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Gynecology

Hypermenorrhea after breastfeeding

06/04/2009

Question:

I breastfed my second child for 12 1/2 months. Regular menstrual cycles resumed every 24-26 days. However, the duration of the bleeding is different. The bleeding stops at days 5-6 and light spotting resumes on days 7-8 through day 10. Prior to pregnancy menstrual duration was 6 days. Bleeding is not heavy and I have no pelvic discomfort. I am 38 years old, non-smoker. I have had 3 such cycles in the 3 months since weaning. I am wondering whether my body is trying to find its balance after breastfeeding, if this is now the new normal for me or whether something might be wrong. Thank you for your input.

Answer:

Since this has only occurred for three weeks, you should give it at least six months for the body to recover and return to normal. If this persists, you should seek medical attention to make sure there isn't any anatomic cause. Regular cycles (every 28 days preceded by typical PMS symptoms) that have mid-cycle bleeding could be a sign of a benign condition like a uterine polyp that is disrupting the lining of the uterus.

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Response by:

Thomas  A deHoop, MD Thomas A deHoop, MD
Formerly Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Medical Student Education
No longer associated