lactational amenhorea... when should I worry? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-05-2012, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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How long can I go without a postpartum period before attributing the absence of menstruation to a cause other than breastfeeding?

DD2 will be two next month and I haven't had a period since January 2010. I *did* have a few days of bleeding after getting a paragard (copper) IUD in late 2010, but since then, nothing. I tandem nursed for nine months, but DD1 weaned in July of 2011. DD2 is large for her age (30 lb), but she nurses less than DD1 did, eats a lot of other foods, and her nursing patterns are erratic (ie she can spend a 12 hr day away from me or nurse tons if we're together). DD2 night weaned a few weeks ago, bu we've had a few nights where she night nursed 1-2 times bc of illness/travel.

Pregnancy is extremely unlikely (IUD plus husband has had a vasectomy). Nor do I actually *need* my fertility to return (we're done having kids). It's just starting to seem kind of weird to go this long. I got my first pp period @ 13 months w/ DD1. I'm the last person in my MDC Oct 2010 DDC to have amenhorea. Just lucky or would you be concerned?

ETA: I'll be 29 in a few days. My mother had menopause at 53.
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#2 of 9 Old 09-05-2012, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by rparker View Post

How long can I go without a postpartum period before attributing the absence of menstruation to a cause other than breastfeeding?

From my reading of Sheila Kippley and Dr Robert Mendelsohn, 2.5 years is not uncommon, and from my own experience, my cycle returned at 32 months. I have read a few cases of 4 years. Night nursing seems to be a primary factor in suppressing fertility too. It was in my case. My son nursed 6-10+ times per night up until 31 months, then began going 4+ hours at  night without (cyle returned in a few weeks). Every woman is different though, some maintain lactational ammenorhea it seems even if a child is not nursing often, others like myself regain it as soon as there is a decrease in nursing.


I would take a layman's guess that your cycle will return soon, since your daughter's night nursing pattern has changed just recently. I am not sure I would be concerned at this point but everyone has their own comfort level and you know your body.

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#3 of 9 Old 09-05-2012, 07:24 AM
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With DD1 I ended up inducing AF back when she was 2.5 years old to get pg. #2 was 18 months when it naturally returned and #3 was 8 months old. Just a little variety there! #4 is 13 months old and no AF yet. so yes, I've also had wide differences as well and nothing was wrong. 

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#4 of 9 Old 09-05-2012, 07:21 PM
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I've been wondering this too.  No chance of pregnancy but I'm the last nursing friend (all with children around the same age) with no period yet.  DS is 19 months.  We do nurse a lot during the night (and day) so I've been assuming that's why.  Still...!

Jamie, DW to Jeff, birth and postpartum doula and Hypnobabies instructor.
4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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#5 of 9 Old 09-06-2012, 05:24 AM
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average age of firstvperiod in the industrialised world for mamas who never supplement with other milks: 14 months

for developing countries: 2 years.

the longer the amenorrhea, the better health benefits for mom ( like protection against some cancers).
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#6 of 9 Old 09-11-2012, 07:47 PM
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I know several women that it took more than 2 years for.  As long as you're pretty sure that nursing is the cause, I wouldn't worry.  14.6 months is the average - but that is just that, an average.  It took me 18 months the first time, with actively cutting down, 16 months the second time while tandeming and not cutting down, and 25 months the third time while tandeming and not cutting down.

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#7 of 9 Old 09-11-2012, 07:50 PM
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Dd nursed regularly until 3. I didn't get my period back until she was 3 1/2, even though she only nursed morning and evening for the last 6 months.

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#8 of 9 Old 09-12-2012, 04:41 AM
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I only recently got my first PP period, and my son is 27 months. I was also wondering for a long time because everyone I knew who did extended BFing got their period back within 12-18months and some even much sooner like 6 months.


No worries!

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Multicultural living in Europe
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#9 of 9 Old 09-13-2012, 05:24 AM
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Still no period for me and DD is 20 months! She still nurses all night and all day though, so I guess that would be fairly expected!

Pretty darn crunchy mama to Kiddo (2yo, DD), wife to Hubby, SAHM/aspiring writer/amateur sewist/lover of reading, traveling, music, natural parenting, unschooling, dogs, nature and more. Working on mindfulness and living in the present. Settled in Norway.

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