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If I have irregular cycles, how can I find out if and when I am ovulating?


The process of trying to conceive can be extremely frustrating for many women.  The process can include a daily regimen of charting basal body temperature, taking prescription medications, using herbal therapies and using ovulation prediction kits.  Predicting ovulation can be particularly difficult if you have irregular cycles.

Irregular cycles occur in at least 10% of women.  An irregular cycle is one that is outside of the normal 25- to 35-day length.  Irregular cycles can be caused by diet, exercise, chronic anovulation, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hormonal imbalances.

Often, the most effective solution to trying to conceive with an irregular cycle is to correct the cycle.  Depending on the cause, this may be a fairly simple process or may be more daunting.

In general, the use of an ovulation calendar may not be effective for a woman with irregular cycles.  Using these methods can give you misleading information about whether or not you are fertile.  You may have some success using other types of ovulation kits and/or using basal body temperature charts, but the best solution really is to try to correct the cycle, to bring it within normal lengths.