What causes an irregular menstrual cycle?
- Stress or emotional traumas
- Weight gain or loss
- Changes in liver function
- Nutritional dietary deficiencies
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)
- Hormonal imbalances or functional disturbances of the reproductive organs
- Recent use of the oral contraceptive pill or other contraceptives
Vitex and preconception:
Many times females have difficulty conceiving due to the fact that their hormones just aren't in sync with their ovulation times. Consider beginning a diary which charts your days of ovulation, premenstrual symtoms, temperature, the first day of your period and mucus discharge, as this can give clues as to what is happening with your cycle and when you are ovulating.
The first day of your period is considered day one of your cycle. It is around day 14 - 16 that you would expect to ovulate (release an egg from your ovary) and hence would have the best chance of falling pregnant, however as the actual day of ovulation is difficult to judge, you should be aware that you might fall pregnant 3 - 4 days either side of ovulation. This is of course if you are having a regular 28 - 29 day cycle. One of the best ways to judge that you are ovulating is the amount and type of vaginal mucous produced. Fertile mucous is like uncooked egg white - clear, slippery and stretchy. Another way to tell is by taking your temperature every day with a fertility thermometer. At ovulation your temperature will increase by 1/2 a degree. If you buy a fertility thermometer it is likely to come with all the information you need to understand how to do this. I suggest you may like to do some reading so that you understand your menstrual cycle and fertility better. A great book is Natural Fertility by Francesca Naish.
How does Vitex help to improve irregular periods and premenstrual symptoms?
Vitex Agnus Castus is used to normalise female reproductive issues as it helps to modulate the sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone ratio specifically in the "luteal phase" of your cycle (ovulation). Vitex may also help to regulate and sustain a pregnancy during implantation of a fertilised ovum. Vitex may assist in correcting Luteal hormones (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH), estrogen and progesterone and reduce symptoms of premenstrual tension. It is important to remember that any reproductive irregularities while taking these supplements will take at least a couple of months (3-6) to begin to change.