Is it possible to get pregnant with irregular periods?There are a number of different conditions that cause irregular behaviour of the ovaries and irregular menstruation, says Dr Kinsella:
- PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a common hormonal disorder that affects ovaries in women during childbearing years and results in an irregular menstrual cycle, explains Dr Kinsella. Those who have PCOS have ovaries that are slightly larger than normal, and have many more follicles - which are the fluid-filled pockets on the ovaries that release the eggs when you ovulate. Although it is difficult to give statistics as cases vary so much and different treatments have different success rates, most women with PCOS will be able to have a baby with fertility treatment. For women who are under 35, this is even more the case.
- Bartholin’s cysts: Dr Kinsella explains that Bartholin’s cysts are fluid-filled swellings in the Bartholin’s glands, located either side of the vagina, caused by infection or injury. They usually affect sexually active women aged between 20 and 30, and are quite uncommon after menopause, as this often causes them to shrink. Although there is little documented evidence of the effects of Bartholin's abscess on pregnancy and vice-versa, septicaemia is a well-known complication of abscesses, which has the potential of inflicting maternal and foetal morbidity. Pregnancy could increase the occurrence of Bartholin gland abscesses in patients with previous surgical treatment of abscesses. So, for those with a history of Bartholin’s cysts, despite it being a serious issue, various experienced professionals from the medical fraternity say that Bartholin gland cyst does not affect the fertility of a woman.
- Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a disease where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing pain and, or, infertility. Unfortunately, those with endometriosis are more likely to have infertility or difficulty getting pregnant. But sources are often divided on this, with some saying that an estimated 60-70% of those with endometriosis can get pregnant spontaneously. It often depends what stage of endometriosis you are in. Stage 1 is the most mild, ranging up to stage 4. This scoring system correlates with pregnancy success. Women with severe (stage 4) endometriosis, which causes considerable scarring, blocked fallopian tubes, and damaged ovaries, experience the most difficulty becoming pregnant and often require advanced fertility treatment.