected period.
Getting in tune with your body will also let you know if you’re ovulating. Here are some effective ways to track ovulation yourself:
Check your basal body temperature (BBT). Check your temperature daily to look for a BBT spike. You’ll see a BBT spike 1-2 days after ovulation.
Check cervical mucous. When you’re ovulating, the cervical mucous will have the consistency of a raw egg white.
Track your hormones. You can test LH levels at home to confirm ovulation. You may also get your progesterone levels checked. Progesterone rises after ovulation, so seeing the levels rise can confirm the egg was released.
5. Time Intercourse During the Fertile Window
The fertile window covers 5 days leading up to ovulation through the day after. Your highest chances of getting pregnant are during the fertile window. Experts recommend having sex every other day during the fertile window.
Join the Thousands of Mamas Who’ve Gotten Pregnant With Irregular Periods
Having irregular periods doesn’t mean you’re destined for a lifetime of Fun Auntieness. With the right wellness regimen, you can make and carry a baby. Pretty soon you won’t be giving that toddler back at the end of the day!
Join the thousands of women who’ve used S’moo Ovary Good to regulate their hormones today. Our happy mamas have gotten pregnant with irregular periods after taking one scoop a day.*
*Claims are based on S’moo customer success stories. Everyone’s body is different, so talk to your doctor about whether daily supplements are right for you. This is not medical advice.
- Abnormal menstruation (periods)
- Ovulatory dysfunction
- Polycystic ovaries
- Role of hypothyroidism and associated pathways in pregnancy and infertility: Clinical insights
- How does endometriosis affect my menstrual cycle?
- Thyroid disease
- Factors associated with menstrual cycle irregularity and menopause
- Acupuncture Treatment for Fertility
- Myo-inositol in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: a novel method for ovulation induction
- The Relationship between Vitamin D Status and the Menstrual Cycle in Young Women: A Preliminary Study
- The Role of Zinc in Selected Female Reproductive System Disorders
By Alexa Davidson, MSN, RN
Alexa is a registered nurse and freelance health writer. As a nurse, she spent over a decade taking care of sick babies in neonatal and pediatric cardiac intensive care units.
After earning a master’s degree in nursing education, Alexa began teaching associate degree nursing students. Now she’s teaching everyday readers about their health through copywriting.
Alexa believes health information should be accessible to anyone. She’s focused on writing approachable content that empowers women to take control of their reproductive health.
As an emerging FemTech copywriter, Alexa’s work is featured on product blogs like the Inito Fertility Monitor. She’s also a nurse writer and subject matter expert at NurseJournal, Working Nurse Magazine, and Indeed.
When she’s not writing, Alexa is probably in the kitchen. Her specialty is making healthy versions of comfort foods. Black bean brownies, anyone?