Signs of Ovulation While Breastfeeding: Can You Get Pregnant?
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In general, there’s no ovulation while breastfeeding. Actually, breastfeeding your baby exclusively for the first six months is generally considered to be natural birth control. Namely, to produce milk, your body also produces high levels of a hormone called prolactin. This hormone, in turn, suppresses the production of ovulation hormones. However, it’s not recommended to rely only on breastfeeding as birth control as you could still get pregnant. It’s nice to give your baby a little sibling soon, but getting pregnant sooner than two years postpartum is not recommended in terms of the mother’s health. Therefore, you should also use some other form of birth control during this period. The thing with breastfeeding is that it’s rarely ever exclusive for the entirety of six months. What’s more, your body’s production of prolactin might start decreasing sooner than expected.
To get rid of any doubts or worries you may have as you start planning to expand your family, it would be best to see a preconception and obstetrics specialist.
6 Signs of Ovulation While Breastfeeding
If you start ovulating while still breastfeeding, you can get pregnant. Every woman is different, meaning that when and what signs of ovulation after giving birth will show depend on the individual.
1. You Got Your Period
Getting your period is a clear sign of returning fertility while breastfeeding. If the egg is released and you bleed, you can expect ovulation to follow as well. If you don’t want to get pregnant again so soon after giving birth, start using some other form of birth control. Of course, if you so desire, you could use this chance to start planning another pregnancy, but, as mentioned, that’s not the best health decision. Pregnancies in such short intervals do carry certain risks.
2. Cervical Mucus Gets Lighter
Pay attention to your discharge. If suddenly the cervical mucus goes from sticky and thick to being rather light and clear to the point of making you feel wet, you are ovulating, and pregnancy after ovulation is more than possible.
3. Slight Temperature Rise
If it was common for you to feel a bit feverish post ovulation before you got pregnant, and you start feeling seemingly random increases in temperature again, this could be one of the signs of ovulation while breastfeeding. Obviously, this slight increase is nothing concerning, as long as it’s not a really high fever, but it should tell you it’s time to start tracking your menstrual patterns again.
Another one of the signs of ovulation after giving birth is probably not the one you missed. Once you start feeling the cramps in your abdomen again, you’re probably resuming your menstrual cycle. Cramps actually stop when the egg gets released, which is when you’re at your most fertile phase of the cycle.
5. A Libido Boost
Some of the signs of returning fertility while breastfeeding will present themselves in the body’s desire to put that fertility to good use. With estrogen surging again, you will probably notice that your inclination for sexual intercourse is higher than before. And with a boost in estrogen and libido, also comes ovulation.
6. Tender Breasts
Just like cramps, breast tenderness is part of the menstrual cycle that could also signal ovulation while breastfeeding. Of course, breasts will be tender because of breastfeeding too, which is why you should also pay attention to other signs of ovulation while breastfeeding. You should differentiate breast tenderness from actual breast pain; if you feel like something’s wrong and the pain doesn’t seem to subside, make sure to talk to your doctor.
Why Isn’t It Recommended to Get Pregnant So Soon?
Even if you recognize signs of returning fertility while breastfeeding, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should rush to get pregnant again. You may want a big family, and that’s perfectly fine and possible, but patience is recommended as it will generally be safer and healthier for both you and the fetus.
Basically, going through labor causes bodily trauma, especially in the case of women who went through a C-section. As such, the body needs time in order to recover. Even if your previous pregnancy went perfectly, forcing your body through another pregnancy so soon could lead to complications with both your and your child’s health. Sometimes, the complications can be so serious that they can lead to worst-case scenarios. For some women, just dealing with the early signs of pregnancy again so fast could be dangerous.
When you look at the bigger picture, it pays off to be patient. What’s more, your kids will get along just fine with a couple of years of an age difference. It will also be a lot easier for you to take care of a baby and a toddler at the same time, instead of two babies.
How to Exclusively Breastfeed?
You can try and avoid ovulation while breastfeeding by committing yourself to exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first six months. However, keep in mind that, in practice, this is actually rather difficult. Less than 33% of women manage to exclusively breastfeed during just the first three months. But, if you’re set on this goal, there are some practices that could help you reach it:
Educate yourself about the process of breastfeeding even before it’s time to give birth. That way, you’ll be more prepared for it once the baby comes.
After you give birth, you’ll have a chance to consult with a lactation specialist in the hospital. Make sure to have them explain every single detail to you. Don’t hesitate to ask whether they make home visits as well.
