Irregular Periods

Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, I haven't gotten my period in a few months. What's going on?

Question

I gave birth several months ago. Last month I only spotted. This month I haven't had a period. I took two home pregnancy tests and they both came back negative. I assume I'm not pregnant. What's going on?

Answer

The average time for a period after delivery is about 45 days. However, women who nurse will commonly get their periods much later. Nursing suppresses the hormone to a certain extent and that is why a woman may not get her period for up to 12 weeks or more.

It is important to remember that a woman can ovulate without having a period at this time and is at risk for getting pregnant very soon after her delivery. Keep in mind that unprotected intercourse could result in pregnancy. I always tell the story of a patient of mine who presented for her postpartum appointment at about eight weeks and was already pregnant with twins!

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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