When Does Your Menstrual Cycle Normalize after Childbirth?

February 10, 2018
After giving birth, mothers’ bodies begin the process of recovery, during which their menstrual cycle returns to normal.
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In simple terms, the body waits a while before continuing with its normal reproductive course. During this time, a new ovum is formed and breaks. With that, the menstrual cycle will have begun again.

This recovery period is the lapse in normal monthly menstruation. However, while you may have bleeding that lasts a few weeks, it is not considered menstruation. It can occur as a result of occasional internal wounds from giving birth.

If this is not followed immediately by a new reproductive cycle, you could be experiencing amenorrhea. The duration can vary depending on the individual and also her decision to breastfeed or bottle feed formula to her baby.

Factors that influence postpartum menstruation

The uterus requires approximately three weeks to return to a normal position and size. However, every mother is different, so that time frame is not exact.

Little by little, the reproductive system recovers. Therefore, the return of a normal period can be slow.

As time passes after giving birth, mothers need space to recover their abdominal tone and for the vulva and vagina to close. This is accompanied by a new element: breastfeeding.

In this case, a breastfeeding mother may wait longer for her menstrual cycle to return to normal.

Breastfeeding mothers

Mothers that decide to breastfeed can experience postpartum amenorrhea for up to four months after giving birth due to hormonal changes.

In other words, a breastfeeding mother can be affected by prolactin, a hormone that stimulated the production of breast milk.

This hormone produced by the pituitary gland causes ovarian production to temporarily stop. That’s why the time it takes for a postpartum period to occur is affected by breastfeeding.

The timeline varies for each woman. There are some cases where ovulation and the postpartum period happen while the mother is still breastfeeding.

Mothers who use formula

The main cause of menstrual cycle irregularities after giving birth is due to the production of prolactin. That’s why when using formula rather than breastfeeding, the time before your postpartum period begins will be shorter.

In this case, the estimated time without a period is more precise. A mother can begin her period again after just ten weeks. If you are using exclusively formula and your period has not started again after ten weeks, consult your doctor.

When Does Your Menstrual Cycle Normalize after Childbirth?

Other factors

Although the method of feeding your baby is the main factor, there are other factors that can affect the return of your postpartum period. For example, when a first-time mom has a vaginal birth, the cycle can take longer to return.

The amount of blood lost during birth can also prolong menstrual normalization. There may also be other genetic predisposition factors that affect the situation.

Does your menstrual cycle really normalize?

Menstruation finally normalizes after the first postpartum period occurs. But sometimes there can be exceptions, like if there is no ovum.

Ovulatory periods can occur frequently, that’s why it is recommended to use protection during sexual activity. Having a postpartum period does not mean your ovulatory cycle has returned to normal.

It is also likely that the menstrual discomforts you are accustomed to will be less than what you experienced before giving birth.

The most important thing in these cases is to be well informed. Talk with a doctor, a gynecologist or other mothers to resolve possible doubts.

You should also share questions and concerns with your partner, to avoid any misunderstanding.