Irregular Periods, Regular Ovulation: Your Path to Parenthood

The declining birth rates and increasing trend of delayed parenthood in Malaysia and Singapore have heightened concerns about irregular periods and their impact on fertility. If you already grasp the concept of the fertility window, the irregularity of your period might make you question its impact on your chances of getting pregnant.


The reassuring news is that even with irregular periods, pregnancy remains possible as long as ovulation is occurring. While irregular periods may signify irregular ovulation cycles, which can complicate estimating the fertility window, the crucial factor for conception is the occurrence of ovulation itself.


Let’s crack the code and understand more about irregular periods and ovulation.

Is your period irregular?

Irregular periods refer to a menstrual cycle that is shorter than 21 days, longer than 35 days, or varies significantly from one month to the next[1]. If your cycle deviates by just a day or two each month, or if its length is longer or shorter than the average 21 days but remains relatively consistent, there is generally no cause for concern as your ovulation cycles are likely to be normal[2].


However, when your cycle shows significant fluctuations from month to month, research suggests a higher likelihood of experiencing infertility[3]. Irregular or frequently missed periods may indicate anovulation, a condition where your ovaries fail to release an egg, making conception impossible[4]. If you suspect or observe a lack of ovulation signs, it’s essential to consult your doctor for further evaluation and guidance.

Why is your period irregular?

Irregular periods can occur due to various reasons. Medical conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), thyroid or pituitary dysfunctions, or Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) are known to cause irregular menstrual cycles[5]. Moreover, if you are in the middle of perimenopause (the transitional period into menopause), experiencing stress or anxiety, engaging in excessive exercise or dieting, dealing with an eating disorder, undergoing significant weight loss, or using certain birth control methods, you may also experience irregular periods[6].

How to detect ovulation with irregular periods?

Detecting ovulation with irregular periods can be more challenging than with regular cycles, but there are still methods that can help you track ovulation. Here are some approaches you can consider:


Home Ovulation-Prediction Kits

Home ovulation prediction kits test for luteinising hormone, a substance that causes the ovaries to release an egg[7]. Having irregular cycles can make this option expensive as you may feel the need to use them many times throughout one cycle. However, you can work a little smarter by testing when you are exhibiting some signs of ovulation  like abdominal pain or cramps, bloating, slightly elevated body temperature, changes in cervical mucus and saliva, and breast tenderness.


Body Basal Temperature

Basal body temperature (BBT) is a simple method to detect ovulation. All you need to track your BBT is a thermometer that displays the result with one decimal point (e.g. 37.1°C). As consistent morning measurement has proven to be the most accurate, you should measure your oral, vaginal, or rectal temperature every morning after waking up and before intercourse is performed.


Cervical Secretion Methods

One popular method to detect ovulation with irregular periods is the cervical secretion method. During ovulation, cervical secretions change to create a more optimal environment that helps sperm travel through the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes to the egg. With this method, you can check the color, texture, and stretch of your cervical secretions to track your ovulation. Fertile cervical secretions are naturally clear, wet, and slippery[8]. For best results, check at midday and early evening.


The journey of trying to conceive can indeed be lengthy and emotionally challenging. However, it’s crucial to stay patient and attentive to your body’s signals. If you have any questions or concerns about your fertility, we encourage you to begin by taking this questionnaire.


Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and seeking professional advice and support can make a significant difference. Take one step at a time, and don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.




[1] Pregnancy tests | Office on Women’s Health. (n.d.).

[2] Lum, K. J., Sundaram, R., Buck Louis, G. M., & Louis, T. A. (2015). A Bayesian joint model of menstrual cycle length and fecundity. Biometrics, 72(1), 193–203.

[3] Small, C., Manatunga, A., Klein, M., Dominguez, C., Feigelson, H., McChesney, R., & Marcus, M. (2010). Menstrual Cycle Variability and the Likelihood of Achieving Pregnancy. Reviews on Environmental Health, 25(4).

[4] Anovulation: Signs, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic.

[5] Ajmani, N. S., Sarbhai, V., Yadav, N., Paul, M., Ahmad, A., & Ajmani, A. K. (2015). Role of Thyroid Dysfunction in Patients with Menstrual Disorders in Tertiary Care Center of Walled City of Delhi. The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India, 66(2), 115–119.

[6] Levine, B., & Church, K., MD. (2020, May 11). What Are Irregular Periods: Treatment, Pregnancy, and More. EverydayHealth.Com.

[7] Editor. (2022, June 17). How to Use Ovulation Kits & Fertility Monitors. American Pregnancy Association.

[8] Su, H. W., Yi, Y. C., Wei, T. Y., Chang, T. C., & Cheng, C. M. (2017). Detection of ovulation, a review of currently available methods. Bioengineering & Translational Medicine, 2(3), 238–246.



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