Congratulations! Finally, you have welcomed your new baby into the world after enduring pregnancy for nine months. After the arrival of your little bundle of joy, your life has changed in a lot of ways. Amidst the chaos of having a newborn in the house, sleepless nights and recovering from a C-section, you are dreading the return of your monthly periods. You may be wondering what your first period after C-section be like? Will your period be heavier, lighter, more painful or will you have regular periods? Continue reading to know all about this and more.
first period after c sectio

  • Will A C-Section Delay Your First Period?
  • When Does Your First Period After C-Section Return?
  • Heavy Bleeding After C Section
  • How Will The First Period After C-Section Be Like?
  • First Period After C-Section Can Be Very Heavy
  • First Period After C-Section Can Be Bright Red In Color
  • First Period After C-Section Can Be Painful
  • First Period After C-Section Can Last Longer
  • Irregular Periods After C-Section
  • First Period After C-Section Can Be Heavy With Blood Clots
  • The First Period After C-Section And Tubal Ligation
  • The First Period After C-Section And Breastfeeding
  • When Should You Seek Medical Attention?

Will A C-Section Delay Your First Period?

Pregnancy is a time in which women don’t have to bother about their monthly menstrual cycle. Yet, the periods will return sooner or later after delivery. The return of your periods is influenced by quite a few factors like breastfeeding, hormone levels, health issues before and after pregnancy, etc. The means of delivery, whether it be a C-section or normal vaginal delivery, has no role in determining the returning of the periods. Therefore, undergoing a C-section won’t influence the return of your first period. However, C-section has an influence on how the period returns. Having a C-section could make your first period a bit different at first.

When Does Your First Period After C-Section Return?

The return of your first period after a c section will depend on breastfeeding and how soon your hormones will return to their pre-pregnancy state. Estrogen, progesterone and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels drop after pregnancy. Hormones play a significant role in the menstrual cycle. It might be different for every woman as the return of your first period after a c section will depend on how soon the hormone level return to normal post pregnancy.

Heavy Bleeding After C Section

After a C-section, it’s quite normal for women to experience heavy bleeding in the first week. You can’t consider this as your first period, as it is merely a normal cleaning out of uterine tissue from the pregnancy called lochia. After a week or maybe within a couple of weeks, this bleeding becomes lighter in color and lessen. It will completely disappear before the baby turns one month old. Do not use tampons during this period as it can increase the risk of infection post surgery.

How Will The First Period After C-Section Be Like?

How your body deals with hormonal changes after having the baby will affect the first few periods after a C-section. Your periods will differ in many aspects from the period during the pre-pregnancy time:

First Period After C-Section Can Be Very Heavy

Many women who have had a C – section will witness heavy bleeding during their first period. The surgical incision during the procedure of the C-section on the uterine wall and the repair of the uterine wall could be the reason for this heavy bleeding. If the flow is heavier than usual, keep an eye on it and let your doctor know if you feel something is wrong.

First Period After C-Section Can Be Bright Red In Color

It is quite normal to have first period bright red in color. This is because the blood is relatively formed fresh after the uterine tissue is cleared out during the procedure of C-section. Eventually, the periods will return to the way they were before pregnancy.

First Period After C-Section Can Be Painful

Stronger cramps can be experienced during the first period after a C-section. On the other hand, for some women who had painful periods before pregnancy, the first period after a C-section can be less painful, lighter instead of heavy bleeding and only lasts for a short period, say, less than 7 days. This could be because of stretching of the uterus during pregnancy. It all depends on the hormonal changes going on in the body and it differs from woman to woman.
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First Period After C-Section Can Last Longer

Mostly, the first period after a C-section lasts around seven days just like normal periods. However, it is also quite normal for some women to have heavy bleeding for four to five days and the bleeding eventually reduces but take around 12 days to stop altogether.

Irregular Periods After C-Section

For a lot of women, menstrual cycle returns back to the normal 28-day cycle while for others it can be erratic. A lot of factors affect the regularity of the cycle: weight gain or loss, thyroid problems, stress etc. For a lot of women, irregular periods can be a sign of perimenopause kicking in earlier in the mid-30s.

First Period After C-Section Can Be Heavy With Blood Clots

Bright red or dark color clots may appear during the first period after a C-section. This usually happens when the bleeding is heavy. This is because the anticoagulant that is released by the body during periods to avoid the menstrual blood clotting will not be able to efficiently work, as more quantity of blood is released in a short time. This increases the chances of clot formation and the clots get expelled with the menstrual blood.

The First Period After C-Section And Tubal Ligation

The procedure of the tubal ligation can be easily done right at the time of C-section. The tubal ligation will not influence the time of the recovery from the C-section nor cause any complications. However, it is found that the chances of experiencing heavy bleeding during the first period increases after a C-section and tubal ligation

The First Period After C-Section And Breastfeeding

  • For breastfeeding moms, it generally takes six months for periods to return. This is because if you are exclusively breastfeeding, the levels of prolactin become high, thereby preventing ovulation for at least 6 months
  • The periods tend to be irregular for the breastfeeding moms. For some breastfeeding moms, you might not get your periods till you stop breastfeeding while in others it can return in couple of months
  • If you are nursing your baby less often, you will get your periods sooner. If your baby sleeps through the night without nursing from the very beginning or if you are giving him formula feeds in between breastfeeding, you will get your periods earlier than six months
  • Also keep in mind that breastfeeding is not a method of birth control. It does not guarantee that you will not ovulate. So if you are not taking any other measures of birth control, there are chances that you can get pregnant again, even before you get your first period after c section

If you are not breastfeeding, you will get your first period after c section within 6 to 8 weeks after your delivery.

When Should You Seek Medical Attention?

You should consult your gynecologist:

  • If the bleeding is too heavy that you must change the pad soaked with blood every hour or two
  • If you experience fever after you got your first period after C-section
  • If the heavy bleeding lasts more than seven days
  • If the pain that you experience during your periods is severe and unbearable
  • If you get exhausted very fast and if any signs of anemia appears
  • If your periods do not come back even after 6 or more months of delivery. Your doctor will check you your pregnancy and other problems