How Long After Delivery Does Period Start (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4 Weeks

The menstrual cycle is discontinued for a duration of nine months, beginning from the day of fusion. This is because the egg is implanted in the uterus and there is no shedding at all. Once the baby is delivered, the body gets back to the normal routine. Irrespective of the original cycle duration, periods might not start on the desired date.

It is essential to understand that the ovulation process is delayed as the hormonal system goes through a recap during this phase. Late periods are a common phenomenon. 

How Long After Delivery Does Period Start?

A pregnant woman has no periods until the baby stays inside the womb. The bleeding that occurs during delivery is not to be included. The continuation of periods after successful delivery is based on a number of factors. The most important among them is the feeding procedure.

The lactating period further leads to a fluctuation in hormone levels. This in turn postpones the menstrual cycle for at least two months or eight weeks. Breastfeeding is also coupled with a drop in estrogen and progesterone hormones in the body as a result of delivery.

Such fluctuations are based on the routine of feeding the baby. If there is partial dependence, periods might return soon. In case of complete dependence, even ten weeks are considered normal. For women who do not breastfeed at all, periods might return sooner than the former category.

In such a case, the hormonal imbalance is corrected within a month. At the most, the woman will begin having periods after six weeks of delivery. The duration is exclusive of any subsequent bleeding on detachment of the placenta. The six-week time frame is to be counted from the day of delivery and not the time of labor.

The fertility rates later on also depend on the phase of the cycle during which the woman became pregnant nine months ago. It is a proven fact that periods do not begin till the breastfeeding process is not discontinued completely. 

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In Summary:

Feeding ProcessTime
No breastfeeding6 weeks
Breastfeeding 8 weeks

Why Does Period Start So Long After Delivery?

Periods start a month or so after delivery because there is no production of eggs. This directly implies that there would be no ovulation or shredding. During the pregnancy period, a single egg or multiple eggs remain inside the uterus as the fusion has occurred. After delivery, the uterus gets back in shape after some time.

All this while, the cooling down phase is going on. The uterus shrinks and the hormones are balanced with time. If the woman is stressed during delivery of this through postpartum depression, those mental issues might also contribute to the unnecessary delay in menses.

The breastfeeding pattern is essential due to the fact that lactating and ovulation cannot go simultaneously. This is because the hormones controlling these processes are fluctuating during the first few weeks. Certain ovary issues might also lead to a further delay.

Women who deliver twins (or more, in exceptional cases) might have a completely different cycle. There is no proven relationship between the number of children the female has delivered before and the delay in postpartum menstruation. The normalization process is directly dependent on the maintenance of proper nutrition and other medications. In case contraceptives are consumed, the cycle would reverse completely and the breastfeeding factor will be ruled out.

Conclusion

The duration mentioned is mainly for women with normal health and a regular cycle. Strict correlation with the gynecologist is necessary at every step. In case the periods are delayed beyond the specified duration, scanning might be needed.

A single ultrasound is enough to diagnose the underlying condition due to which postpartum periods get delayed. It is normal to have variations in the cycle thereafter. Within a period of six months, the female reproductive system gets back to normal; in absence of other disorders.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953698001543
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/9780470720158#page=74
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