- And when it makes sense to go to the doctor!
First things first: If you feel that there is something not right, you feel sick, or you have pain, never hesitate to consult your doctor.
In certain times of life, an irregular cycle can be both normal and harmless. Our body is not a machine, so cycle fluctuations are quite normal and typically not a cause for concern. During the teenage years or during menopause, for example, your hormones are mainly responsible for these irregularities. In everyday life, stress (among other things), can cause your cycle to get out of control. An irregular cycle is when your cycle is permanently shorter than 23 days or longer than 35 days. A healthy cycle should not fluctuate more than eight days within a year.
In principle, you do not need to worry about every irregularity, but it is advisable to ask your doctor for advice if the following problems occur repeatedly.
- Your menstruation suddenly stops for no apparent reason, and Daysy doesn't tell you that you are possibly pregnant or a pregnancy test is negative.
- You are experiencing spotting or staining for the first time.
- Your menstruation comes so often and irregularly that no rhythm is recognizable.
- You have irregular menstrual periods again and again.
- Your menstruation lasts longer than 7 days.
- Your menstruation is extremely light.
- (shorter in duration than is usual for the individual)
- (needs fewer pad or tampon changes than usual)
- Your period is very light and you are having difficulty conceiving
- You have vaginal bleeding after sexual intercourse.
- Your menstruation is excessively heavy (for example, tampons have to be changed every hour) or lasts much longer than normal.
- Your menstruation stops after having been regular for a while.
To achieve a diagnosis, your doctor will first ask you in detail about your cycle and your medical history (the so-called anamnesis). Daysy and your recorded temperature curve can provide you and your physician with valuable information as a personal cycle diary.
You’ve likely read that a ‘normal’ cycle lasts 28 days. In fact, almost no woman has a perfectly regular 28 day cycle. For some, the cycle may last 35 days, for some it is only 25, while for other women the cycle has a different length every month. This is quite normal and is not necessarily indicative of fertility health. It should be noted that stress or illness may shorten or lengthen the cycle. As aforementioned, a cycle of 23 to 35 days is perfectly acceptable. However, if your cycle is permanently shorter than 23 days or permanently longer than 35 days, you should talk to your gynecologist about it.
Short pre-ovulation phase (before the temperature rise)
If ovulation takes place on the 10th day of the cycle or even earlier, this could be a signal that your body has released a possibly still immature egg. In most cases, this egg was not yet fully developed and is therefore infertile. If you are looking to become pregnant and regularly observe that the first half of your cycle is quite short, you should follow up with your gynaecologist.
Long pre-ovulation phase (before the temperature rise)
A prolonged first phase of the cycle is typically not a reason for concern. With a cycle length of 35 days, the pre-ovulatory phase is about 21 days long. Stress - even unconsciously - such as intense exercise, a cold, travel, or an exam can prolong this phase. It does not necessarily affect your fertility. It often just means that ovulation occurs a few days later. If ovulation occurs later than usual, your menstruation will also be delayed.
There is no long second half of the cycle (post-ovulation phase)
There is no extended second half of the cycle. If ovulation has taken place, it lasts between 10 and 16 days. If it lasts 18 days or longer, Daysy will indicate a possible pregnancy. However, there are cycles without ovulation. In these anovulatory cycles, there is no second half of the cycle. In this case, Daysy will show you red or yellow (possibly fertile) throughout the entire cycle as the device is still anticipating ovulation to occur.
Short post-ovulation phase (after the temperature rise)
If the time between ovulation and the first day of your period is shorter than 10 days, pregnancy may occur less easily. Doctors may refer to this issue as a luteal insufficiency, which occurs when the body produces too little corpus luteum hormone (progesterone). Progesterone not only causes your basal body temperature to rise after ovulation, but also keeps the lining of the uterus upright so that the fertilized egg can implant itself properly.
How do I know which half of my cycle I am in?
Daysy gives you the ability to track your basal body temperature and monitor the phases of your cycle and the curves of your chart through the DaysyView app. You can clearly see the first and second phase by the change in temperature (see figure). The Pre- and Post-ovulation baselines show the average temperatures of the first and second phases.