Missing PERIODS and trying to get PREGNANT? What your missing period is telling you about your fertility.
A few weeks ago, I shared a video with all of you about what light periods are telling you about your fertility. And you all seemed to really like it. We got a lot of great feedback. So I’m going to be sharing more videos just like that, about what your period is telling you about your fertility. Before we get started on this video, I want to give a big thanks to VidaCap. VidaCap is sponsoring this video and they produce a variety of supplements all based on medicinal mushrooms. That’s right, their mushroom blends help to reduce inflammation, help to improve your immune system, and help you relax. They have a variety of different supplements and each one has different properties based on what you need so that’s how you have to be making that choice.
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Today’s video is going to be about your period as well, but it’s going to be specifically about if you’re not having a period at all or if you’re having irregular periods. So what happens if you’re not having a period at all and you’re trying to get pregnant? Well, the reality is that’s the first thing that we need to address and fix to help you get pregnant. And that’s what I’m going to talk about today on Fertility TV. And I want to show you that this really happens to women and it can be fixed. And that’s exactly what happened to a woman in my Hope Fertility Coaching Program. She didn’t have her period for 129 days, and then with the right plan, she was able to get it back just a few weeks ago.
My name is Dr. Marc Sklar also known as the fertility expert and welcome to Fertility TV, your YouTube channel dedicated to helping you get pregnant. I’ve been working with couples for over 18 years through my online coaching programs and right here in sunny San Diego at both of my clinics. And we’ve seen that if we can correct a menstrual cycle, if we can correct and have you have a regular period, that you optimize your chances to have a healthy pregnancy.
And before we get started talking about irregular cycles or not having a period at all, I do want to mention just for a moment that my Hope Coaching Fertility Program is open for enrollment. So if you would like me and my team as your fertility coaches, then I want to invite you to apply. All you have to do is use the link in the description below.
All right, so let’s get into the details of this video. And again, just a reminder, we’re talking about not having a cycle at all, not having a period, or having irregular cycle. Now, the first thing we need to do anytime we start talking about cycles is we do need to define what a normal, healthy, regular cycle is. So what we want from every woman is to have roughly a 28-day cycle. It could be a little bit shorter, it’s okay also if it’s a little bit longer, so let’s just say 26 on the short end, 30 on the high end, in terms of regularity and how frequently it comes. We want that you are ovulating in the middle of your cycle so that window of time is going to be roughly around cycle day, 13, 14, or 15. And that we want you to have a healthy bleed as well. The you’re bleeding for somewhere between three to five days, that it’s bright red, little to no pain, little to no clots, very little PMs. That is a normal, healthy cycle. That’s what we’re looking for.
And if you all have not been tracking your cycles for whatever reason, or you don’t know how to track your cycle, I do have other videos on that topic as well and I’m going to post some of those in the description below to make it easy for you to find. So that’s what a normal cycle should look like. And that is what makes it easier for you to get pregnant because you know when you’re menstruating, you know when you’re ovulating, you can time intercourse appropriately. But today’s video is all about not having a period at all. So, what does that really look like?
Well, there’s what’s called a hypothalamic issue and there’s actually two of those. One is secondary hypothalamic amenorrhea meaning you’ve had a cycle previously, a regular cycle previously, and then it goes away. I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about that today because that’s not something that I typically see with my couples and my women that I work with. But the main hypothalamic issue that I do tend to see more than anything is what’s called hypothalamic amenorrhea.
So what is hypothalamic amenorrhea? This is when stress or dietary irregularities actually cause your hypothalamus to not function properly so it’s not pulsating out the hormones regularly, and that is causing an irregularity to your cycle or actually no cycle. Most often when you see this, you’re having maybe a cycle a year, but most often you’re not having a cycle at all.
So we typically see this in women who have very risk directive diets, they’re trying to have very, very low calorie intake, or we also see this with athletes, performance athletes. You actually don’t even have to be such a strong athlete. This can happen in your teenage years right as you’re going through puberty, so hormones are changing and at the same time you’re getting into sports or you’re increasing your activity level, you’re playing more sports. And so that combination can also throw this off quite a bit. And so both of those things put stress on the body because you’re increasing your exercise and you need more calories, but you’re not giving yourself that extra food and nutrition or you’re restricting your food as well.
The other piece of this is that stress, psychological stress can also cause amenorrhea. And so we have to look at all of these areas to figure out why this is happening and then start to address that. Now, this is not the easiest condition to address. It is something that I have seen very often, many times with good success, but it really just depends on the situation, the circumstances, and the history around it, and making sure that we can actually change the problem.