If you want to breastfeed exclusively, and there’s no medical reason not to, then you obviously cannot use anything else in your baby’s diet. So, no formula or water is allowed.
You have to listen to your baby during this period. Whenever your child wants to eat, you should feed them. The more frequent you breastfeed, the better your breast milk production will be. In general, anywhere between eight and twelve feedings in 24 hours are ideal.
The fact is that prolactin production is the highest during the night. Milk pumping or feeding your child at night will further boost prolactin levels.
Make sure not to use any pacifiers or bottles during this period in order to stimulate oxytocin production through the baby’s sucking.
Following these tips is likely to postpone the return of your ovulation and menstrual cycle. On the other hand, if you’re looking for signs of ovulation after giving birth with anticipation, you should change your habits. In that case, you should minimize the number of breastfeeds, start introducing formula and bottles, and ultimately, avoid getting too stressed about it.
It’s true that things can get a bit confusing in regards to the menstrual cycle after you give birth. However, in most cases, it’s your habits and choices that can affect just how fast you’ll start ovulating again. Still, it’s important to mention that it’s not a good idea to rely just on breastfeeding as birth control if you don’t want another pregnancy.
Of course, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at University Park OBGYN if you’re in need of any advice or medical help when it comes to your reproductive health. You’ll be in the hands of the best gynecologist in Florida whom you can fully trust and open up to.
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Ovulation signs | Pregnancy Birth and Baby
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If you are trying to become pregnant, your chances will be improved if you have sex at a particular time of your cycle. Knowing when you ovulate – when an egg is released from your ovaries – is the key to knowing when that right time is.
When you are most fertile
The 5 days before ovulation, together with the day you ovulate, are the days when you are most likely to conceive. Sperm can live up to 5 days inside your body, so if you have sex up to 5 days before your egg is released, you can get pregnant. After ovulation, though, your egg can only live for 12 to 24 hours. After this time is up, your time for getting pregnant has gone for now till the following month.
Your chances of getting pregnant are at their highest in the 3 days leading up to and including ovulation.
Ovulation usually happens about halfway through your menstrual cycle, about 14 days before the first day of your next period, but the exact time can vary. Although signs that you are about to ovulate can be subtle, there are some things you can pay attention to and track over time to help you predict your fertile window.
Changes in mucus
Noticing how your vaginal secretions change during your menstrual cycle is the basis of the Billings ovulation method. Around the time of ovulation, you may notice your secretion is clear, stretchy and slippery — similar to egg whites. After ovulation, when the chances of becoming pregnant drop, the secretion tends to become cloudy and thick, or disappear entirely.
Changes in body temperature
When you’ve just ovulated, your body temperature may increase very slightly, by about half a degree Celsius. If you’re using temperature as a means of keeping track of when you are most fertile, you need to use a special thermometer to take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed. If you record the readings every day using a graph or a spreadsheet, it’s possible to learn your pattern over time. The time when you are most fertile is 2 to 3 days before the rise in temperature.
There may be other signs that you are near the time of ovulation, such as mild abdominal cramps, breast tenderness or increased sex drive. However, using these signs to predict when you’re fertile is not the most reliable method.
Using ovulation calculators and kits
Ovulation calendars and kits can also help you predict ovulation.
Ovulation calendars are available on websites such as www.yourfertility.org.au, and use the date of your last period and the length of your cycle to predict when you are likely to be most fertile.
Home ovulation predictor kits are available from pharmacies. You use the kit a few days before your predicted ovulation day, to test for a rise in the level of a hormone called luteinising hormone (LH) in your urine. A positive result indicates you will ovulate within the next 24 to 36 hours.
A blood test, which your doctor can order, can also detect ovulation by measuring levels of the hormone progesterone.
If you are trying to get pregnant, there are also a number of other things you should consider, such as taking folate, maintaining a healthy diet and making sure your vaccinations are up to date.
For more information and support, call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436.
Billings Life (Key to fertility control – the mucus), Your Fertility (Your Fertility right time for sex), Your Fertility (Understanding ovulation and the fertile window), Women and Children's Health Network (Getting pregnant), Family Planning NSW (Maximising natural fertility)
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Last reviewed: July 2020
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The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.
