Pregnancy is all about change, and when it comes to your body, these modifications might be major. But apart from the apparent external modifications (hey, maternity pants!), there’s an entire lot that occurs inside your physique once you develop into pregnant. “The best part of being pregnant may be not having to worry about your period for nine months!” says Kate White, MD, MPH, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University.
You’re in all probability already anticipating the baby bump, stretchy pants, and attainable ice cream cravings, but what are you able to anticipate to occur to your interval once you’re expecting?
What Happens to Your Period When You’re Pregnant
When you turn out to be pregnant, you cease getting your period in the course of your pregnancy. Here’s why:
In the first half of your cycle (the follicular part), the lining of your uterus thickens and growing levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) help quite a few follicles in your ovaries to grow. One of these follicles grows quicker and stronger than the others and begins to produce estrogen, inflicting the opposite follicles to break down. Luteinizing hormone (LH) begins to surge, inflicting the dominant follicle to launch an egg; this is ovulation.
In the second half of your cycle (the luteal part), the ruptured follicle closes and varieties a structure referred to as the corpus luteum that produces progesterone. If the egg that was released during ovulation isn’t fertilized, the corpus luteum degenerates, and estrogen and progesterone levels drop, triggering you to shed your built-up uterine lining; that is your period.
If, nevertheless, the egg is fertilized, the ensuing embryo implants in the uterus and begins to produce a hormone referred to as human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which retains the corpus luteum from breaking down. The corpus luteum then continues to produce progesterone, which retains the uterine lining and cervical mucus thick to nourish the creating fetus and hold sperm and bacteria out of the uterus. Because the corpus luteum stays intact and estrogen and progesterone keep elevated, the uterine lining isn’t shed and your durations stop.
Reasons for Bleeding in Early Pregnancy
Even although your period stops, there are different reasons you could expertise vaginal bleeding whereas pregnant.
First, it’s necessary to understand that some “spotting” (a number of occasional drops of blood in your underwear, however not sufficient to cover a pantyliner) might be normal throughout very early pregnancy. “Bleeding” is outlined by a heavier movement that requires a liner or pad to forestall blood from staining your garments. Bleeding in early pregnancy isn’t all the time a sign of something critical. Sometimes when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, it may possibly cause bleeding, as can intercourse, hormonal modifications, and different elements that don’t signify hassle.
But bleeding throughout pregnancy may also be an indication of one thing critical, like an ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilized egg implants and develops outdoors the uterus). If an ectopic pregnancy isn’t treated, it may be life-threatening for a lady, so it’s necessary to report any recognizing to your doctor instantly so that the suitable exams may be ordered as soon as potential.
“Bleeding in early pregnancy may also be the first sign of a miscarriage,” says White. “If you have bleeding that is as heavy as a period, let your doctor or midwife know.”
Your First Period After Pregnancy
The first six weeks after the baby is born is the postpartum period (typically referred to as “puerperium”). It refers to about how lengthy it might take in your physique to go back to its nonpregnant state. Every lady is totally different, so the period of your puerperium may be longer or shorter.
During the postpartum interval, your durations might return back to your earlier nonpregnant pattern, or they could change. Menstrual cycles usually gained’t resume whereas a lady is breastfeeding, so should you’re nursing, you could not get a period for a number of months. That’s as a result of in order to produce breast milk, your brain has to produce larger levels of a hormone referred to as prolactin, which suppresses ovulation. And for those who don’t ovulate, you possibly can’t have a period (though chances are you’ll experience non-menstrual vaginal bleeding for quite a lot of other causes).
If you’re breastfeeding, the timing of your first postpartum period will depend upon a variety of elements—like how a lot and the way typically you’re feeding the baby and whether or not you’re supplementing with formulation. Many women who breastfeed start having regular durations within 36 weeks (nine months) of delivery.
“Word to the wise: Your first period after a baby may be a doozy,” says White. “I found this out the hard way when a nurse pulled me aside at work to gently let me know that I had bled through my scrub pants. Thank goodness I could easily swap them for another set. But I couldn’t believe how heavy those first two days were.”
Most women who don’t breastfeed will resume having durations round eight weeks after supply, although it’s attainable to have the first as early as 40 days postpartum.
It’s essential to keep in mind that you could nonetheless grow to be pregnant once more soon after delivery even if your durations haven’t returned but. That’s because ovulation happens about 14 days earlier than menstruation, so it’s attainable on your ovary to launch an egg earlier than you understand your cycles have resumed. If you don’t want to develop into pregnant soon after supply, speak to your doctor about contraception choices.
“The best time to have this conversation is while you’re still pregnant,” says White. “In the third trimester, when the idea of delivery is starting to become real, mention to your doctor that you want to talk about birth control. You may be able to start your method in the hospital before you are discharged. Having a baby is wonderful, but many women don’t want to repeat the experience nine months later.”
Period Changes After Pregnancy
For some women, menstrual cycles go back to their typical pattern submit pregnancy, and for different women, period modifications can happen. Some women have heavier, longer, or extra painful durations after they’ve a baby, while others have lighter, shorter durations with much less pain postpartum. In some instances, major modifications to menstrual cycles can point out a significant issue or complication, but in different instances, these modifications are nothing to worry about. If you’re concerned about any modifications to your interval after pregnancy, make an appointment together with your doctor.
This article shouldn’t be meant to substitute for knowledgeable medical advice. You shouldn’t use this info to diagnose or treat a health drawback or situation. Always verify together with your doctor before altering your weight-reduction plan, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.