When does menstruation return to normal after delivery?

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There are various physical and hormonal changes that reestablish a woman’s body after the transformation that a pregnancy implies. In this article, we explain when menstruation returns to normal after childbirth.

A woman’s life is full of changes, especially during pregnancy. After delivery, your body gradually normalizes. However, there is some concern among mothers about the time of the first menstruation after childbirth.

Postpartum

Postpartum is the transitional stage in which a woman’s body recovers its normal shape and functions step by step after the hormonal and physiological changes that pregnancy produces.

Precisely at this stage, the production of hormones decreases due to the absence of the placenta to secrete breast milk. This process affects ovulation.

Lactation and ovulation

After childbirth, the woman’s body begins to produce large amounts of prolactin, the hormone that is responsible for producing breast milk. Also, oxytocin is produced, another hormone that allows milk to flow during the baby’s suck.

However, prolactin is produced by the pituitary gland, a gland that also paralyzes or unbalances ovarian activity.

While the mother is breastfeeding the baby, her body produces prolactin and stops making the substances with which it makes eggs.

Therefore, the bleeding process corresponding to menstruation does not occur after delivery. The interaction of mother and baby will also change little by little.

This depends on the frequency of milk intake and the inclusion of other foods in the child’s diet. As this happens, the menstrual cycles restart and the woman returns to fertility.

Regularization times

Menstruation after childbirth can take a few months depending mainly on the time of breastfeeding. Because each woman’s body is different, there is no set period of time to predict that menstruation will return. 

Next, we present an approximate range on the dates on which menstruation after delivery could occur.

Artificial lactation

There are many reasons why some women decide to feed their little one with formula milk, among them is the process of inflammation of the breast(puerperal mastitis), cracks in the nipple, inverted nipples, etc. In fact, it may also be due to the mother’s work hours. In this case, the time for the pituitary to stop producing prolactin ranges from 2 to 3 months. As the woman’s body detects that milk production is no longer required, the hormones that stimulate the ovary(FSH and LH) begin to be produced.

Consequently, menstruation after pregnancy will be restored soon. However, it is recommended to visit the doctor in case it takes more than three months.

Natural lactation

Most women choose to feed their babies naturally due to its many advantages, both for the mother and the little one. In this case, prolactin remains elevated for months.

As a result, menstruation after childbirth can occur in the next 8 and 10 months. However, it is only an estimated time that will depend on each woman.

Lochia and menstruation, it’s not the same

It is important to mention that, after childbirth, the woman suffers from bleeding called lochia. Over a period of approximately 15 days, the woman’s body begins to recover and the uterus recovers its initial size.

For this, the remains of the placenta, mucosa, among other elements have to be detached from the uterus. However, since the placenta is attached by blood vessels, bleeding occurs.

Initially, the color of the flow is a strong red hue. Over time, the pigmentation decreases until it reaches a very light tone. Therefore, the natural mechanism of lochia should not be confused with the presence of menstruation after delivery.

Changes in menstruation after delivery

Ovulation occurs about 13 to 14 days before menstruation. Although it is strange, a woman can have periods in which there is ovulation, but not menstruation and vice versa.

However, it is difficult to know when each case occurs and to determine with certainty the return of fertility. For this reason, it is important to consider various family planning methods, especially if you do not intend to conceive another child so soon.

Conclusions

The first months after childbirth is a complex stage for women. Various physical and hormonal changes occur to reestablish the organism that was transformed during pregnancy and childbirth.

Although it is not known precisely when the menstruation will return after childbirth, a woman should not be overconfident when having sex with her partner. If you want to know more about the subject or if this is your case, we recommend consulting with a specialist so that they can help you in a personalized way.

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