Irregular Periods after Pregnancy: Reasons and Diagnosis

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In this article:

How Long does it Take to Get Periods After Giving Birth?
Do Periods Change after Pregnancy?
How do I Know When I am Ovulating if My Periods Are Irregular?
Is it Normal to have 2 Periods in a Month after Pregnancy?
Is Irregular Period Normal after Birth?
Reasons Behind Irregular Menstrual Cycle after Pregnancy
Diagnosis of Irregular Periods
Tips to Deal With Irregular Periods

All You Need to Know About Irregular Periods after Pregnancy

irregular periods after pregnancy

How Long does it Take to Get Periods After Giving Birth?

It is hard to about the periods when will start again, as everyone is different. The breastfeeding status is the biggest factor affecting the period because of prolactin, the hormone responsible for breast milk production and suppressing ovulation.

If the baby is fully breastfed without any bottle feeding, the periods may not start again until one stops breastfeeding altogether or stops night-time breastfeeding.

This is because the hormone that causes the body to make breast milk can stop the body from making the hormones that control the periods.

Do Periods Change after Pregnancy?

Yes, periods change after pregnancy, which varies from woman to woman.

How do I Know When I am Ovulating if My Periods Are Irregular?

It is possible to ovulate without later bleeding like a period. This often occurs because of previous uterine scarring or certain hormonal medications. It is also possible to have menstrual-like bleeding without ovulation. This generally happens when the uterine lining becomes so thick it becomes unstable and naturally sloughs off.

The uterine lining can become thick without ovulation if the hormone estrogen, which is produced prior to ovulation continues to be secreted unopposed by the other female hormone, progesterone which is produced after ovulation.

Is it Normal to have 2 Periods in a Month after Pregnancy?

Yes, it can be normal for some women. But to get the exact cause and avoid any complications consult the doctor.

Is Irregular Period Normal after Birth?

Yes, it is normal for a woman to experience changes in the frequency and the flow of the monthly period post-delivery.

Reasons Behind Irregular Menstrual Cycle after Pregnancy

The Weight of the Mother

Women tend to gain weight during pregnancy and continue to be on the higher side for a few months after delivery whereas other women lose weight drastically due to lack of proper diet and sleep. In both these cases, the weight directly impacts the hormonal levels in the body. The weight of the mother is a significant parameter in deciding the time frame within which she switches back to normal menstrual routine.

Breastfeeding

Mothers who breastfeed the child tend to ovulate later after delivery. The hormone responsible for inducing the secretion of milk from the mammary glands which is prolactin also suppresses the process of ovulation. Therefore, as long as a mother is breastfeeding the baby, the hormone remains actively in circulation and prevents the ovulation process. Only successful ovulation culminates in menstruation and therefore the periods resume later than usual.

Altered Hormone Levels

An expecting mother’s body starts altering the levels of hormones, in anticipation of the pregnancy. These hormones prepare the mother for childbearing, birthing and breastfeeding. Unfortunately, the hormone levels do not spring back to normalcy soon after delivery. Factors such as diet, exercise, breastfeeding, sex, and weight decide the pace at which it shifts to the normal levels. In the bargain, the menstrual cycles become erratic and unpredictable for a few months, until the hormones settle down.

Ovulation

Ovulation is a process of formation of the egg. An unfertilized egg gets thrown out during the menstrual bleeding. Before pregnancy, this ovulation happens. But due to hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy, the frequency of the ovulation reduces drastically, which leads to irregular periods.

Diagnosis of Irregular Periods

The diagnosis of irregular periods can be tricky as many women tend to confuse the postpartum bleeding with the first period after delivery. The first period occurs after a typical gap of a few months from the postpartum bleeding. An irregular cycle following the first period is quite common and this can last for about four to five months. An unsettled menstrual cycle beyond this period should be taken up with the doctor to evaluate the cause of the irregularity.

Tips to Deal With Irregular Periods

Exercise

It is undoubtedly a daunting task to start an exercise routine with a new baby at home. Exercise regularly is very important to bring the body back to its pre-pregnancy shape. Exercising helps a great deal in restoring the hormonal balance in the body. It also helps in maintaining the weight which is a significant factor determining the periods.

Healthy Diet

Having a healthy and nutritious diet post-delivery is vital in restoring and replenishing the nutrients lost during pregnancy and childbirth. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts provide the much-needed micronutrients for repair and restoration of the body. They indirectly enhance the process of settling down after childbirth by providing the right atmosphere for correcting the hormonal imbalances.

Remaining Stress-Free

Stress affects the body and mind. New mothers are subjected to a lot of stress due to lack of sleep, new responsibilities and sometimes, an overwhelming feeling triggered by the new role of motherhood. This directly affects the hormone levels leading to delay in settling back to normalcy. The best way to facilitate the body’s healing process is to remain stress-free and keep worries at bay, by way of taking help from others and talking to others about the anxieties.

Avoid Contraceptives

Contraceptives interfere with the ovulation cycle and further delay the process of getting back the normal menstrual cycle. Talk to the doctor about other safe birth control options that do not affect the hormonal balance in the body.

Conclusion

Irregular periods are frustrating for a new mother but it is common and normal. Get the cause and proper diagnosis by the doctor.

References

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/when-will-my-periods-start-again-after-pregnancy/

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