Your body goes through so many changes after giving birth. You may find yourself taking a few extra minutes each day to pamper yourself from the inside out. You slowly begin to get back into your regular routine and keep a close eye on how your body shapes and shifts back to normal. Your period will return after a period of time. However, you should be aware of some of the changes ahead.
Roshini Rajapaksa, an MD and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the NYC School of Medicine explains that hormones increase while you are pregnant, but also after giving birth as well. These hormonal shifts can have lasting effects after giving birth and after nursing. These hormonal shifts can change many things – one being your period.
Some women experience longer, more painful periods after giving birth. It is beneficial to keep a journal of how you feel so when you do experience changes, you have a precise account of what changed or what stayed the same. This can be helpful to share with your doctor.
While breastfeeding, most women will not experience their period for a few months.
Women who are not breastfeeding will usually return to a ‘regular’ period during their next scheduled cycle, which can occur anywhere between 4-8 weeks after giving birth.
Some women experience almost no changes in their cycle while others may experience intense mood changes, cramps, or overall pattern shifts.
What structural effects can change?
- Structural Defects. Your uterus shifts, shapes, and expands while you are pregnant. Once you have given birth and your body begins the recovery process, your uterus starts to reduce back to its original size. If you had minimal invasive surgery, you may also experience polyps and submucosal fibroids. But don’t worry – your doctor will notice these changes.
- Adenomyosis. This condition can be managed with the help of your doctor. It requires minimally invasive surgery or hormone therapy.
- Overactive or Underactive Thyroid Disorder.
Can you get pregnant after giving birth?
The short answer is ‘yes’. You should consult your healthcare provider regarding contraception. Every woman is different. After birth, you may be more fertile and your body is raging with hormones that certainly won’t stop sperm from fertilizing an egg.
There is good news!
Returning to your regular period after pregnancy is common. It’s a sign that your body is functioning as it should and ready to supply you with a healthy dose of your regularly scheduled hormones. Even so, you should be conscious of the changes you are experiencing and alert your doctor if you experience bleeding that requires you to change a pad or tampon every hour. Otherwise, enjoy the ride as your body continues to change.