Some of the key symptomology around hypothalamic amenorrhea, aside from not having a cycle, is low libido, is feeling hungry but you’re not satisfied yet, low energy, difficulty sleeping, feeling cold. So these are some of the more tell-tale signs. Now that can also mean a lot of other things, so this does have to be ruled out and evaluated and diagnosed properly so that you can get the appropriate treatment.
One of the most common causes for an irregular or missed cycle is PCOS, Polycstic Ovarian Syndrome. You’ve probably heard me talk about this before. I actually have many, many videos that go much more in depth on this specific topic and condition. If you want to check that out, if you feel like you might have PCOS or you want to learn more about it, I’m going to leave those links in the description below as well.
So PCOS is actually the most common endocrine disorder for women. And this is something that we do need to spend a little bit more time talking about today. One of the tell-tale signs of PCOS is irregular cycles. Now regular can mean a huge variation. It can mean your cycles are too short one cycle, so let’s just say 20 days and then the next cycle could be too long, let’s just say 35 or 40 days. You can also have a consistently long cycle, so you don’t get your period for, let’s say 60 days or 90 days, or that could actually fluctuate, but it’s always on the long side, maybe you only get two to four periods a year, right? So this is also something that can throw off your ability to get pregnant because again, you don’t know when you’re ovulating, you don’t know when to time your intercourse, so it makes it more difficult.
The first and most important thing that we do, actually with both as we’re trying to restore somewhat of a regular cycle but specifically with PCOS is that I just want you all to have a regular cycle whatever that means. So if it’s going to be 60 days, then I just want it to be consistently, roughly 60 days so that you can time intercourse appropriately. Once we’re able to get to some sort of regularity with your cycle, then what we can do is try to shorten it and make it closer to 28 to 30 days, but that’s not always the first and most important thing.
Now, there are many variations to PCOS, upwards of 10, minimum of four, depending on what guide you’re using for that. And there is obviously the typical, the more common textbook form of PCOS and then there’s the atypical form which has all those different variations. The question really is which one do you fall into?
I do think this is often missed and often ignored and many women who actually have some atypical form of PCOS are often misdiagnosed or told that they don’t have it at all. So, again, if you want more information on PCOS, I have tons of videos on this specific topic and going into the details of the different variations of PCOS as well, which I think is extremely important.
Now, moving on to the next part of this video, which is also still talking about the potential causes for irregularities, the most common question I actually get asked is, “So, Dr. Mark, I’ve had a regular cycle, yet this cycle was 20 days, or this cycle was 40 days, whatever it was, but other than that, I normally have a regular cycle.” So it’s not uncommon to have a random irregularity in your cycle.
I would say no more than maybe once a year or twice a year maximum and I would say that might still be considered okay with no underlying cause or no real underlying cause. And I’ll get into that in just a moment. So if you are always having a regular cycle, and then all of a sudden you have an either very short or very long cycle, the first thing we need to do is not panic. There are many reasons for it and the time where we do have to start to be concerned is when we start to see a regular pattern develop. If we just have a random irregular cycle and then it goes back to a normal cycle, that could be caused by so many reasons. Maybe that cycle was extremely stressful for you, maybe you were traveling, maybe you didn’t sleep well, maybe your diet was off that cycle. There could be so many reasons for it that I want to invite you all that if that’s happening to you, just take a step back and evaluate, is there a logical cause for having a random cycle that is off for you?
And if the answer is yes, don’t panic, don’t get concerned, it’s quite all right, let’s just make sure that your next cycle goes back to normal and beyond that and then there’s really nothing to worry about, okay? If it starts to develop into a pattern, then yes, we do want to look at that. We want to investigate. We want to make sure that nothing’s developing. No new condition is happening.
And we do want to find the cause. I will say, I can’t tell you all how often stress is the culprit to all of these things, especially in the society that we’re living in today. So first thing, always evaluate your stress levels, determine if you’ve had an increased amount of stress, how that’s affecting you, is it causing you to eat less, sleep less, whatever it might be, and then work on correcting that issue so you don’t have this consistently moving into the future.
What does it mean if you’re not having your period? Well, it means you’re not ovulating or you’re not ovulating regularly if you’re having an irregular cycle. So if you’re not ovulating, it’s going to be hard to get pregnant, right? So that’s why it’s so important for that to be corrected. And if you’re ovulating irregularly, meaning you’re having an irregular cycle, maybe too long or too short or some combination of all of that, then you don’t know when you’re ovulating or it’s much more difficult to know when you’re ovulating so it’s much more difficult to time intercourse. That’s why it’s so important to have as close to a regular cycle as possible, because it’s going to make your trying to get pregnant much, much easier.
