The menstrual cycle is a crucial procedure to enable your body to become pregnant. Some people believe that this cycle lasts as long as you are bleeding and mistakenly think it is the same as a period. The menstrual cycle starts with the first day of the period and finishes the day before the next period.
Commonly, the second half of the month is the time that an egg is released and can be fertilized by the sperm. The procedure in which an egg is released is known as ovulation and, in some cases, it doesn’t happen every month. This incident is mainly due to conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.
Period before pregnancy
The most famous sign of pregnancy and the main reason for most women to get a pregnancy test is a missed period. But be aware, every missed or delayed period is not caused by pregnancy, and you can make sure about your pregnancy by a pregnancy test. In addition to that, some women may experience bleeding during pregnancy, it is crucial to consult your doctor to know which kinds of bleeding are normal and which are hazardous.
There are other reasons for missing a period which include gaining or losing too much weight, stress, fatigue, and hormonal problems. Apart from these factors, ceasing to take birth control pills can cause some women to miss their period. Once again, the best method to determine whether you are pregnant or not is to take a pregnancy test.
Period after pregnancy
One of the advantages of pregnancy is that you don’t have to suffer from your periods for at least 9 months. But that is not the case after the baby is born and they work differently during pregnancy and after that.
Stoppage of periods during pregnancy
As it was mentioned before, women have a menstrual cycle in which ovulation happens to enable them for becoming pregnant. During ovulation vagina and cervix become ready by the hormones to support sperm. In addition to that, the uterus or womb becomes thicker to be able to nurture a baby. If you didn’t have any sexual intercourse, and you are not pregnant, then the womb lining sheds nearly on the 28th day of the menstrual cycle and your period starts. In case you had sex and an egg was fertilized by a sperm, you can consider yourself as a pregnant woman. During pregnancy, the womb lining won’t shed and as a result, you don’t experience any periods until the baby is born.
Is there any chance of bleeding during pregnancy?
Although your periods stop, in some cases you may experience bleeding during pregnancy, nearly 25% of pregnant women face these bleedings for different reasons. This is not always a bad sign, but you should contact your doctor when you realize that you are bleeding from your vagina during your pregnancy. For example, in the first 12 weeks implantation happens which is when a fertilized egg is planted in the womb, and bleeding in this procedure is natural and called implantation bleeding. It is noteworthy that sometimes bleeding during early pregnancy can be a sign of miscarriage or, in another case, ectopic pregnancy which is when the fertilized egg is planted outside the womb. In any case, it is the wisest decision to contact your doctor or midwife when you see vaginal bleeding.
What to expect after birth?
Since your uterus is contracting back to its original size before pregnancy, it is natural to have bleedings that are similar to a period in the first few days after giving birth to your baby. If you bleed immediately after birth you likely experience heavy bleeding with bright red color but it will slowly change to a brownish color before it completely stops after nearly 2 months. In some cases, the bleeding can be heavier which includes when you get up in the morning, after exercise, and after breastfeeding. You should be aware of postpartum hemorrhage or uncontrolled heavy bleeding after giving birth which can be a serious condition.
In the first 24 hours after giving birth, you have to contact your doctor or midwife if you see on o these signs:
- Bleeding that needs more than one pad every 1 or 2 hours
- Blood that instantly turns bright red
- An instant increase in blood or large clots
- Weakness, hard breathing, or dizziness
- Any other unusual bleeding after giving birth
When does your period return?
It is up to your body to prepare itself for the return of your periods. Bottle feeding your baby leads to a faster return of ovulation and period, while breastfeeding results in a delayed return of period. Women who choose to breastfeed their babies may not experience their first period after giving birth, for several months and in some cases, if you keep breastfeeding for 1 to 2 years, your periods might not return. Commonly, if you bottle-feed or partially breastfeed your baby, your periods will return as soon as nearly 3 weeks after giving birth.
Breastfeeding and its effect on periods?
Lactation amenorrhea is when you are breastfeeding and not having your periods as a result of that. If you breastfeed your baby more often and introduce other foods to the baby’s diet, then it will take longer for your periods to return. Other factors affect the return of your periods after giving birth and predicting it is very hard. Sometimes you can become pregnant even before your first period after childbirth due to the release of eggs. You can use multiple safe contraception during breastfeeding, but it is recommended to speak with your doctor before starting sexual activity after giving birth.
Does a period change the taste of breast milk?
It is widely known that menstruation and ovulation happen with hormonal changes in the woman’s body. As a result of these hormonal changes, your breast milk’s supply and taste will change. Pay more attention to your baby’s behavior while you are having your period, if your baby fusses at your breast it can be a sign of the change in the taste of your breast milk.
When will you be able to use tampons again?
Try not to use tampons until your medical check, which happens 6 weeks after childbirth. If your periods return, use pads and wait for your doctor’s advice.