When Should My Menstrual Cycle Return?

Updated on January 02, 2009
J.O. asks from Alexandria, VA
9 answers

I appreciate you all considering this when I know there are better things to be doing with your time over the holiday season. I have two questions:

1) When is it "normal" for your menstrual cycle to return?
2) Can I start taking the pill (Ortho Novum 777) prior to my cycle beginning? The doctor instructed that I wait until after my first period, but I hadn’t worried about it starting back up; so, I never asked whether I could start prior.

Background: I breastfed or pumped until my daughter turned one year. At approximately 10 months I started weaning (decreased nursing to 2 times per day and started mixing formula/whole milk into bottles). At a year we stopped nursing. We finished up the stored milk/formula and transitioned primarily to whole milk. It's been almost 6 weeks since I've nursed or expressed any milk. I went through about a week of engorgement. So, it's been a little over a month of normalcy. Baby is doing wonderfully well.

Am I just being too impatient? (OK three questions) God willing we’ll have more kids, but now is not an ideal time.

Thanks for your help ladies.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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So What Happened?

Thanks ladies. I started the full strength pill prior to the return of my period and after taking a pregnancy test. Which, btw, I tried without first reading the directions and nearly had a heart attack because I incorrectly interpreted the results. :) Anyway, hopefully I'll get my period after the end of the pack. If not, back to the doctor's office. Thanks again, J..

More Answers



answers from Jacksonville on

I think you and I are in about the same position. We're finishing up with nursing, she's a year old and still no menstral cycle. I've been on the mini pill and plan to switch to the full strength in 2 weeks time when this current pack is finished. My doctor doesn't have a problem with me startig it before my cycle starts up again. I took a pregnancy last week and will take another before I start the full strength pill just to make sure.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

According to my experience you can start the pills at any point in your cycle, however, there are a fews things to keep in mind:
1) You are not "protected" for 7 days because of the off-chance you've ovulated. So for the first 7 days you need to use condoms as a back-up.
2) Before starting the pills you should wait 2 wks after the last time you had unprotected sex, take a pregnancy test.
3) It may take your cycle up to 3 months to fall in sync with the cycle the pills put you on. (truthfully, this is regardless of when you start the pills)

As far as when your cycle should begin, I can't help you there. You are lucky you made it the whole year without it! Congrats! lol I got mine within days of stopping breastfeeding, but my son was only 10 wks old, so that could play a roll in the quick return for me.

You could always call the dr office and get their take on things.



answers from Norfolk on

Yay for lactational ameorrhea! I had two cycles in August and September when we moved because we slowed down a little and I was stressed. I wouldn't recommend going on the pill until your period returns as your doctor suggests and use condoms until then. Not sure why your cycle hasn't returned though. Have you taken a pregnancy test?



answers from Norfolk on

I don't know about when to restart B.C., but as far as our cycles returning, I think it depends when your bady is ready....and healthy! Take your vitamins, eat your fruits and veggies and protein. Don't exercise to excess. And of course if you're still worried, ask your Dr. or the nurse if Dr. has one. Mine was almost a year before it came back.... & I was still breast feeding! lol



answers from Washington DC on


I can only help with one of your questions... it is very normal for your cycle to take a little while to return after nursing exclusively for so long. I nursed mine for a full year. Then once I stopped, it took a little over a month for my cycle to return. And once it did, it was never as regular as before I had a child. I used to always have a 28 day cycle. After I got it back, it's been as short as 18 days and as long as 36...

So, it is normal for some people to take longer to get their cycle back.



answers from Roanoke on

I nursed both of my boys (2 and 5) for 13-14 months exclusively. With my oldest, I got my period, but not regularly, while he was still nursing. I kept thinking I was pregnant because it was so irregular! With my 2 year old, I didn't have it at all until he was done nursing, and I think it was 6-8 weeks before I started again. NOT POSITIVE on that, since he's 2 and 7 months now! haha! its been a while! Good luck, and ask your ob/gyn when its safe to start your birth control. If its just a pill, you should be able to start it anytime after she isn't nursing. In fact, I think that is what my OB did to get me to start my cycle, switch from the mini pill that is! You may even be able to just call and they can call the RX in for you if you aren't due for an annual exam (although if your daughter is 1, you probably are due!). congrats on your lil one, and for breastfeeding for a whole year! We who do are getting less and less! I miss it, and hubby says no more babies!



answers from Dover on

Hi J.. Am I to understand that your baby is a year old? My daughter is 5 months. I got my period back when she was 3 months old, however I didnt breastfeed. If your daughter is a year old and you havent gotten your period back I would ask the doctor. Good luck and Merry Christmas.



answers from Richmond on

Merry Christmas! My last one took 3 mths to come back. So I don't think you have to worry or anything. And yes, from what I know, you should wait until your first cycle before starting the pills.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family!

Take Care,
N. :) SAHM homeschooling 3 boys and married to my Mr. Wonderful for 15yrs. I love to help other moms, who want to become SAHMs, reach that goal!



answers from Washington DC on

A friend of mine went on the low dose pill between #1 and #2, no mentrual cycle and then pregnant again (intentionally). After #2 while still nursing she got a Mirena IUD before she got her period and still 2 1/2 yrs later (not nursing anymore) does not have a period. So you can use birth control while nursing, and unless you want another one right away, you should get the mini-pill or IUD.

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