How Do Birth Control Pills Work
There are dozens of varieties of birth control pills available with a prescription from a healthcare provider. All birth control pills contain varying levels of hormones, which are released into a womans body to prevent pregnancy. The hormones in birth control pills stop ovulation, which prevents the release of an egg and thickens the mucus surrounding the cervix. By stopping the release of an egg, birth control pills usually make your period more predictable, and can affect the flow and side effects associated with your period each month.
No brand of birth control pills protects against sexually transmitted diseases , and thus you should use an appropriate barrier form of birth control to protect yourself against the spread of infections and diseases.
Birth control pills are taken on a daily basis to ensure the consistent release of hormones. Each birth control type and brand comes with different side effects. To know which pill is right for you, it is important to understand how the various kinds of birth control pills are designed to interact with your body.
Whats The Deal With Lochia
About a week after youve given birth, youll likely notice a discharge called lochia. Lochia is typically creamy white to red in colour, but its not to be confused with your actual period. The main difference between lochia and your period is that lochia will be lighter and more watery. It may also have a sweet smell and, unlike your period, lochias flow will increase when you exert yourself.
Sign #: Tender Breasts
A rise in the reproductive hormone, progesterone can be thanked for this breast pain. After ovulation estrogen levels drop and progesterone levels rise. Around day 21 of a typical 28-day cycle progesterone levels should drop off again and with it your breast tenderness should diminish as well. So if you feel tender, sore breasts you might be getting your period sometime in the next week or so!
Sidenote: tender breasts could also be a sign of pregnancy!
Ah good old fashioned PMS. Well, PMS is also caused by fluctuating hormones. In this case the rollercoaster of emotions are the result of the rise and fall of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen peaks around week 2 of a menstrual cycle. From there estrogen takes a dive, preparing your body for menstruation. If you are feeling unexplained irritability it could be a sign that your period will be returning within the next two weeks.
If you are having mood swings there are things you can do to help! Try exercising, nourishing your body with healthy, delicious foods, and avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Caffeine can increase anxiety and irritability, alcohol can act as a depressant, and sugar, unfortunately, is just bad for you.
It is likely that your first postpartum periods are likely to be irregular. Just be prepared to relax and go with the flow
What might you expect from your period postpartum?
As time goes on things should even out!
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How Will My Postpartum Period Be Different
Your period may change a little, a lot, or not at all. You may have longer or shorter ones, a heavier or lighter flow, and even your cycle length can be different, Dr. White says. It’s also possible to have increased or decreased cramping. This is because your uterus grows during pregnancy then it shrinks after delivery . The endometrial liningwhat is shed during a periodhas to remodel itself as it goes through these changes, says Dr. White. This process occurs with each pregnancy, so you may notice changes in your period after each baby.
Your postpartum period may also be heavier if you’d been on hormonal birth control before pregnancysuch as the pill or some IUDssince hormonal contraceptives thin the endometrial lining. “If you have a vaginal delivery, a tampon might sit differently or feel different,” adds Siobhan Dolan, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Medical Center, in the Bronx, New York. Generally, most women don’t need to go up a size in tampons. With time, using a tampon should feel as normal as it did before.
Periods After Ectopic Pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is one in which the fertilised egg implants itself outside the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies are uncommon and may require extensive recovery.
Periods after ectopic pregnancy may occur anywhere between 2-10 weeks. You can expect your first period after ectopic pregnancy to be more painful. However, the symptoms are usually manageable.
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Dealing With Nipple Tenderness
It’s not uncommon to experience sore nipples when you get your period. So, for a few days before your period starts, it may be a little uncomfortable to breastfeed. Here are some tips to help you deal with nipple tenderness.
- Try not to let the pain prevent you from breastfeeding, if possible.
- Continue to put the baby to the breast so you can maintain your milk supply and prevent other breastfeeding problems such as breast engorgement, nipple blebs, plugged milk ducts, and mastitis.
- Avoid using a numbing cream to try to relieve the pain. These products can numb your baby’s mouth and interfere with the let-down of your breast milk.
- Ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to use an over-the-counter pain reliever for the few days it hurts.
- Pump your breast milk, if it’s too painful and you just cannot breastfeed. Pumping will help you keep up your milk supply while you’re waiting for the tenderness to pass. It also allows you to continue to give your baby your breast milk.
Missed Period On Birth Control Pill
Other common questions related to birth control pills are concerns about missed periods. When a woman takes hormonal birth control pills, it is not uncommon to experience a missed or very light period, especially at the beginning of treatment. You are most likely not pregnant if you are consistent in taking your pills and have missed only one or two periods.
However, if you miss periods for more than three months, you should take a pregnancy test and contact your doctor to discuss expectations of your birth control pills and which brand is best for your body.
Some women also experience periods abnormal from any they have had before, characterized by intense pre-menstrual syndrome , heavy bleeding, or severe cramping. If you are concerned about these symptoms, consult with your doctor. Many women try several brands of birth control pills before they find the best fit. Many doctors recommend allowing at least three months for your body to adapt to a new brand of birth control pills before you change your regimen.
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Your First Period After Giving Birth
When you welcome a new baby, old routines can go out the window and your period is no exception.
First things first. Congratulations mama!
Were often bombarded with information about the changes our bodies go through during pregnancy, but once our baby is born the attention leaves our bodies and focuses on our little one. Because of this, we can often feel lost about our bodys natural changes post pregnancy.
