Trying Too Hard?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for right at 6 months.

I was on birth control for almost a year and then came off it just before I met him. I started taking Yasmin again just before we got married in April of this year, and stopped taking it in August (8 months after I started taking it the 2nd time).

My periods were always extremely regular- I could predict to the day when I was going to start, whether I was on or off birth control. Since coming off this second time, I was regular Aug, Sept, Oct and Nov, but then December I was 9 days late. Did the routine, took the HPT which came back negative. When I finally started, I only went 1 1/2 days instead of my usual 3.

January- again I was a full week later than I should have been, even when I accounted for the extra week from December. And again in January- my cycle was not normal. I was thinking that this might just be my body readjusting to not being on birth control again, however now February I am in the same boat AGAIN! I am currently 9 days later than I should be. I have not taken a HPT yet, because my thoughts were that maybe now my cycle has changed, which didn't seem very likely to me since it has been the same since I was 15 whether I was on birth control or not, but I am not sure what to think at this point.

I am tired of getting worked up every time I am late only to be disappointed when my period comes. any idea of what might have caused my cycle to change up? and how long should I wait before taking another HPT or seeing a doctor?

ANSWER

For whatever reason, it sounds like your cycle is now about 35 days or so, and you are not "late" until after that. You probably had 28-day cycles those first few months coming off of the birth control because the hormones were getting out of your system.

The general rule is that if you are under age 35, we don't worry until you have been actively trying for 12 months, but in your case, you might not want to count the first few cycles coming off the pill while your body was trying to re-regulate.

I know (trust me) how hard it is to be patient, but my best advice is to try to enjoy this time with your husband, have some "couples" fun, and trust that your little one will be here at the perfect time.

If your cycles stretch out even longer, or get even lighter, it might be good to get your hormone levels checked. Hopefully, that won't be necessary!

--Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.