No Menses 6 Months Postpartum

My baby is six months old and I have not started menstruating again. I exclusively breastfed until two weeks ago. How can I tell that I am ovulating because we would like to conceive our second child soon - within the next six months or so. When can I expect my period to return?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

This is not unusual and actually is to be expected if you were nursing full time. Most women will get a period within 4-6 weeks after weaning and if you do not, I would recommend seeing your provider for a pregnancy test and an exam. If you are not pregnant, a dose of progesterone could be given and this would induce a withdrawal bleeding and perhaps get things going again.

I find that the best way to find out if you are ovulating or not is to observe cervical mucus. This can be done externally by checking the tissue after each trip to the bathroom. Fertile mucus or ovulatory mucus is clear, stretchy and lubricative (almost like egg-white). If you are not ovulating, the normal discharge is thicker, cloudy, tacky and non-lubricative. It is possible to chart cervical mucus changes on a daily basis and determine when you are fertile (sometimes called the Billings method of fertility awareness).

Many couples take a series of classes to obtain the charts and stickers and education which is necessary to interpret all changes in the mucus cycle and it is very effective in preventing and attempting a pregnancy.

A great resource book is: Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, available from Amazon.com.

I hope this works for you and good luck in the future.

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