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Dr. Owen
Dr. Owen, OB/GYN (Doctor)
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 55754
Experience:  Board Certified: Ob/Gyn & Preventive medicine, US Medical Graduate
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Can breastfeeding cause your period to start and then stop

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Can breastfeeding cause your period to start and then stop again?
Dr. Owen : Hello, and I am pleased to help, use of my answers are for educational purposes only.
Dr. Owen : Are you breast feeding on demand or on a schedule?
Dr. Owen : Hello

We are now on somewhat of a schedule. My son is 16 months, will be 17 months on the 8th. I have been back at work since he was about 3 months old. We supplement with rice milk (allergies). I pump maybe 4 oz at work now, nurse him when I get home and then again before bed. He does randomly wake up in the middle of the night and we nurse then. I may also pump a small amount in the morning before work depending on how the night went.


My periods returned at 14 months and even though it was only 2, they seemed normal and the second was at the correct time following the first. I am now 11 days late although 3 at home test were negative.

Dr. Owen : okay
Dr. Owen : when did you start to bleed again?

May 13th of this year

Dr. Owen : Oh so you have delivered awhile ago
Dr. Owen : So what is happening is due to you breast feeding
Dr. Owen : And, since it has been awhile since you delivered, women do bleed even with breast feeding when you have delivered this long ago

Sorry, I am confused as to what you mean.

Dr. Owen : And, if you are interested in still breast feeding and you want to stop the bleeding the way you do - using the Mini-pill that contains progesterone only will help
Dr. Owen : You delivered your baby over a year ago, correct?

From my son's birth, I did not have a period until he was 14 months old. It just returned. I am wondering if it can start and stop or if there is chance I am pregnant again.

Dr. Owen : If that is so, then your body is trying to have a normal periodand when you are breast feeding you are going to have this irregular bleeding
Dr. Owen : So, yes you can have this irregular bleeding
Dr. Owen : So, to HELP
Dr. Owen : you can use the Mini-pill - this will not stop your milk supply
Dr. Owen : and at the same time it will help with the bleeding and prevent another pregnancy too

I don't want to go on the mini pill, I would actually like to get pregnant again...

Dr. Owen : okay

I believe my periods did start 2 months ago but it seemed they have now stopped.

Dr. Owen : Well if you are trying to get pregnant it is possible
Dr. Owen : but if you are still breast feeding, the periods can be irregular



Is there any reason why a home test may give a false negative.

Dr. Owen : So, you have a choice - stop breast feeding to allow your periods to return to normal so you can get pregnant

in my situation

Dr. Owen : The pregnancy test is negative because you are not pregnant and if you are still breast feeding this increass your prolactin level and hence this can cause irregular periods - and so you can not predict yoru period when you are breast feeding - you might have a period every 2 weeks or every month, or sometimes not for months - when you breast feeding it is unpredictable
Dr. Owen : Do you have any more questions?
Dr. Owen : Are you there?

Ok, so what you are saying is that the only way is to wean. Why can some nurse through pregnancy then?

Dr. Owen : I'm not saying you can't get pregnant when you are breast feeding - but it is much more difficult to get pregnant
Dr. Owen : If you want a great chance of pregnancy, then stopping breast feeding is a more sure way to get pregnant.

Ok, and even though we can significantly reduced the amount of nursing, this can still cause the above


Sorry, have significantly reduced

Dr. Owen : When you breast feed this increases the prolactin hormone
Dr. Owen : Hence this can decrease the chance of pregnancy by decreasing ovuulation and hence causes this irregular bleeding
Dr. Owen : Not all women are the same - so you can't compare yourself to what you are reading on the internet

Ok, so that really is my only option?

Dr. Owen : Most women who want to get pregnant again and if they are breast feeding need to stop

Ok, thank you.

Dr. Owen : You can still 'hope' you will get pregnant while you are breast feeding, but you have a much lower chance of pregnancy
Dr. Owen : You should also be taking prenatal vitamins

I know, I didn't anticipate my period being gone for so long. yes, I have continued with the vitamins.

Dr. Owen : Perfect

Is the current recommendation for nursing 1or 2 years?

Dr. Owen : Honestly there is no strong recommendation - but most women breast feed for 6 to 12 months

I know. We have been dedicated.

Dr. Owen : Very few women breast feed for more than a year, less than 1% of women breast feed for more than a year
Dr. Owen : It saves a lot of money too

Thanks for time and answers.

Dr. Owen : You are welcome
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Dr. Owen : Thank you
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