You can have irregular cycles when you're stressed or ill, when you're breastfeeding, when you've stopped taking hormonal contraception, or when you're approaching menopause. Sometimes there is an underlying hormonal disorder or other problem that needs medical investigation.
One of the benefits of the Billings Ovulation Method® is that your chart doesn't need to be the same month after month. You just take one day at a time, deciding each day if what you've charted indicates infertility or possible fertility. Then you apply the guidelines, depending on whether you want to achieve or avoid pregnancy.
If you record changes in your chart that you find confusing, simply contact your Billings Ovulation Method® tutor. She will be able to help you work out what's happening. It may be that regularity returns naturally, but in the meantime your tutor can help you use the Billings Ovulation Method® with confidence to manage your fertility.
Everyone reacts differently to different levels of stress. When you experience sudden or severe stress (pleasant or otherwise!) it may interfere with your normal pattern of hormones, and this will be reflected in your chart. Examples of stress are your wedding, travel overseas through different time zones, the death of someone close to you, an accident or illness.
In this example the woman didn't chart for 1 week during family illness. She doesn't assume what might have happened during that time but continues to apply the Early Day Rules until a Peak is recognised.
In this second example, ovulation has been delayed for several weeks. The couple has applied the Early Day Rules until day 46 when a Peak has been recognised and the Peak Rule can be applied.