My cycle used to be clockwork. Since DS was born (he's now 27 mos), not so much. I had paraguard for a while, but since having it removed last November, I've been trying to chart the basics of my cycle just to get a handle on it & it's all over the place.
I still nurse & we've gone through periods of more nursing then less nursing, so I wonder if that could have anything to do with it. But my cycle has been anywhere from 25 to 30 days long! And this is my best guess! ...
I often have spotting for 3-4 days (sometimes more, sometimes less) before AF actually starts, so I don't even really know when to start counting. I am so confused!
Has anyone gone through something similar? Any advice? Do I need to see a doctor? Do I need to just wait until we're done nursing?
I don't track my temp. but I could start.
Mama to my little busy bee.
Yes, I have been there. It took over a year for my cycles to regulate after they returned postpartum with my first. Dd was over 2 years old by the time I had "regular" cycles with "regular" length LP's. I breastfed dd day and night until she was two (when she night weaned) and then she fully weaned after I got accidentally pregnant at 28 months. Breastfeeding can absolutely affect your cycles. Prolactin messes with your progesterone levels so you might have shorter LP's than normal and that can also cause spotting prior to AF. Plus nursing can make your CF really wonky and difficult to track.
It would be my advice to start temping so that you can see when you're ovulating, how your CF is lining up (or not) with your fertile time, and how long your LP is. Don't count AF until the first day of obviously red blood, not just spotting, b/c as I mentioned above it's likely that the spotting is caused by fluctuating progesterone. I'm sure your body just needs some more time to regulate and it might not happen until after your ds is done nursing or at least night weans. And I can say in my experience that I still had clear biphasic patterns despite night wakings and sometimes irregular temp taking times. But everyone is different.
I also have to add that I ended up with two accidental pregnancies trying to rely on FAM postpartum. It did not work for me b/c of the irregularity. Even though I got a great picture of what was happening after each cycle, it was difficult to predict when O would happen. So my second piece of advice is to use back up and the strictest rules if you're TTA. Good luck!
Mama to Avalon 1/07 , Austin 1/10 in between and Avery 12/11
Thank you so much for your reply, Jaimee! So much good information & sounds like you've had a similar experience to mine. I definitely have a lot to learn & will start charting CM & temp. DS is more or less night weaned, but he nurses a lot lately during the day, so this must be affecting the ups & downs in my cycle.
And congrats on your pregnancy!
But thanks for the heads up, too, about NFP not exactly working -- I definitely still use another method (diaphragm), but since it's not great I want to be using NFP too.
Mama to my little busy bee.
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