I am wondering if this is normal? I have four children and have always gotten my period by 18mos postpartum but this time around I am still not showing any signs of my fertility returning. Has this happened to anyone else? I am not too worried but wondering as this is the first time it has taken so long for it to return.
I appreciate any input.
How does your weight/body fat percentage compare with your previous children? In some cases, breastfeeding can put women under the body fat threshold for menstruating. It's not bad. It's very similar to the more well-known runners amenorrhea. Additionally, if you are continuing to breastfeed, your body may require a higher body fat percentage for that first ovulation than it would have otherwise.
How does your child's nursing habits compare with previous children? Unless they're drastically different, I wouldn't expect that sort of difference, but if this child is still nursing a lot more, especially at night, it could have this effect.
Could you be menopausal? You didn't say anything about your age, but if you're an older mom, it's possible for cycles to just never return.
The only other thing that I have run into is a very rare condition called a prolactinoma, a benign pituitary tumor that causes you to release an excess of prolactin and inhibits fertility. It's treatable, but not until weaning.
Along with the prolactinoma is another very rare syndrome called Sheehan's that can go undiagnosed until menses doesn't start up again. Did you breastfeed this baby and was all well breastfeeding-wise? Did you have any interesting or unusual symptoms for you during or shortly after this delivery? Did you hemmorhage? They think it is what I've got, though I'm pregnant again and very sick, so we can't diagnose it definitively until postpartum. Best wishes,
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