Some do not have to wait long, for others the period may return weeks later. It is not always possible to say exactly when your period will actually return after giving birth. It also makes a difference whether you breastfeed or not.
Breastfeeding releases hormones in the female body that prevent ovulation. But this does not mean that a woman cannot get pregnant because of this. When you get your period again after giving birth depends on many different factors.
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When To Get Your Period Back After Giving Birth
After giving birth, in most cases, your period does not come immediately. It can sometimes take weeks to even a year for it to start again. Some even get their periods regularly a few weeks after giving birth, while others get their periods very irregularly after giving birth. They can be weaker, heavier, or hurt less or more. But there is nothing normal about it for the time being. After delivery, it may take some time for the tissue of your uterus to recede.
Your hormone balance also has to return to normal, and this can take time. Ovulation is possible again about three weeks after the birth. Often it then takes another two weeks for your menstrual period to return. Your period may therefore start again about five to six weeks after giving birth. But there are also exceptions. If the bleeding starts again after the birth, it can often be very heavy and also painful. However, this usually subsides again and becomes weaker. Women who have a very heavy and very painful period after childbirth and that repeatedly should inform their gynecologist about it.
Delay Of The Period After Childbirth
After delivery, the wound left by the detachment of the placenta in the uterine wall heals. Therefore, bleeding may occur even after the birth. But this has nothing to do with periods. Postpartum flow, as this bleeding is called, can last about three to six weeks. If the woman had a cesarean section, this wound usually heals faster than with a natural birth.
So, if you get bleeding about four weeks after your C-section, this may be your first period after giving birth. Women who have had several children may have a much longer menstrual flow. This is because, with each child, the uterus needs more time to contract again. In the beginning, lochia is a bright red color, but over time it becomes weaker and changes color to brown, then yellow and white.
Since breastfeeding also changes a woman’s hormonal balance, it can take even longer for nursing mothers to get their first period after giving birth. Breastfeeding releases prolactin in the maternal body. This contributes to milk production and is also responsible for stalling egg maturation. Therefore, breastfeeding mothers often do not have their period and get it back very late.
Periods Do Not Start After Birth: Getting Pregnant Anyway?
If a woman breastfeeds at least four times a day, ovulation stops, but this does not mean that she cannot become pregnant. Therefore, it is advisable for couples to start using contraception again as early as six weeks after giving birth. If you are breastfeeding, it is of course important that your chosen contraceptive method does not stop your milk production. Suitable contraceptive methods, in this case, are the classic condom, the diaphragm, or even the IUD.
All contraceptives that do not release the hormone progestin are suitable as contraception in most cases. They do not affect milk production. It is best to discuss this with your gynecologist and seek advice. Women who are not breastfeeding can start taking the (breastfeeding) pill again after their first period.