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Your Period After Pregnancy

Your Period After Pregnancy

Many women are puzzled or even alarmed by the absence of a period after delivery, or the increase in blood or cramps during menstruation. However, irregular periods are a natural part of pregnancy and delivery, and in most cases they aren't due to any other medical condition.

The bleeding that happens immediately after labor called lochia is not technically a period. This is the uterus clearing out mucus and tissue from the womb. Don't panic when you see a large amount of blood, as this is just the uterine lining. There may even be some small clots in the blood, which is also perfectly normal. However, if you notice larger clots, you should talk to a doctor right away. This bleeding can continue for up to a few months, although it won't always be that heavy. It will soon level off into the amount you could expect from a regular period.

In a lot of cases, women will have a heavier, painful period soon after giving birth. Although the cramps might be uncomfortable, and there is more blood, it's normally just your body getting back into sync after months of not menstruating. It doesn't mean that every period you have in the future will be as painful or heavy, either.

The absence of a period is normal as well, even six months or so after delivery. For some patients, returning to their normal ovulation cycle takes years. Until the hormones in your body return to their pre-pregnancy state, you can expect periods to be much different. If you're worried about an absent period, or are trying to get pregnant again, see your doctor. He or she can prescribe hormonal medications, and your cycle will return.

If you aren't breastfeeding your baby, your period will usually return quite quickly after you give birth. Women who aren't breastfeeding find that they menstruate again around four to ten weeks after delivery. If you are breastfeeding, then your body is releasing a hormone called prolactin, which suppresses your ovaries. Most breastfeeding women get a period after four months or so, although it's common to go without menstruating for six months or longer. Every woman is different some women menstruate every few weeks, months, regularly or not at all during breastfeeding.

It's important to remember that even without a period, you can still get pregnant! Ovulation occurs a few weeks before you actually see a period, so don't think that you can eliminate contraception during this time. Although contraceptive pills aren't recommended, you can use another form of birth control to protect yourself.

Your doctor can help you with any concerns you might have about ovulation. If you're not sure ask! It's better to pay a visit to your doctor than to worry about a heavy or missing period, and your physician can rule out other medical conditions that might be causing the irregularity.


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