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Signs of ovulation
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OVULATION (from lat. ovum - egg) - release of a mature egg capable of fertilization from the ovarian follicle into the abdominal cavity; stage of the menstrual cycle (ovarian cycle). Ovulation in women of childbearing age occurs periodically (every 21-35 days). Periodicity Ovulation is regulated by neurohumoral mechanisms, mainly gonadotropic hormones of the anterior pituitary gland and ovarian follicular hormone. Ovulation contributes to the accumulation of follicular fluid and thinning of the ovarian tissue, located above the protruding pole of the follicle. The rhythm of ovulation , which is constant for every woman, undergoes changes within 3 months after an abortion, within a year after childbirth, and also after 40 years, when the body is preparing for the premenopausal period. Stops ovulation with the onset of pregnancy and after the extinction of menstrual function. Establishing the term ovulation is important when choosing the most effective time for fertilization, artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization.
Signs of ovulation
Subjective signs of ovulation may be short-term pain in the lower abdomen. Objective signs of ovulation are an increase in vaginal mucus and a decrease in rectal (basal) temperature on day ovulation with an increase in it the next day, an increase in the content of progesterone in the blood plasma, etc. Violation of ovulation is due to dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian system and can be caused by inflammation of the genitals, dysfunction of the adrenal cortex or thyroid gland, systemic diseases, tumors of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, stressful situations. Lack of ovulation at childbearing age (anovulation) is manifested by a violation of the rhythm of menstruation by the type of oligomenorrhea (menstruation lasting 1-2 days), amenorrhea, dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Absence ovulation (anovulation) is always the cause of a woman's infertility. Methods for restoring ovulation are determined by the cause of anovulation and require an appointment with a gynecologist and special treatment.
Some women experience peak sexual arousal on days 90,006 of ovulation 90,007. However, the use of a physiological method of contraception against pregnancy, based on sexual abstinence during ovulation , is especially difficult for young spouses, whose frequency of sexual intercourse reaches a fairly high level. In addition, with strong love excitement and nervous stress, additional ovulation can occur (especially with episodic, irregular intercourse), and then not one, but two eggs mature in one menstrual cycle. This should be remembered when choosing one or another method of contraception.
As soon as every healthy girl aged 11-15 years begins to menstruate, which is an indicator of her body's readiness for childbearing, then there are problems associated with counting the days of the menstrual cycle and the legitimate question why menstruation does not occur, or vice versa, why does not occur long-awaited pregnancy. This makes a woman think and wait all the time, be in the dark about what happens to her every month. And so every month for decades
Length of menstruation and cycle
Ideal menstruation lasts 3-5 days and repeats every 28 days. However, for some women, this cycle takes 19 days or even less, while for others it lasts from 35 to 45 days, which is a feature of their body, and not a violation of menstrual function. The duration of menstruation also, depending on the organism, can vary within a week. All this should not cause alarm in a woman, but a delay of more than two months, called opsometry or more than six months - amenorrhea, should alert the woman and make sure to find out the cause with a gynecologist.
Length of menstrual cycle
The menstrual cycle is a complex physiological process that continues in women up to 45-55 years. It is regulated by the so-called sex centers located in the middle part of the diencephalon - the hypothalamus. The changes that occur during the menstrual cycle are most pronounced in the uterus and ovaries. In the ovary, under the influence of hormones produced by the ovarian follicles, partly by the adrenal cortex and testes, the main follicle, which contains the egg, grows and matures. The mature follicle ruptures and the egg, together with the follicular fluid, enters the abdominal cavity, and then into the fallopian tube. The process of rupture of the follicle and the release of a mature (suitable for fertilization) egg from its cavity is called ovulation , which, with a 28-day cycle, occurs most often between the 13th and 15th days.
Corpus luteum, estrogen, progesterone
A corpus luteum forms at the site of the ruptured follicle. These morphological changes in the ovary are accompanied by the release of sex steroid hormones - estrogens and progesterone. Estrogens are secreted by the maturing follicle, and progesterone by the corpus luteum.
The release of estrogen has two maxima - during ovulation and during the period of maximum activity of the corpus luteum. So, for example, if the normal estrogen content is about 10 µg/l, then during ovulation it is about 50 µg/l, and during pregnancy, especially towards the end of it, the estrogen content in the blood increases to 70-80 µg/l per due to a sharp increase in the biosynthesis of estrogens in the placenta.
