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Thread: After 18 months of BF still not ovulating - is this normal?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default After 18 months of BF still not ovulating - is this normal?

    I am not sure if my post belongs here or in the "Weaning" part of the forum, but here goes.

    DD is 18 months old and still nurses a lot. I nurse her at least 2-3 times during the day (on demand, haven't been able to really establish a routine there), once at bedtime, once in the middle of the night/early morning (typically around 3:00 am) and then she stays latched on for *hours* from around 5:30 or 6:00 am until we get up for the day, usually after 9:00 am (DH and I are Night Owls, so DD goes to sleep typically at/around 9:30 or 10:00 pm). Day and night I am a human pacifier.

    About 2 months ago I felt "different" (I can't remember exactly what it was that made me pause, but suffice it to say that I felt some activity in my left ovary) and I was inspired to test with OPK's. To my surprise and saw a very clear positive and a surge. After that I had a lot of ovulatory pain, my temperature rose as it should (I temped) and 10 days later (a bit early based on my normal LP) I had my first PP period. But since then, nothing. Or rather, every couple of weeks I get all the symptoms of pre-ovulation, pain in my ovaries, positive OPK's, ferning on my saliva ovulation predictor and a "PEAK" indicator on my fancy schmancy fertility monitor (yes, I have all the technology given our history of m/s and difficulty conceiving). My body is acting like it is ovulating, but I NEVER see a temp rise and I haven't seen a period since. It's very frustrating.

    If I was younger and had more time on the biological clock I'd be very happy to be this successful using LAM as contraception, but I really would like to see my periods come back. I am 36 y.o. and DH and I would very much want to have at least one more baby (and I would *LOVE* to have 3 kids, but can't be too greedy). We were lucky to have DD at all. I had 2 miscarriages before DD was born and it took us a while to get pregnant. DH is Type II Diabetic, and... well, let's just say that TTC is not an easy thing for us. Also, I wonder if it's normal to feel this way, to surge and surge and not ovulate? It's like my body steps on the gas, but nothing happens. Anyone else with a similar experience? I am wondering whether this is typical or is there something else hormonal going on that is preventing me from ovulating. Any suggestions on what I could do to get my periods back, short of weaning DD? I really don't want to wean DD right now (yet). She has many food sensitivities and neither one of us is ready. I was really hoping to tandem nurse, but there will be none of that if this continues.

    I would love to hear from others who have had a similar experience or anyone with a suggestion.

    Many thanks!

    Last edited by Mom2Annika; December 19th, 2006 at 02:46 AM. Reason: spelling and clarify

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: After 18 months of BF still not ovulating - is this normal?

    I thought your cycles came back when you began to reduce night feedings- however I have nothing to back this supposition. Maybe somone else knows?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: After 18 months of BF still not ovulating - is this normal?

    Sheesh, I had no break from menstruation at all *HUMPH* It was back just like that! *SIGH*

    Have you had your regular annual pelvic exam

    Honestly, if you're experiencing anything out of the ordinary for you then I'd call the Dr
    ~ Tiffany

    Child Passenger Safety Technician
    Home/unschooling mama to my Kindergartner!
    Leila Maribelle self-weaned at 4 years old....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: After 18 months of BF still not ovulating - is this normal?

    Thanks for your replies, ladies . Unfortunately I have a history of irregular cycles before, I was taking Fertility Blend and doing Accupuncture and TCM to get regular cycles, so I don't know what's normal or not. I was on BCP's (never again) since I was 18 years old before that, I am sure that messed up stuff even more. My annual was recently, and I checked out great, but maybe it's worth talking to my OB about it. I'm so confused. I heard that night weaning can help bring back cycles, so I think I'll be trying Dr. Jay Gordon's 10 nights approach next (not looking forward to the temper tantrums), but was wondering if anyone else had this trigger trigger trigger pattern.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: After 18 months of BF still not ovulating - is this normal?

    Hi Dorota,

    My son is a bit younger than your dd (he's 11 months), but I have also not had a return of AF. I have felt some of the signs that AF would be coming, but nothing yet. I think this is normal as our bodies tend to take some time before the hormone levels get high enough to actually ovulate. I have mixed emotions about it, as I would also like to conceive another child soon but don't want to wean.

    There was an article in New Beginnings recently that you may be interested in:



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: After 18 months of BF still not ovulating - is this normal?

    You seem to be very attuned to your body and whether you’ve ovulated. I am Bfing my 15 month old and I have had two “periods”, but I’m not sure if I’ve ovulated yet. I’ve had some signs, like a high cervix and fertile-seeming cf, but I’m not sure if my body was just *trying* or actually succeeded. There were over 50 days between my two periods and they were lighter than I remember. I am now on cycle day 20 and I *think* I might be ovulating right now, but we shall see. I did not notice a thermal shift last cycle either, but I am new to charting. I’m hoping to see a temp rise soon!
    In my situation, I rarely get a truly *accurate* BBT because I don’t usually have the luxury of laying in bed to temp after at least 3 hours of sleep because of night and early morning nursing. I can maybe do that one or two days out of the week. It sounds like that might be an issue for you too? I will check my TCOYF book and see what it says about whether it’s possible to ovulate without a thermal shift.
    I’m sorry, this is more like my personal story, rather than answering your question. Supposedly mixing up the routine a bit can help, and limiting longer nursing sessions (since it is the suckling that releases prolactin). I have the luxury of time, so it’s easier for me to say that I will just wait and see, so I feel for you there.


    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: After 18 months of BF still not ovulating - is this normal?

    My son is 17 months and I still haven't had a post-partum period. I, too, feel like I'm about to ovulate every once in a while, but so far haven't. I remember reading somehwere (TCOYF maybe?) that it's normal for your body to "try" and ovulate without success a couple of times before you actually ovulate when its transitioning back to a fertile state. I've always assumed that's what mine is doing when I get ovulation symptoms but no ovulation.

    I second the suggestions given above to help get your periods back. Changing nursing patterns, limiting suckling, night-weaning are all good ways some moms are able to get cycling again without weaning. I hope something works for you!

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