In the article dedicated to the relationship between pregnancy and menstruation , we have explored the biological significance of these small haemorrhages, explaining the reason why the menstrual flow disappears during pregnancy and then reappears a few weeks or months after delivery.
The reappearance of menstruation during or after breastfeeding signals the resumption of ovulation and fertility.
The occurrence of a new menstruation after a pregnancy is called delivery head , and should not be confused with the so-called lochia , blood loss combined with pregnancy residues that occur during the puerperium . In fact, after giving birth, the bleeding will continue for a few more days, decreasing in quantity and becoming increasingly clear, until it normally runs out within a couple of weeks.
Can The Resumption Of Menstruation Occur During Breastfeeding?
In breastfeeding women, the resumption of menstruation can be delayed even by a few months, due to the hormonal antagonism against estrogen , exerted by prolactin , the lactation hormone .
Breastfeeding increases both the probability of postponing the return to menstruation and the possibility of anovulatory delivery (in practice, the first menstruation appears without ovulation, therefore the possibility of becoming pregnant again) .
As a rule, in women who breastfeed regularly, the earlier the return of menstruation will be and the more numerous the anovulatory cycles will be.
On average, in breastfeeding women, menstruation reappears at the end of breastfeeding (5-6 months after delivery). If, on the other hand, the woman does not breastfeed, the head’s blood loss can occur after about 6-8 weeks from the birth of the baby.
During breastfeeding, ovulation continues to be suspended, provided that the lactation hormones are secreted on a regular basis, therefore that the newborn is exclusively breastfed , both day and night, at regular intervals and less than four hours .
Can I Get Pregnant From Having Sex While Breastfeeding If My Period Hasn’T Returned Yet?
After giving birth, there is no way to predict with certainty when a woman will become fertile again; for this reason it is not appropriate to rely too much on this natural mechanism as a form of contraception during breastfeeding ; its effectiveness in this sense, even if not excellent, is still good, but only if breastfeeding is regular and constant. Among other things, the resumption of ovulation and the consequent menstruation during breastfeeding does not necessarily mean a high probability that the woman will become pregnant; in fact, lactation hormones can induce the development of deficient oocytes and an inadequate luteal phase , with consequent low estrogen and progesterone levels, which translates into a natural obstacle to the establishment of a new pregnancy.
Given that – although difficult – it is possible to get pregnant even before the appearance of the foreman, the use of a condom or diaphragm is recommended as a contraceptive method during breastfeeding . If the delivery took place vaginally , the spiral can be inserted as soon as the uterus returns to its original size, while in the case of a cesarean it is necessary to wait six months to prevent the device from remaining trapped in the internal scar of the incision. Estroprogestin oral contraceptivesthey cannot be taken during breastfeeding, as estrogen could inhibit milk production ; instead, it is possible to take the progestogen-only pill, which is harmless to the child and quite effective.
Questions And Answers
What Is The Normal First Menstrual Flow When Breastfeeding?
The foreman may be a little heavier than usual menstrual flow.
The Resumption Of Menstrual Cycles After Childbirth Is Quite Irregular, Is This Normal?
Often, menstrual cycles can be irregular for a few months and as anticipated not all are ovulating.
If Menstruation After Childbirth Is Slow In Coming, Should I Be Worried?
If your period does not appear within six months of the date of delivery, it is good to report it to your gynecologist or doctor. In some cases – fortunately very rare in industrialized countries – severe bleeding and shock connected with childbirth can damage the pituitary ( Sheehan’s syndrome ).
If My Periods Reappear While I’M Breastfeeding, Can I Continue To Breastfeed?
The reappearance of menstruation during breastfeeding should NOT cause the breastfeeding to be suspended, although in this period the milk may take on a slightly different taste, which may not be appreciated by the baby; moreover, it is possible to observe a decrease in the amount of milk, and very often an increase in gastro-intestinal disorders with variations in the consistency of the faeces and evacuation . Sometimes there are also skin irritations and other ailments that push mother and child to abandon breastfeeding. In any case, during the first menstruation, breastfeeding should not be suspended, even when the newborn feeds less willingly, is irritable and evacuates more often and less consistently.