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Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: Irregular Periods after Childbirth - normal?


 Hil4781 - Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:54 pm

I just had my third child in February '09. After her delivery, which was my second successful VBAC, I had post-postpartum bleeding for 10 days (many of those days were very light) and then two weeks later stated my period. My periods have been irregular since I delivered, but most notably irregular in the last couple months. Prior to getting pregnant this last time (she is my third daughter) I have always had fairly long cycles (it would not be uncommon for me to go 30 days between periods), which would be somewhat heavy. Now, I've had periods that have almost lasted 14 days but we're only a heavy spotting, and I've had frequent 5-7 days periods (I swear my last one was maybe 2 - 21/2 weeks ago... I didn't mark it down though)that are more of a medium flow, with some very minor blood clots. The blood clots range from a deep dark red (like my last period) to almost a redish/pinkish tinged mucous kind of (like now). I am not cramping (I've never really had any cramps with my periods), and I'm not on birth control. Two periods ago, I also had a problem with occasional vertigo, but at the time I wasn't sleeping well either. I just don't understand what's going on with my system :( During my ultrasound for my most recent child, they saw a cyst on my ovary, but didn't say anything about the size and didn't seem concerned and just said most of the time these things just clear up on their own and we never revisited it. I'm not in any pain or anything, but could that have something to do with my irregular periods? I also have a problem with hemmorhoids, but I'm thinking that wouldn't have anything to do with this. Do you have any suggestions or am I just likely being a worry-wart at this point and need to wait and see what happens? Thank you very much and I appreciate your time.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:56 am

User avatar Hello,
Irregular periods are very common in women, especially those not using hormonal contraceptives. This is because hormone levels normally fluctuate throughout the cycle and are not static. Birth control pills create an artificial level that is more predictable and when the hormone is withdrawn, after the third week, the levels drop, resulting in bleeding.

Childbirth often changes the cycle as well, due to the hormone changes that occur. If you breastfeed, chances are you will avoid periods for the period of time you nurse exclusively. In absence of breastfeeding, anything goes, so I would wait and see if things get back to normal in a few months. Clotting is also considered normal since that is what blood does when it pools and is not eliminated from the body right away, but excessive bleeding and clotting in the postpartum period should be checked out in case you have any retained pieces of placenta. You are far enough past that time that I would not expect this to be the problem. If you continue to have heavy periods and fear excessive blood loss, your doctor should check you before you risk becoming anemic.

Best wishes.

Best wishes.

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