how long for periods to return after stopping breastfe... - NCT


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how long for periods to return after stopping breastfeeding

CJohns profile image
21 Replies

I fully gave up breastfeeding on 20 December, but this was a process of reducing for about 5 weeks. I fed for around 3.5 months.

I have had the different types of discharge over the weeks, which led me to believe I was ovulating ready for a period, and I had a surging flurry of cramps just after I gave it up, but still no sign of AF.

How long did it take for yours to return? I am in a bit of panic as I have diminished ovarian reserve, and I’m starting to wonder whether they will ever come back.


21 Replies
Seb9 profile image

If you're about 3.5 months post partum your periods might not fully return or return regularly for a quite while. Our bodies are designed to feed babies potentially for a few years and exclusively for at least 6 months, so I until your hormones start to adapt your periods might be a bit off. I've finished feeding my 16 month old in December, but can still produce milk if I hand express, so if you've stopped in December too you might still have the hormones that mean you could produce milk, so that takes a while to go away.

I fed my first till she was 16 months as well and my period only came back at about 12 months so 6 months after we introduced solids (I've had the coil fitted now so don't have any periods).

If you're really concerned, maybe you could talk to your doctor about it?

Good luck

CJohns profile image
CJohns in reply to Seb9

Ah thank you, that makes sense! I was going to give it another week or so before contacting the docs, but thought I’d ask for first hand experiences on here. My doctors really aren’t great and have a habit of making you feel stupid, so I wanted to be a bit more clued up before I contact them.

Thank you ☺️

XOXO13 profile image

Hello, I had a different experience to the below and my periods actually returned pretty quickly. They were much shorter than my usual, every 25 days vs my usual 32. I breastfeed my twins for 9 weeks, sadly had to stop as my milk supply wasn’t great by week 9 so maybe that’s why my periods returned faster than expected. I’m 11 months post partum now and they’re settling back into 28-30 days. I did see my gynaecologist in August (so 5 months pp) to double check everything as, given I’ve had fertility issues, I wanted to check everything was working okay! So I’d say it’s best to get it checked over with a doctor but I also wouldn’t worry too much given it’s only been 5 or so weeks since you stopped BF. It may take a few more months for your body to catch up xxxx

CJohns profile image
CJohns in reply to XOXO13

Thank you for sharing. My hair has only stopped falling out in the last couple of weeks too, and I also had too much milk, which was a reason why I gave it up! So hopefully things will settle in the next couple of weeks - if not, then perhaps I’ll contact the doctors xx

Purpledoggy profile image

I EBF for 9 months then switched to formula, and it took about 1.5 months to have a period but then they seemed to get more or less back into their groove a month or so after that. I'm 41 and my AMH 2 years ago was 7.6 pmol/L so I don't have a great reserve. xx

CJohns profile image
CJohns in reply to Purpledoggy

Ah I remember your name from the fertility forum! Thank you for sharing your experience on it.

Half my problem is that I gave up at 3.5 months, so I presume my hormones just haven’t had time to settle from birth 😣. My AMH was at 1 pmol/L in August 2021, so I’m just desperate for my period to come back so we can have a last ditch attempt (before my ovaries turn to dust🥲) at trying for another😬! Xx

Purpledoggy profile image
Purpledoggy in reply to CJohns

When I was worrying about not having a period while BF (lots of people seem to get them once night-weaned or after 6 months) I scoured the internet and it seems so hugely variable. I can totally understand your worry. 20 Dec is only a month ago and since you gave birth under 6 months ago it could absolutely take a bit of time for your body to get back to normal. It makes biological sense for your body not to jump into having another baby immediately! I think the NHS or some other medical body say to contact your GP if it has been 6 months after giving up BF and they have not returned (can’t find the source though), which says to me anything up that point is considered normal. Hope they come back soon. FWIW for wanting a sibling my clinic won’t see you until at least 3 months after stopping BF, no matter how long for, so they obviously expect it to take that long xx

CJohns profile image
CJohns in reply to Purpledoggy

apparently I have been worried over nothing! AF returned this morning! I’ve never been so happy to have a period 😂 x

Purpledoggy profile image
Purpledoggy in reply to CJohns

Haha congratulations 😂 xx

TerG profile image

I've had my first period at 12 months PP. I was still breastfeeding at the time and continued for another 6 months. The first 3 periods were much heavier than usual but then returned to pre pregnancy levels.It's very individual. My best friend got her period back 3 months PP and my sister in law had no periods until 2.5 years PP

CJohns profile image
CJohns in reply to TerG

2.5 years! Crikey! Thank you for sharing those experiences. It does seem that everyone is so different, and my problem is that I gave up breastfeeding sooner than most (with established feeding), so it’s hard to find information on it xx

Chloelou6 profile image

Like others have said getting your periods back PP are very individual, I exclusively breastfed my LB and got my period back at 6 weeks PP and I continued to breastfeed until he was 6 months. If you still have prolactin in your system it might be preventing ovulation hence your periods not returning.

CJohns profile image
CJohns in reply to Chloelou6

Thank you for sharing 🙂. I’ll give it a few more weeks and then contact the doctors xx

Ranchu90 profile image

I breastfed my twins exclusively until 14months, as I had to go back to work I start reducing my breastfeeding sessions. When I reached to one or 2 per day my OLD aunty flow appeared. I didn't expect to be that quick 😃. I quite enjoyed 2 years of no periods 🤣😂. So even though I was breastfeeding my period came back 😤😬.

CJohns profile image
CJohns in reply to Ranchu90

It seems the longer you breastfeed, your period will gradually start! I can see you went through fertility treatment so you’ll understand my worries. I’m just desperate for my period to come back to give me the reassurance that my ovaries are still working 🙈. But I hear you about enjoying not having the actual periods😆 xx

Jogsandwalks profile image

I gave birth in March and breastfed. Then my period came back in August, exactly 5 months later. I stopped breastfeeding after 6 months so clearly my period was waiting in the wings 🙄.

CJohns profile image
CJohns in reply to Jogsandwalks

comes back to haunt you 😆. My period returned this morning, woop😁!!! Xx

Jogsandwalks profile image
Jogsandwalks in reply to CJohns

Yay! Great news 😁

Solly-44 profile image

Mine took forever! Sorry, I know that’s not what you want to hear but it will vary a lot. I never exclusively bf (low supply) and we weaned off the boob fully at 11 months. It took another year or so for my period to come back so about 2 years post partum. I think I recognise your name from the fertility board? Just to reassure you my clinic didn’t mind if my period hadn’t restarted for IVF as they could induce one then using drugs mimic the rest of that cycle accordingly. Not sure if IVF was the plan but if so it’s not a problem xx

CJohns profile image
CJohns in reply to Solly-44

It’s returned this morning 😌 thankfully!

I recognise your name also! Just had a stalk😆 and can see you’re caught naturally - amazing! Congratulations ☺️.We’re going to try naturally and if it doesn’t happen then that’s it for us. The emotional turmoil on the build up to our first cycle was too much for me, and I’ll just accept that one child is our future if we never catch again. I’m in absolute awe of those of you that have gone through 1, 2, 3 etc cycles. Amazing ❤️

Solly-44 profile image
Solly-44 in reply to CJohns

Oh that’s perfect timing then!

Ah thank you so much! Makes sense, it’s a lot to deal with. Loads of luck trying for number 2 xx

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