Menses and Getting Pregnant

December 14, 2007

What health teachers call, the Menstrual Cycle... What researchers call, the Hypothlalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian-Uterine Axis 

Q & A: I have been trying for a couple of years to get pregnant. I do believe the next step is fertility pills. My first question is are they good thing to try? My second question is in my family my sister, my mom and grandma all had there menstrual periods for the first four or five months. What is the chances of this happening to me and what causes that to happen?

Fertility pills,like any indicated medicine, should be used by a qualified specialist in an organized protocol. There are many causes of infertility, but what these medications do, at the simplest level, is help you to ovulate. Of course they won't do much good if your tubes are blocked or a low sperm count is the cause of your troubles. Are they a good thing to try? I suppose the answer rests in whether the decision to use them follows logical reasoning on the part of your doctor. If you're having trouble ovulating (and there are no other causes of your infertility), then these ovulation drugs are a good idea. Which brings me to the second part of your question.

Irregular Ovulations and Getting Pregnant

Irregular or non-existent ovulations will yield irregular or non-existent menstrual periods. The two seemingly unrelated parts of your question are actually more related than it seems. A period comes about only with a successful ovulation. Ovulation then sets about a phase of your cycle (the second half) that prepares the lining of your womb (uterus) for the implantation of a fertilized egg. If there's no conception, all of the hormones of the second half will crash. The lining, supported by these hormones, loses its attachment and tears away--what you see as your period. Any bleeding after a cycle that fails to ovulate is a false period, because this bleeding is nothing more than disorderly debris which has not been properly acted upon by cyclic hormones. If you have irregular cycles, it's only because you have irregular ovulations. So it's not unusual for a woman with irregular periods to need "fertility drugs" to get her to ovulate. Many women who have such troubles have a family history of it. So your sister and mother and grandmother experienced tissue debris during their pregnancies as well as probably before.

A correct ovulation is a deal-breaker for a correct menstrual cycle. So any bleeding in pregnancy can not be a menstrual episode, otherwise the baby would be lost in miscarriage. The bleeding you recall in your family in their pregnancies are threatened miscarriages. True, this may be bad hormonal support for that baby trying to hang on with these limitations, but it is not a menstrual period.

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