70 day cycle— is this normal?


I am 24, 5’6″ and 136 lbs. I have had irregular cycles ever since I got off of birth control 9 months ago. I started charting my cycle at that time, but have given up after four charts of 40 – 60 day cycles and irregular temperature patterns that I could not decipher. My current cycle is going on 70+ days and I have had a pregnancy test that came back negative. Even when I have had a period, it would be about 2 to 3 days without an actual “flow”- just the brown mucus. I have had three strong mucus patches and changes in my basal body temperature this cycle (this is going on a very sporadic attempt to gauge when I am ovulating) indicating that there should be some kind of ovulation- but no shedding. I went to my internist for a full work up and everything came back fine. I am afraid to go to a gynecologist because he or she will want to put me back on birth control, which is something I don’t want to do. Is this going to affect conception attempts in the future? Should I be worried, or is this just going to be normal for me? Is this hurting my body in any way?~ besides the stress I have for not knowing what is wrong with me.  Thank you.


Last Updated: December 2, 2013
Please do not give up on charting your cycle— get help! It is very frustrating to try and chart your cycles without any guidance or instruction—- all the more difficult when they are irregular, as yours have been since discontinuing birth control.

You are understandably frustrated and confused about where to turn, since your tests were normal, but your experience tells you otherwise. I would speculate the tests were inadequate, or performed at the incorrect times, for identifying your problem. Your experience with OB/Gyns also has led you to believe their only remedy for your irregular cycles will be birth control pills. Sadly, you are probably right. But there are doctors out there who would recognize the abnormality, and work with you on exploring the cause, and restoring your body to normal function, and preserving rather than suppressing your fertility. We have a list of such doctors in California on our website.

My suggestion to you is to consult a professional who can assist you in creating a record of what your cycles are doing. Such professionals are listed on our website as well. If one is not available in your area, some do offer long distance instruction, and you can call our office for more information at 1-877-33-CANFP.

A very specific record of your cycles will provide much insight into what is going on, and the tool a good doctor will need to evaluate further with tests and treatment timed according to YOUR cycle. What you are experiencing—lack of normal periods, only a brown discharge every other month–is not normal. It would be wise to investigate further, for the sake of your health and fertility. Consult our website directory for a list of professionals who have the knowledge, and desire, to help you do just that.

Sheila St. John

Answered By:

Sheila St. John
Sheila St. John is the Executive Director of the California Association of Natural Family Planning, coordinating the non-profit’s education and advocacy efforts throughout the state. Initially attracted to NFP as a healthy, effective method for planning families, drug, device and surgery free, her passion for NFP has grown over the last 42 years as she has journeyed with the over 900 couples she has personally instructed in its use, and been privileged to witness its role in overcoming infertility, women’s health, and the transformation that occurs in lives of men, women, and families, when we embrace God’s design for love and life.

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