Do you experience irregular periods? The Béa Treatment can help. Read on to find out more about the intracervical insemination (ICI) treatment and improving your chances when trying to conceive. 

Written by Sandy Christiansen, MSc
Lead Fertility Coach & Embryologist

In this article:

Section 1: Does the Béa Treatment work with irregular periods?
Section 2: What are irregular periods?

Does the Béa Treatment work with Irregular Periods?

Yes - it does! The Béa Treatment could be a good treatment option for irregular periods. It helps plan the timing and frequency of the inseminations for the best chances of getting pregnant. The Béa Applicator places our custom cervical cap against the cervix, holding semen in place for up to one hour. It increases the exposure to the cervical mucus, minimises the contact of semen in the vagina (where the pH can reduce sperm quality) and reduces semen backflow.

Reasons why people try ICI with Irregular periods

  • Right here, right now

    Have you been told to "keep trying"? Not with us. Instant access to fertility treatment without being on a waitlist.
  • Can be used alongside medication

    The Béa Treatment is suitable if you're taking medication to help regulate your menstrual cycle.

  • Additional support

    We know it can be tricky trying to conceive with irregular periods. We're here to help.

What are irregular periods?

Irregular periods or irregular cycles are when the length of your menstrual cycle (the gap between your periods starting) keeps changing, meaning they could be coming early or late. This is normal when you’re going through puberty, but once the menstrual cycle is more established it is thought to be irregular if:

  • A cycle is shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days
  • You have fewer than 8 cycles per year
  • You have a cycle longer than 90 days

There are a number of causes of irregular periods including lifestyle changes, diet changes and any medication you may be taking. We've summarised this below:

1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects how the ovaries work and disrupts hormonal balance in the body. This can cause absent or reduced periods, and absent or reduced ovulation.

2. Extreme weight loss or weight gain 

Hormone levels are affected by your weight and the amount of body fat you have. Extreme weight loss can reduce your reproductive hormone production and cause your cycles to become irregular or stop altogether. Extreme weight gain can disrupt your body's oestrogen production, which can make cycles longer and periods can be longer and heavier.

3. Excessive stress 

The stress hormone cortisol has an impact on your reproductive hormone production. Excessive levels of cortisol could suppress the normal levels of reproductive hormones, and potentially cause your cycles to become irregular and reduce ovulation.

4. Excessive exercise 

Exercise is great for your health, but intense and excessive exercise can deplete your body of energy. When your body doesn't have enough energy - it can shut down systems that are considered non-essential, like reproduction.

5. Other medical conditions 

Certain medical conditions can have an impact on reproductive hormones, like thyroid conditions. If the thyroid is underactive, it can interfere with ovulation, causing irregular cycles. Read more about Hypothyroidism here.

6. Sexually transmitted infections 

STIs could cause the characteristics of your period to change. Infections like chlamydia or human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause abnormal discharge or spotting in between periods, which can make your cycles feel irregular. The Béa Treatment is not suitable if you have an active STI. It's recommended to complete any treatment prescribed for an active STI before trying to conceive.

How do you treat irregular periods?

Since irregular cycles can be caused by a range of different factors, there is no one size fits all sadly when it comes to treatment. Your GP can perform an assessment and arrange for any tests that might be recommended in order to help determine the cause of your irregular cycles. Possible treatments might include lifestyle changes, medication to help regulate your cycle or medication to induce ovulation.

1. Monitor your cycle

A key question here is, am I ovulating? It is important to get an idea of whether you are ovulating and if you are ovulating at regular intervals. Use ovulation tests to help determine when you're ovulating. In general, you should start ovulation testing 17 days before your next period is due and continue taking them until you have a positive reading. With irregular periods, it can be difficult to gauge when to start ovulation testing. Check the shortest cycle you've had in the past 6 months and base your testing on that cycle length! 

2. Lifestyle changes

In some cases, making lifestyle changes can help improve ovulation and get your menstrual cycles back on track. Changes to your diet and including exercise into your daily routine can help improve metabolism, balance hormones and reduce any inflammation that might be present. This could mean increasing your intake of fibre, protein and healthy fats, while decreasing ultra-processed foods, sugars and fats.

3. Medication

Medication like metformin may be offered to help lower insulin and blood sugar levels if you've been diagnosed with PCOS. This in turn can help regulate the menstrual cycle and restore ovulation. Other types of medication may include ovulation induction or treatments for an underlying disorder causing your menstrual irregularities, like a thyroid condition, inflammation or an infection.

What treatment option is best?

You will be able to discuss the different treatment options with your doctor who will help outline the risks and benefits of each option. It's important to be open with your doctor about any plans to conceive now or in the future, so the best treatment type can be prescribed for you.

Irregular periods and trying to conceive

As well as not knowing when to expect your next period (which can surprise you at the most inconvenient time when you don't have a pad or tampon handy), it can sometimes make trying to conceive more difficult. Irregular periods may mean you might not be ovulating regularly. 

How can you improve your chances of conceiving?

There are lots of steps that you can take to improve your chances of conceiving, here are our top 5 tips:

1. Keep a record of your symptoms

Engage with your current health and lifestyle so that you can monitor any symptoms you're experiencing. This will help you to recognise improvements and the positive effects of the lifestyle changes that you make.

2. Build positive lifestyle changes into your daily routine

Think about how you move and what you nourish your body with. You can optimise your lifestyle factors focussing on achieving a balanced and nutritious diet and introducing exercise to reduce your stress response hormones. This will have a significant immediate impact, not to mention benefit your long-term health and wellbeing, improving your chances of conceiving.

3. Get your baseline blood levels checked

Check the levels of hormones, glucose and fats in the body checked via routine blood tests with your GP. Then, work together with your GP to optimise these.

4. Build a relationship with your GP

If you’re not able to detect ovulation during multiple menstrual cycles, then you might need to get help from your GP. This can be difficult if you've previously felt unsupported, but this can be so important when trying to improve your symptoms and optimise your fertility. Having a good relationship can help you discuss potential medications that may help for your own individual hormone profile. This might involve ovulation induction medications like letrozole and clomid. These act by increasing the production of FSH which stimulates follicle growth and ovulation.

5. Try the Béa Treatment

If you know that you're ovulating - the Béa Treatment is a good option for irregular periods. The Béa Applicator places our custom cervical cap against the cervix, holding semen in place for up to one hour.

Speaking to your GP about the Béa ICI Treatment

The Béa Treatment is new on the market – it's possible your GP hasn't heard of it yet. It's an at-home fertility treatment that previously hasn't been accessible or available to purchase online. We know GP appointments are short - so here's the TL:DR version:

The Béa Treatment is the modern take on ICI (intracervical insemination). It's an at-home fertility treatment that's affordable and accessible. It involves placing a cervical cap with semen near the cervix and it has a pregnancy rate of 50% over 6 cycles.