Is My Period Normal?


I am 35, my husband is 36, we are both in good health. We’ve been ttc for 15 months. I had a complete work up a few months back and my husband had a count done. Everything seems to be fine. My doctor suggested clomid but has decided to refer me to a gyn. My cycle can be anywhere from 26 to 35 days so this has made timing a bit tricky. I chart and have used ovulation predictor kits but still no luck. My concern is my period starts out as slightly pink and then over the course of the next three days, it gradually gets darker. There usually isn’t any cramping until the 3rd or 4th day which is the heaviest and then it tapers off in another day or so. Is this normal? My doctor thinks that if we can regulate my cycle we should be successful but I have my doubts. After all these months of trying I am worried about wasting more time and maybe there is something else that we should be looking for.


Dear Jen,

You are describing a pattern of premenstrual spotting: three or more days of light bleeding or spotting before the start of the menstrual flow. Frequently it is brown in color. This is a biological marker for low progesterone levels in the post-ovulatory phase of the cycle. After a woman ovulates the follicle that released the egg becomes a new structure on the ovary called the corpus luteum. The corpus lutuem produces the dominant post ovulatory hormone, progesterone. Progesterone prepares the uterine lining for implantation of a new baby if the couple conceives at the time of ovulation. This new human being makes his or her way through the fallopian tube to the uterus over a period of six to nine days. When the uterine lining is properly prepared, it will be thickened and able to provide the nutritious fluids necessary for the baby to nestle into the lining of the uterus, implantation, and provide the support system necessary for this new baby’s life. If the corpus luteum is inadequate and/or the progesterone levels are low the couple will have difficulty conceiving, or a history of miscarriage. Often women with this problem also experience premenstrual syndrome, PMS, for greater than three days before the start of their period.

Your fertility monitor measures the increasing levels of leuteinizing hormone which triggers the release of the egg from the ovary, ovulation. Unless a doctor is monitoring the growth of the predominant follicle on a day to day basis with the use of ultrasound during the pre-ovulatory phase of the cycle, and is doing daily lab work to measure all the fertility hormones, you really don’t know if you had a mature, healthy follicle that released a healthy egg. An ovulatory defect may be responsible for low progesterone levels as well as other causes of infertility. Clomid alone will not correct an ovulatory defect or a low progesterone level.

You may want to schedule an appointment with a Creighton Model Medical Consultant, who is familiar with the evaluation and treatment of this problem. Check this web site for Physician in your area. I would also recommend finding a Creighton Model Practitioner who can provide instruction in this system of Fertility Care. Often times observing and charting your cycles using the Creighton Model System will reveal other biological markers associated with difficulty achieving pregnancy or infertility. Good Luck to you and your husband in starting your family. God Bless.

Pat Poindexter

Answered By:

Pat Poindexter RN, CFCP, FCE
Pat Poindexter, RN, taught the Creighton Model of FertilityCare in the Los Angeles region, now retired

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