What are Irregular periods?
Irregular periods are one of the common phenomena symptoms of any female.
At a young age, irregular periods are very common, especially in a girl’s first few years of getting her period.
Periods are considered irregular when they do not come in the normal range, mean -periods that occur less than 21 days or more than 35 days.
But irregular or heavy bleeding can lead to iron deficiency due to low blood count, which also leads to low hemoglobin.
Research suggests that after childbirth women’s menstrual cycle is influenced.
Irregular periods after childbirth?
Once a lady has delivered a baby, whether by normal or surgical, she normally has bleeding lasting for a few days to a few weeks.
Up to 6 days after delivery, the bleeding is taken as normal as long as it is not heavy or it is bothering the general life of the mother.
After 6 weeks any bleeding is taken as their menstruation. Dr. Shalinin Varma says (India).
Most women after delivery can bleed for the first few days up to 1 week like a period, but after that, the bleeding comes down gradually.
NOTE: If little spotting or little irregular bleeding can occur until 6 weeks from the time of delivery. so this is related to childbirth, this is not periods.
It doesn’t matter even if your cycles are slightly irregular until 9 months, after your delivery. Dr. Shashikal says (India)
It depends on again what complications you had during delivery.
What causes irregular periods after childbirth?
It is one of the causes of irregular periods in women whether it’s after childbirth, first period, or during pregnancy.
During stress body produce cortisol, and this cortisol may lead to light period or heavy periods, or no periods at all. Dr. Kollikonda says.
By reducing stress, your period gets back on track, so avoid stressful situations, by doing:
- Regular exercise swimming, walking, etc
- plan a trip, spend time in the environment
- Try breathing exercise
Not breast feeding
If the women decide not to breastfeed the baby at all, then it expects that 80% of them have periods within 10 weeks.
And if the woman decides to continue breastfeeding, then the periods can be delayed up to 20 weeks or beyond 1 year.
NOTE: Basically, women who are breastfeeding are more likely to notice irregular periods. Dr. Teena S Thomas says
After birth, lots of hormone changes in women’s bodies including milk production, recover from pregnancy after birth.
If women decided to breastfeed, their hormones support breastfeeding which can cause the body to delay ovulation or ovulate infrequently.
In hormonal imbalance, women may experience:
- periods have not started
- It may be irregular or less bleeding may continue for a long time
If there is any abnormality in the amount of bleeding that is very heavy or it is continuing beyond a week or 10 days, the definitely the gynecologist has to be seen.
Other causes of irregular periods after childbirth
As the periods come back, initially it could be an irregular pattern, there are cases where they go back to the regularity at the earliest too.
There are lots of reason for it which include:
- sleep pattern
If you do not diagnose with any physical issues, then you should work on a healthy lifestyle like reducing weight, regular exercise, and a healthy diet plan.
What about lochia?
Lochia is also related to childbirth and periods.
It is the vaginal discharge for the first time after giving birth, it contains blood, mucus, and uterine tissue mix (2).
It begins with heavy and gradually decrease to a lighter flow until it goes away (3).
Lochia is not a period. It is a sign that the body is still recovering from giving birth, as the uterus sheds the lining that supported the pregnancy.
A study showed that lochia bleeding can last for 24 to 36 days, but it can continue last 3 to 5 weeks, not for a long time.
So when will periods return to normal after childbirth?
Research has shown that normally, in 100 women, about 80% of the women go back to the previous menstruation in about 3 to 4 months’ time.
Most women regain their normal menstruation within a few months post-delivery (4).
Every woman’s cycle is different, but on average their periods return about 45 days after you have your baby. Dr. Tony bushati says.
If you are not breastfeeding your periods can return as early as 3 weeks, but more breastfeeding can delay the period for a few months up to a year.
You need to discuss this with your doctor as well if your cycles don’t come for more than a year after delivery.
Every girl gets their periods on a cycle, and their cycle can take different amounts of time each month.
The regular periods can occur every 21 to 40 days and last 2 to 7 days.
If periods occur less than 21 days or more than 35 days then it consider irregular periods.