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If I still have my periods, can I be pregnant?

"If I still have my periods, can I be pregnant?"

It is a common question at fertility centers. The specialist clarified that having periods does not mean having ovulations. Many women with advanced age thought that having periods equals to having potential to be pregnant. The fact is that older the age is, worse the egg quality is. That is why the women with advanced maternal age are harder to be pregnant.

Since the social style and economic environment are changing, more people do not expect to start their family in the early life. Getting married later made the infertility issue become more serious. In Taiwanese records, one seventh couples are suffering with infertility (around 15% of population).

Over half of infertile couples choose to undergo assisted reproduction

According to the Taiwan ministry of Health and Welfare reports, the number of IVF babies increases annually, and it increased twofold in the last decade. Five of every ten infertile couples would choose assisted reproduction programs to have babies including IUI and IVF.

Clinically, abnormal vaginal bleeding or anovulatory menstruation could mislead people to believe they still have potential to be pregnant naturally. Not like normal menstrual bleeding in an ovulatory cycle is a result of progesterone withdrawal bleeding, anovulatory bleeding is commonly caused by estrogen breakthrough bleeding.
The cycle lengths of females with anovulatory menstruation showed different degrees: most have prolonged cycle lengths, but some have regular or even frequent menses (though the amount of fluid is comparably fewer).

To sum up, the irregular menstruation is highly correlated with infertility due to anovulation. The clinical indications of anovulation could be hormone disorders (e.g. PCOS, hyperprolactinemia, thyroid disorders), upstream reasons such as hypothalamic dysfunction, or age issue (e.g. ovulation dysfunction, perimenapause).

In the age issue, women with age at 25 years have highest pregnancy rate; with age over 40 only have half or lower of highest pregnancy rate. Women suffering with infertility problem was around 6% in the group spanning 20-24 years, 9% in the group spanning 25-29, 15% in the group spanning 30-34, 30% in the group spanning 35-39, and 64% in the group spanning 40-44. Beyond 45 years of age, the pregnancy rate of IVF patients were quite low. Thus the most appropriate age of taking IVF program is under 35 years, and the clinical outcomes also displayed more favorable in this group. 


Stork Fertility Center Stork Fertility Center Author


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