Ask an expert
Question

04 Dec 2005

Short cycles
Hi Doc

I seem to have very short cycles (19-22 days). Ocassionally, it would go to 26 days.

The is that I am trying to conceive (for 7 yrs now), have been through the IUI and IVF a couple of times, but all failed.
I have been piut on OC's, but as soon as I go off it, my cycle is all up the pole again.

What can be wrong and how is it best treated?

Thanks

Answer 327 views
Expert
Fertility expert
fertility expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Rene

The menstrual period is divided into 2 parts. The first half of the cycle is called the proliferative phase or the follicular phase, the second half is called the luteal phase or secretory phase.

The fact that you have a shortened cycle of below 22 days is clearly abnormal as any cycle under 24 days can be cause for concern. This would imply either a shortened proliferative phase or a shortened luteal phase or BOTH.

In order to determine which part of the cycle is affected, I would recommend that you start doing ultrasound monitoring to see if you are producing follicles in the first place and also to determine the rate at which these follicles grow, and at what point you are likely to ovulate. This would assist in determining which portion of your menstrual cycle is affected.

Another method would be to do an endometrial biopsy on the first day or just prior to you starting to menstruate, i.e at the first sign of menstruation. The endometrial biopsy would give an indication of whether you have ovulated or not.
Secondly, it will help to date retrospectively when you did ovulate.

I am not surprised that your IVF's have failed because this is clearly one of the reasons why implantation is not taking place. Also it would be important to determine whether you have good quality or poor quality eggs as a cause of what is in fact going on in your menstrual cycle. The use of oral contraceptives is a method in which the menstrual cycle can be regulated but it does not solve the underlying problem, and it is best to determine what the problem is.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
34% - 9247 votes
No
66% - 17738 votes
Vote