I am married a year, and prior to my marriage had an average cycle of 28 days, sometimes going up to 32 days. Now, I fluctuate between 25-29 days, usually 26 days. I eat healthy, drink water, take vitamin C, and am not experiencing any stress. What can I do to go back to my longer cycles? I am pretty sure that I ovulate before the mikvah because I feel it, and because I track my cervical mucus. I usually get the hefsek on day 5 or 6. Any ideas?
Mazal tov on your recent marriage!
It is fairly common for a woman’s cycle length to vary or fluctuate at different points of her life. However, when it interferes with fertility, it is important to address the situation.
Your first step is to ensure that you reach the mikveh as early as possible. Sometimes, a bath or (doctor permitting) douche can help a woman get a hefsek taharah sooner. The hefsek taharah need not be completely clear. Many shades of brown are acceptable. Be sure to bring any questionable shades to a local halachic authority for evaluation, explaining your concerns about getting to mikveh before ovulation.
Medically speaking, cervical mucus is one important indicator of ovulation timing. To confirm that you are actually ovulating prior to mikveh, we recommend also using an ovulation test kits, which should be available over the counter at the pharmacy.
If you confirm that you are consistently ovulating before mikveh, we recommend consulting with your physician to discuss medical options for delaying ovulation. Please see our article on Ovulating Before Immersion for more information.
If you are not consistently ovulating before mikveh, or if you are able to immerse on the day you ovulate or on the following day, you may wish to try other options before seeking medical treatment.
In either case – whether you are consistently ovulating before mikveh or only sometimes – a visit to your doctor may be worthwhile, either to discuss options for delaying ovulation, or to rule out any other fertility issue preventing conception.
In general, a fertility workup is in order only after a year of trying to conceive. However, in cases where there are likely other issues involved (such as short cycles, and possibly ovulating before mikveh), an earlier checkup is worthwhile.
Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions. You may also find it helpful to schedule a consultation with a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor. (This is a free service. Details here.)
This response was updated 25 October, 2020.
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