What’s the first step to understanding if you’re having a regular or irregular cycle? Well, it’s tracking your cycles. Now, you can track it in whatever fashion you like. You can do it as simple as just marking on your calendar this is day one, this is how many days I bleed for, I think I had some symptomology around my period, and this is my next day one, right? You could just mark those things on your regular calendar, you can also get an app to mark all those things, but at least you’re tracking and you will know that, okay, I start on the first of the month and by day 28 or 30 of the same month I’m having another period or whatever that is for you, right? You want to just count that out and make sure it’s as regular as possible. That’s going to give you peace of mind that your cycles are regular, you’re ovulating regularly for the most part, and you should be able to time intercourse appropriately to make it easier for you to get pregnant.
It’s also going to give you information if you’re not menstruating regularly or ovulating regularly, you’re going to know, you’re going to see what that is, you got to pay attention to those patterns, and that gives you and knowledge to start to make changes, to learn why that’s not happening and to correct it. Nothing in your body happens by accident. Your body is constantly talking to you, especially for women because of your menstrual cycle. So you have to listen. What is your body telling you? What is it trying to communicate? What are all these signs and symptoms that you are experiencing and feeling? Write them down, put them in a diary, put them on your calendar, put them in the app, whatever it is, but you’ve got to listen.
So, if you’re having irregularities that’s even more of a reason to pay attention to the signs and symptoms that your body is telling you. What is your cervical mucus like? Do you have any symptomology pre-menstrually? If so, what is it? Do you have pain with menstruation? What’s the quality of your bleed? These are all things we want to pay attention to. Not only that, but also how are you feeling over the course of your entire cycle? Do you feel good all month long? Are there times in your cycle you feel better and times where you feel worse? When you do feel worse, what are those symptoms? All this information is valuable information. And if you don’t know what to do with it, that’s when you start working with a healthcare provider who does and who can help guide you to understand what those symptoms are and to hopefully start to correct them.
So if you’re not having a period, how do you track your cycle? Well, in this case, I want you just track your symptomology on a daily basis. Like how do you feel? Good or bad. Are there times where your libido increases? Are there times where it decreases? Are there times where you notice more cervical mucus? Times where you don’t? Maybe you have some spotting some days, when you don’t. Your body is constantly talking to you so we want to understand it. So even if you’re not getting a period regularly or at all, you can still track your body symptoms. There are times where you get breast tenderness, times where you don’t. We want to know all of this information because that’s really going to help us understand how your hormones are shifting and fluctuating and potentially what we can do about them.
Additionally, with all of this, is everything always comes back to testing. To understand if you have hypothalamic amenorrhea, or PCOS, or something else going on, we need to run labs. We need to test your hormones to understand what’s going on so that we know how to support that and change that, and hopefully start to correct and optimize your chances at conception. The first step with all of you and the first step I always start with with everyone is to make sure you’re having a regular cycle or that you’re having a cycle that we’re getting your cycle back. And to do that again, we have to have the appropriate testing so that we know how to support that and change that and really support you on your journey.
After you have the appropriate testing, that’s when a plan comes up, that’s when me and my team or whoever you’re working with can actually look at all the labs, look at all your history, look at all your symptomology, and come up with a plan that’s appropriate for you, specifically for you, not for all the women in the world who have PCOS or whatever condition we’re treating, but for you specifically, based on your needs and your findings and your history, and that is what’s going to make the biggest difference on your fertility journey.
So if you like this video, give me a thumbs up, but more importantly, I want to hear from you, okay? I want to know, what did you find valuable today in today’s video? What did you learn that you didn’t know? And more importantly, what are going to be your next steps on your fertility journey? Comment below and let me know. If you are trying to get pregnant and you want to get your cycles to be more regular or get your cycles back at all, let’s talk. I want to invite you to apply for a discovery call with me and my team to see if you’re the right fit to join my Hope Fertility Coaching Program, so that we can support you on your journey and we can help restore a regular cycle and optimize your fertility.
Again, if you want to apply to have me and my team as your personal coaches, then just use the link in the description below to start the process, and my team will walk you through the rest. Okay, so again, if you like this video, give me a thumbs up. If you haven’t already commented, leave a comment below. If you’re not a subscriber to my YouTube channel, you need to be, so hit that bell to subscribe and get notified when I put on a new video for all of you. And until the next video, stay fertile.