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Thread: Breastfeeding and problems with ovulation??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    19

    Default Breastfeeding and problems with ovulation??

    Let me just start by saying how wonderful this forum and website has been for us!

    I have an 18 month old that I still nurse on demand (since I work, that's only 2x a day during the weekdays, and around 4x day on weekends). I am on my 4th cycle postpartum - the first cycle, I didn't ovulate, and the last 3 cycles, I have been ovulating (after about 7+ days of ovulation signals) quite late in my cycle (around CD 20). I have been charting so I know that I am ovulating, just late. I also have very strong PMS symptoms (bloating, ovulation pain, headaches, nausea) in the week before ovulation. My total cycle is around 30 days still so my luteal phase seems short. Pre-baby I had typical 28-30 day cycles, with ovulation at the midway point, with about 3-4 days of ovulation symptoms beforehand.

    Is late ovulation due to my continued nursing? We would like to start trying for another baby in a few months and I'm concerned that I would need to start nursing in order for my cycles to regulate. I was planning on letting my baby just self-wean but now I feel conflicted. I'm also one of the lucky ones in that breastfeeding made me lose all my pregnancy weight and then some - I'm a few pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. Would this also have an effect on my ovulation? I feel very healthy - exercising 4-5x week, eating well and regularly, sleeping well.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,845

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and problems with ovulation??

    In this situation, I think you need to wait a few more months and maybe get some better data. It's normal for the first few postpartum cycles to be wonky, so it's quite possible that your ovulation pattern will change if you give yourself a few more months. I also wonder if perhaps you are ovulating at a normal point in your cycle, and just not picking up a thermal shift until day 20? Late thermal shifts are, IIRC, pretty common and generally normal (?). I usually think that charting is sufficient for moms who want to know everything about their cycles, but if the late thermal shift hypothesis is correct, the way to pick up on that might be by using an ovulation prediction kit (OPK).

    Now might also be a great time to get some basic bloodwork done. I especially advocate getting a test for thyroid function if you have not had one in the last 6 months. Thyroid dysfunction is common in postpartum, often overlooked, and can cause menstrual irregularities.

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