The truth is, when it comes to your cycle, a lot can change after having a baby, and these changes can sometimes come as a surprise to new parents. While theres no such thing as a normal postpartum period, were here to take out some of the guesswork and prepare you for the next stage in your pregnancy journey.
Easier Periods Are Not Always Good News
Some women may have light periods or no periods due to tworare complications after pregnancy:
- Sheehans syndrome. This occurs when severe blood loss or low blood pressure damage the pituitary gland. This disrupts normal ovary function and periods stop. Hormone therapy is a common treatment.
- Ashermans syndrome. This is the result of scar tissue in the lining of the uterus. Ashermans syndrome may develop after a dilatation and curettage . Doctors may perform a D& C after a miscarriage or delivery.
The bottom line is that periods can change after having a baby, Dr. Young says. If you are concerned about your periods, make an appointment with your OB/Gyn. There are medical therapies to help your periods.
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What Factors Impact The Return Of Your Period
Besides breastfeeding, height and weight also impact the return of menstruation, says David Colombo, M.D., Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Spectrum Health. The form of birth control will also play a factor, he says. For example, if shes on the shot , it could be a year before it returns. What’s more, if your period wasnt regular before pregnancy, it might still be irregular after a C-section.
What Postpartum Symptoms Should I Watch Out For
Its important that you call a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- soaking through more than one pad every hour
- bleeding thats accompanied by sudden and severe pain
Contact your doctor if you experience these symptoms or anything else that concerns you related to your period. Some of these symptoms may indicate an infection.
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Pregnancy Before Return Of Period
You can release an egg from your ovary before your period returns. Therefore, there is a chance that you can become pregnant while you’re breastfeeding even before your period comes back.
So, if you’re involved in an intimate relationship, and you’re not using birth control, it is possible to find yourself expecting again without ever getting your first postpartum period.
Can I Bleed During Pregnancy
Even though your periods stop, you can still experience bleeding during pregnancy. This happens in almost 1 in 4 women for different reasons. Many women who bleed during pregnancy go on to deliver a healthy baby. However, you should immediately contact your doctor or midwife if you notice bleeding from your vagina at any time during your pregnancy.
In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, the fertilised egg planting itself in your womb may cause bleeding. This is known as implantation bleeding. It normally only lasts for a few days. However, bleeding during early pregnancy could signal that the fertilised egg has planted itself outside the womb this is called an ectopic pregnancy. It could also signal a miscarriage.
In the later stages of pregnancy, vaginal bleeding can have many different causes.
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When Will My Period Return
After birth, your periods will return at your bodys own pace. If you bottle feed your baby, youll tend to resume regular ovulation and your period sooner than if you exclusively breastfeed. If you choose to breastfeed exclusively, your first period may not return for several months sometimes, it might not even return for 1 to 2 years if you keep breastfeeding. If you choose to bottle feeding or partially breastfeed your baby, your periods may return as soon as 3 weeks after childbirth.
Is It My Period Or Lochia
After both vaginal births and C-sections, women shed a mixture of blood, mucus, and uterine tissue known as lochia. This vaginal discharge can last for several weeks postpartum. However, lochia is usually lighter in color than your period it may even be a creamy white, pink, or brown. It also smells sweet and increases with physical activity.
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Number : Do You Even Need A Menstrual Period At All
Here’s a fun fact: Monthly menstruation isn’t really necessary. In hunter-gatherer times, women were having babies one after the other, and they breastfed for long intervals, which suppresses ovulation and menstruation. Prehistoric women had about 50 menstruations, while modern women have about 450 periods!
With a 28-day cycle , the traditional birth control pill has no basis in biology. The makers of the pill decided to go this route to mimic the natural menstruation cycle to be more acceptable to society.
We know what you’re thinking: Can I just take birth control pills and not have my period at all? The answer is yes you’re allowed to skip your periods using birth control pills. You should ask your doctor if you’re interested. We got all the information in our previous article on how to delay your period.
Your Period And Your Baby
The return of your period may not have any effect on your baby or your milk supply all. Some infants continue to breastfeed well and without any issues. On the other hand, some infants will not like the taste of the breast milk or the drop in the amount of breast milk that can happen when your period returns. Your baby may:
- Become fussy
- Breastfeed more due to the lower milk supply
- Nurse less because there is less breast milk and it tastes different
- Refuse to nurse
These changes in your baby’s behavior should only last a few days. Then, your child should settle back into her regular breastfeeding routine. If you do not see any improvement in a few days, you should talk to your doctor.
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When Should You Expect Your First Period After Giving Birth
While its impossible to pin down the timing with any certainty, your first postpartum period may hinge on your breastfeeding regimen. The reason? Its a hormonal thing.
Women who breastfeed exclusively and frequently do not, in most cases, ovulate. And if youre not ovulating, youre probably not having a period.
Generally speaking, heres when you can expect your period to resume:
- If youre not breastfeeding, your period could return as soon as four weeks after giving birth, although thats not typical. Six to 12 weeks is about average. Most new moms are back on track by week 24 postpartum.
- If youre breastfeeding exclusively, youll likely have a longer break from your monthly cycle than other new moms. Look for your cycle to restart in three to six months. That said, theres a lot of variability. Its completely normal for women who breastfeed exclusively to have their first postpartum period six weeks after delivery or a year or more later even 18 months after giving birth.
- If youre breastfeeding some of the time, you might see your period return sooner. Women who combine bottle-feeding and breastfeeding often see their periods return six to 12 weeks after giving birth.