Irregularity and conception postpartum
30 December, 2002
Since the birth of my child, my periods have changed. I see heavy flow for 2 days. By the 4th day I'm absolutely clean. I make a hefsek on the fifth day, which is always fine. But the following day I get a flow of blood and have trouble making a hefesk again because of blood and brown staining. I don't get to mikvah until day 14 or 15 of my cycle. I get my period again on day 25-26. Is this type of period normal? Should I contact a doctor? Also, as I have trouble conceiving, I was wondering if there is anything I could do to regulate my cycle.
You do not indicate your age nor how long it is after the birth of your child. It is not unusual for the interval between cycles to shorten when a woman is in her mid to late thirties. It is not unusual for menses not to return or to be irregular for a number of months after childbirth. This phenomenon can persist longer when a woman is breastfeeding. While most probably what you are describing is normal, it is always a good idea for a physician to examine you when there is a change in your menstrual cycle.
From a halachic standpoint, it is important to confirm that you really need to wait until day 15 to go to the mikveh. A brown stain on a hefsek or bedikah may or may not be problematic. It is always worth showing the cloth to a rabbi to make this determination, rather than just adding another day. Be sure to indicate when you ask the question that you are having difficulty conceiving.
A short interval between cycles, especially with a delayed immersion in the mikveh, can cause problems conceiving. The phenomenon of ovulating too far in advance of mikveh use and thus missing the best time for conception is known as halachic infertility. There are solutions to this problem which can be further discussed with your rabbi and your physician.
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