Together with progesterone, estrogens promote the implantation (introduction) of a fertilized egg, maintain pregnancy and promote childbirth. Estrogens play an important role in the regulation of many biochemical processes, are involved in carbohydrate metabolism, lipid distribution, stimulate the synthesis of amino acids, nucleic acids and proteins. Estrogens contribute to the deposition of calcium in bone tissue, delay the release of sodium, potassium, phosphorus and water from the body, that is, increase their concentration both in the blood and in electrolytes (urine, saliva, nasal secretions, tears) of the body.
The secretion of estrogens is controlled by the anterior pituitary gland and its genadotropic hormones: follicle-stimulating (FSH) and luteinizing (LH).
Under the influence of estrogens in the first phase of the menstrual cycle, called folliculin, regeneration occurs in the uterus, that is, the restoration and growth of its mucous membrane - the endometrium, the growth of glands that stretch in length and become convoluted. The mucous membrane of the uterus thickens 4-5 times. In the glands of the cervix, the secretion of mucous secretion increases, the cervical canal expands, and becomes easily passable for spermatozoa. In the mammary glands, the epithelium grows inside the milk ducts.
In the second phase, called luteal (from the Latin word luteus - yellow), under the influence of progesterone, the intensity of metabolic processes in the body decreases. The growth of the mucous membrane of the body of the uterus stops, it becomes loose, edematous, a secret appears in the glands, which creates favorable conditions for attaching a fertilized egg to the mucous membrane and developing the embryo. The glands stop secreting mucus, the cervical canal closes. In the mammary glands, from the overgrown epithelium of the end sections of the milk ducts, alveoli arise, capable of producing and secreting milk.
If pregnancy does not occur, the corpus luteum dies, the functional layer of the endometrium is rejected, and menstruation occurs. Monthly bleeding varies from three to seven days, the amount of blood lost is from 40 to 150 g.
It should be noted that different women have a noticeable difference in the timing of ovulation . And even for the same woman, the exact timing of the onset fluctuates in different months. In some women, cycles are characterized by exceptional irregularity. In other cases, cycles may be longer or shorter than the average - 14 days. In rare cases, it happens that in women with a very short cycle ovulation occurs around the end of the period of menstrual bleeding, but still, in most cases, ovulation occurs quite regularly.
If for one reason or another ovulation does not occur , the endometrial layer in the uterus is thrown out during menstruation. If the fusion of the egg and sperm has occurred, then the cytoplasm of the egg begins to vibrate very strongly, as if the egg is experiencing an orgasm. Sperm penetration is the final stages of egg maturation. All that remains of a spermatozoon is its nucleus, where 23 chromosomes are densely packed (half the set of a normal cell). The sperm nucleus is now rapidly approaching the egg nucleus, which also contains 23 chromosomes. The two cores are slowly touching. Their shells dissolve and they merge, as a result of which they are divided into pairs and form 46 chromosomes. Of the 23 chromosomes of the sperm, 22 are completely analogous to the chromosomes of the egg. They determine all the physical characteristics of a person except gender. In the remaining pair from the egg there is always an X chromosome, and from the sperm there can be an X or Y chromosome. Thus, if there are 2 XX chromosomes in this set, then a girl will be born, if XY, then a boy.
Studies conducted at the "National Institute of Medical Environmental Problems" (North Carolina) showed that not only the actual conception of a child, but also its gender depends on the time of conception in relation to the time of onset of ovulation .
The probability of conception is maximum on day of ovulation and is estimated at about 33%. A high probability is also noted on the day before ovulation - 31%, two days before it - 27%. Five days before ovulation the probability of conception is estimated to be 10% four days before ovulation - 14% and three days - 16%. Six days before ovulation and the day after ovulation, the probability of conception during sexual intercourse is very small.
Considering that the average “lifespan” of spermatozoa is 2-3 days (in rare cases it reaches 5-7 days), and the female egg remains viable for about 12-24 hours, then the maximum duration of the “dangerous” period is 6- 9days and the “dangerous” period corresponds to the phase of slow rise (6-7 days) and rapid decline (1-2 days) before and after the day of ovulation , respectively. Ovulation , as noted above, divides the menstrual cycle into two phases: the follicle maturation phase, which, with an average cycle duration of 10-16 days, and the luteal phase (corpus luteum phase), which is stable, independent of the duration of the menstrual cycle and is 12-16 days. The phase of the corpus luteum is referred to as the period of absolute infertility, it begins 1-2 days after ovulation and ends with the onset of a new menstruation.
