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menstrual cycle fertility


Surprising Period Symptoms Signaling Fertility Issues

By Dr. Nashat Latib • February 28, 2024

6 Subtle Clues to Look Out For

Getting a regular monthly period often means everything is working well fertility-wise. But while consistent menstruation is a good baseline indicator of health, even “normal” periods can obscure underlying issues impacting your chance of pregnancy.

If you’ve been given the diagnosis of unexplained infertility or you’re simply struggling to get pregnant naturally, your menstrual cycle may hold some clues to what’s going on inside.

Let’s review some abnormal period symptoms that, while dismissed as normal annoyance by many, can actually signal undiscovered fertility issues.

Clue #1: Painful Periods 

Some cramping and other pelvic discomfort around your period is common. But truly excessive or debilitating menstrual pain is NOT normal. 

Painful periods caused by conditions like endometriosis and adenomyosis (when the tissue lining of your uterus grows into your uterine wall) directly contribute to difficulty getting pregnant in a couple of ways:

  1. The inflammation can damage reproductive organs 
  2. Scar tissue may physically block fertilization or implantation

If you experience painful periods and haven’t seen a doctor about it (or gotten an actual diagnosis), getting examined by a fertility specialist can help identify any underlying conditions that require a treatment plan to help you get pregnant down the line.

Clue #2: Heavy Flow 

Bleeding too much or too long during your period may indicate issues with hormones or the uterine environment. Both can interfere with achieving and sustaining pregnancy.

Excess blood loss also causes iron deficiency over time, further hampering fertility and energy levels. 

Don’t ignore super long, heavy periods month after month—see a fertility expert who can offer you a possible explanation and, hopefully, treatment options.  

Clue #3: Irregular Cycles

Inconsistent cycle length, duration, or timing likely indicates hormone issues leading to a lack of reliable ovulation. Missing the critical fertile window month after month prevents natural conception

Figure out the root hormonal imbalance or health condition causing irregular cycles so you can better support ovulation.

Examples of medical conditions that can cause irregular menstrual cycles include:

Clue #4: Little or No Mid-Cycle Discharge 

Fertile-quality cervical mucus is vital for conception success. 

Low or absent discharge around expected ovulation can signal issues.

For example, no mucus makes it harder for sperm to reach and fertilize the egg. Or perhaps it’s a sign you aren’t ovulating at all.

Pay attention to cervical secretions across all cycle phases. If you notice problems or inconsistencies in this area, we recommend getting a professional evaluation from your medical team

Clue #5: PMS Issues

We dismiss rage, anxiety, fatigue, and despair around our period as “normal PMS”. However, extreme PMS can reflect hormonal imbalances affecting fertility

For example, ovulation issues may make PMS worse. Estrogen dominance amplifies symptoms, too. 

In a normal, healthy menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone work in balance during different phases. However, estrogen levels stay higher than appropriate in estrogen dominance relative to progesterone following ovulation and through the luteal phase. 

Higher estrogen levels directly amplify PMS symptoms by increasing tissue swelling, salt/water retention, sympathetic (“fight or flight”) nervous system activation, and more. Insufficient opposing progesterone fails to keep it in check, leading to intense monthly suffering.

Don’t tolerate intense monthly misery thinking you just have “bad PMS.” Solving root causes improves your quality of life AND natural conception success.

Clue #6: Spotting Between Menstrual Cycles 

Occasional and limited spotting when you first bleed every month can be normal. But mid-cycle spotting when ovulation should occur may signal issues like hormone imbalance or ovulation dysfunction. 

It could also be rooted in something as simple as an infection or medication side effect.

Getting to the bottom of surprising bleeding warrants a work-up from your healthcare provider.


Your period provides vital clues to your reproductive health. 

Don’t ignore or dismiss frustrating patterns cycle after cycle, assuming annoyance equals normal.

Get to the root cause! 

Then, resolve to support your whole cycle for improved fertility outcomes.

If you would like our support to walk through the process step by step, we are here for you! Watch our free, on-demand masterclass here and take the action step to apply to work with us. We’ve helped countless couples like you succeed in optimizing their fertility, even when they are starting a family a little later in life.


  1. Solomon CG. The epidemiology of polycystic ovary syndrome. Prevalence and associated disease risks. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 1999 Jun;28(2):247-63. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8529(05)70069-4. PMID: 10352918.
  2. Chuong CJ, Coulam CB, Kao PC, Bergstralh EJ, Go VL. Neuropeptide levels in premenstrual syndrome. Fertil Steril. 1985 Dec;44(6):760-5. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)49034-5. PMID: 2934273.