Your body goes through so many physical changes during pregnancy that you may not pay much attention to the break you get from your monthly periods.
But what happens afterwards? Will there be any change to my periods after pregnancy? Will there be any new challenges? Could your cramps become worse?
The answer to this is – It could go either way.
Women frequently complain of changes in their periods after having a baby. Women who are not breastfeeding, there are three things that are expected to happen with the menstrual period — periods will return to normal, periods get worse or periods get better.
You are not expected to have a period while you are breastfeeding, at least not for a few months.
To produce breast milk, the brain produces higher levels of prolactin hormone. This typically means you will not ovulate (your ovaries will not release eggs). So you most likely will not have periods.
Normal periods are standard after pregnancy, but if you decide not to breastfeed or you stop, you will resume normal periods after having a baby. If your period is normal, it happens every 21 to 35 days. Bleeding lasts from 2-7 days.
How does the pregnancy and childbirth effect future periods?
As said before, things can go either way. Some women experience heavier, painful and longer periods after delivery a baby. These changes may result into a larger uterine cavity causing more endometrium (mucous lining the uterus) to shed.
For some women, though, their periods improve. This may happen after pregnancy and childbirth have stretched the uterus and dilated the cervix. This alone can improve future periods.
Why lighter, easier periods are not always good news?
Some women may have light periods or no periods due to two uncommon complications after pregnancy:
- Asherman’s syndrome. This is due to the scar tissue in the lining of the uterus. Doctors may perform a D&C (dilatation and curettage)after a miscarriage or delivery.
- Sheehan’s syndrome. This happens when severe blood loss or low blood pressure damages the pituitary gland. This disturbs the normal ovary function and period stops. Hormone therapy is a common treatment for Sheehan’s syndrome.
You should consult your gynaecologist if you find any significant changes to your periods after pregnancy.