ASK AN OBGYN: Will My Irregular Periods Prevent Me From Getting Pregnant?

Dear SuzyKnew, 

I am a 27 year old woman and I’ve been trying to get pregnant for some time now, but it’s all in vain. I can miss my periods for  six months or more.  Please, do you have any advice?  

Thank you,



Dear Stellah,

I’m so glad you wrote.  You sound concerned about what’s going on with your body.   The best way (and the only way) to know what’s going on in there is to see a doctor or nurse-practitioner for a physical exam.  Make an appointment today to be seen as soon as possible.

If you are not under the care of someone, there are several places you can go that offer low cost exams.   Planned Parenthood has been my go-to for many years.  Here is their website-  to locate a clinic near you.   International Planned Parenthood Federation supports clinics around the world.  This website has an interactive map of clinics that offer women’s heath services-  Health department clinics provide women’s health exams in the US and in countries around the world.  Community health Centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers in the US also offer high quality services on a sliding fee scale.

Here is what to expect when you see the doctor of nurse:

She will ask you many detailed questions about your health history, menstrual cycle, as well as past and current sexual and reproductive history.  She will also ask you about all medications you are taking (prescribed by a doctor, bought at a pharmacy and herbals) and any treatments and surgeries you have had.

She will also ask about your family history.  Before your visit, speak to your female relatives (mother, sisters, aunts) and ask if they have had any problems missing periods or if they have ever seen a doctor with the same symptoms you are experiencing.

She will give you a physical exam in order to detect anything out of the ordinary.   She will give you a breast and pelvic exam.  In the pelvic exam, she will take a small sample of your cervical tissue to test for cervical cancer.  She will feel the position of your uterus and check the size and position of your ovaries.   She may conduct additional tests to look at your general health and nutritional status.   She will also offer you an HIV test, and give vaccinations to protect you from many diseases.

After your visit:

This is very important, my dear.   Make sure you return to the doctor’s office for the results of your tests.  If you are scared, bring a friend or sister with you for support and to have someone write down what the doctor says while you are talking.  The doctor’s office can be overwhelming and a lot of important stuff is happening at a fast pace.  I always bring someone with me if I can.  Another way to remember everything is to bring a notebook and pen.  You can ask the doctor or nurse to write down information in your book so you can remember or share with others.

Finally, If you are worried about the cost of all this, tell your doctor or nurse.   I have directed you to clinics that offer discounted rates.   They will work with you so that cost is not a barrier to care.

Take good care.

S. Brockman, RN, MPh.


ASK AN OBGYN is not meant to be a substitute for your doctor or health care provider. Contact your provider with any health issues you may have.