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Menses after childbirth | Clinic.kg
Menstruation after childbirth
June 30, 2019
A healthy pregnancy and delivery of a healthy baby is a reason for a woman to be proud of herself and her health. An important topic that worries many women after childbirth is menstruation: when to expect it, why the cycle is irregular, is it possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding, and much more. We will analyze the main issues in our article.
Postpartum profuse discharge in a woman has nothing to do with menstruation - these are lochia, which become bloody from bloody, and then transparent, completely disappearing. After about two months, the uterus and ovaries return to their physiological state and size, which means that the onset of menstrual cycles with the maturation of eggs and menstruation is quite possible. Thus, a woman can expect her first menstruation from the 2-3rd month after childbirth.
When should my period start after childbirth?
This period depends on the type of feeding of the child: natural or artificial. Breast milk is produced under the influence of the pituitary hormone prolactin. The level of estrogen does not increase, therefore, when breastfeeding, menstruation begins, on average, 2 months after childbirth, more often when feeding “by the hour”. But there are times when some nursing women do not have periods for a year, and for some, they can recover in a month and a half after childbirth. On average, the onset of menstruation with breastfeeding varies from 3 months to six months.
How long do periods last after childbirth?
Often the first menstruation is quite heavy. There may be strong discharge, menstruation with blood clots. If you have to change the pad every hour, you should seek help from a doctor: this may be a symptom of bleeding that has begun. Subsequent periods usually become normal. In other cases, in the first months, women have irregular spotting. This is typical for breastfeeding, when prolactin synthesis gradually decreases.
Reasons for the slow recovery of the regular cycle
Each woman has her own individual period for the restoration of the menstrual cycle. This is determined by the activity of the production of hormones of the sex glands, the pituitary gland, the state of the immune and reproductive systems as a whole. There are a number of reasons for this that affect the body in the postpartum period:
features of the individual hormonal background;
the nature of the birth process;
uterine reconstruction features.
What to do if the menstrual cycle has become irregular:
In the first months of the postpartum recovery period, do not panic. In most cases, this is the norm. For each woman, the normalization of the cycle occurs individually, usually during the first months of the resumption of menstrual bleeding. Irregularity is more common in nursing mothers.
It takes about 2 months to restore the normal function of all organs and systems. Balance in the endocrine system comes later, especially if breastfeeding is used. Therefore, a woman can feel completely healthy, but she will not have a period.
Notice the irregular cycle only after 3 cycles. This may be due to an inflammatory process, endometriosis or a tumor of the genital organs. A delay in the second period is not dangerous, unless it is associated with a second pregnancy.
Menstruation after cesarean section
Menstruation after cesarean section is restored in the same way as after normal delivery. During lactation, periods do not come for six months. Against the background of artificial feeding from the maternity hospital due to the lack of nipple stimulation (which activates the synthesis of oxytocin, which contracts the uterus), recovery may be somewhat slower, plus there is still a scar on the uterus. Therefore, the restoration of menstrual function may occur a little later, for several weeks.
Cycle after a pathological course of pregnancy or childbirth
After termination of a missed pregnancy or abortion, the first menstruation occurs within 45 days. If this does not happen, the woman should seek help from a gynecologist. To exclude such causes of amenorrhea as the remaining part of the fetal egg in the uterus or inflammation, 10 days after the termination of a frozen or normal pregnancy, an ultrasound scan is necessary.
Pathologies of menstruation, what to pay attention to and immediately contact a specialist:
Sudden cessation of postpartum discharge is a sign of a bending of the uterus or endometritis, accumulation of lochia in the uterine cavity - lochiometers.
Scanty periods for 3 or more cycles. Perhaps they are a symptom of hormonal disorders, Sheehan's syndrome or endometritis.
Irregularity of menstruation six months after its restoration, interval between spotting for more than 3 months. Most often associated with ovarian pathology.
Excessive bleeding for 2 or more cycles, especially after a surgical delivery or abortion. They are often caused by the tissues of the membranes remaining on the walls of the uterus.
The duration of menstruation is more than a week, which is accompanied by weakness, dizziness.
Abdominal pain, fever, foul odor, discoloration of vaginal discharge - a sign of a tumor or infection.
Spotting before and after menstruation is a likely symptom of endometriosis or an inflammatory disease.
Itching in the vagina, an admixture of curdled discharge is a sign of thrush.
Bleeding twice a month for more than 3 cycles.
Is it possible to get pregnant?
The most common myth is that a woman cannot get pregnant if she is breastfeeding a baby.