Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Cycle changes after baby

7 March, 2006

Question:

I had my 1st baby 16 months ago. I nursed until two months ago.

My period returned seven months ago. The interval period was initially much longer than before having the baby but has since stabilized at 28-30 days. The problem is the duration of the period. It used to be no more than 5 days and very easily a clean 7 days. Now, however, it lasts 5 days + and lingers so it's very difficult to get that initial clean bedikah. This month I got a very clean one on the eve of the 5th day only to have the bedikah the next day be not good and had to start all over. Is it normal for the cycle to take this long to "stabilize." My husband and I would really love to have more children now. Thank you.


Answer:

It is normal for the pattern of your period to change once you have had a baby. It is also normal for a period to last up to seven days, and although you were fortunate to have five day periods in the past, six or even seven days are probably not a cause for concern regarding your ability to have another child be'ezrat Hashem.

Please note it is completely normal for it to take up to a year after the cessation of nursing (or at least the resumption of a predictable menstrual cycle) to get pregnant. If it takes longer, that would be the time to consult with a physician (unless you are over age 35 in which case consult after 6 months). If you are concerned that you are ovulating before going to the mikveh (such as for example having symptoms of ovulation), you can test yourself for this – see our article on halachic infertility if that is your concern.

From a halachic perspective, the hefsek taharah and the bedikot of the shivah neki'im do not have to be completely clear. Many shades of brown are permissible. If the staining at the end of your period is not clearly red, it is worth bringing the hefsek and/or bedikot to a halachic authority for evaluation.


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