Signs of ovulation after giving birth include changes in cervical mucus, ovulation pain, heightened libido, and more. Here’s how soon you can expect these signs (and your first ovulation) postpartum.
If you’ve given birth recently and are
trying to conceive again, knowing the signs of ovulation after giving birth can be crucial to your fertility journey. Even if you’re not trying for a second (or third, or fourth, or fifth...) child, knowing these signs can help you prepare for intercourse and know when to use protection.
Following pregnancy and childbirth, your body undergoes several changes, both visible and invisible. One of these changes includes the restoration of your menstrual cycle and the return of ovulation. While the timing can vary from person to person, it is generally possible to ovulate a few weeks after giving birth, even if you’re breastfeeding. Recognizing ovulation signals is important for understanding your body's natural rhythm and making informed decisions about fertility. Here are the signs of ovulation after giving birth you need to look out for.
What causes ovulation after giving birth?
First: how does ovulation resume after we give birth? What causes it? It has to do with our hormones, specifically the hormone prolactin.
Prolactin is the hormone that stimulates milk production, meaning that breastfeeding can have an impact on the timing of ovulation. Breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding where the baby receives only breast milk, can suppress ovulation through prolactin. This natural form of contraception, often referred to as lactational amenorrhea, can provide temporary protection against pregnancy. However, it's important to understand that this method is not foolproof, and ovulation can still occur even if you’re breastfeeding.
Once levels of prolactin decrease, ovulation typically starts to resume. The decline in prolactin allows the hormones responsible for ovulation, such as
luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), to increase. These hormonal changes signal the ovaries to release a mature egg, marking the beginning of ovulation. How soon do you ovulate after giving birth?
The timing of ovulation after giving birth can vary from person to person, and it's important to understand that every individual's body is unique. Because ovulation typically starts once prolactin levels decrease, how soon you ovulate after giving birth often depends on whether you’re breastfeeding or not.
If you’re not breastfeeding, ovulation can occur relatively soon after childbirth, often within four to six weeks.
If you are breastfeeding, ovulation will typically occur between three to six months after giving birth.
>>Oova insight: Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, exactly when you start to ovulate after giving birth may happen earlier or later depending on various factors such as individual hormone levels, breastfeeding practices, and other physiological considerations. These are general timelines based on when most people start to ovulate postpartum. Are you super fertile after giving birth?
It is a common belief that women are super fertile after giving birth, but the reality is more nuanced. While it’s true that some women may experience increased fertility in the months following childbirth, it is not a universal phenomenon.
If you're not exclusively breastfeeding or if your baby starts to consume solid foods, the frequency and intensity of breastfeeding sessions may decrease — leading to a decline in prolactin levels and potentially increasing the chances of ovulation and fertility.
It's crucial to remember that fertility is a complex and individualized aspect of reproductive health. Factors such as age, overall health, and hormonal balance can influence fertility after giving birth. If you're considering expanding your family or have concerns about fertility, it's advisable to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and support.
Is it easier to get pregnant the second time?
Many individuals and couples assume that getting pregnant the second time will be as effortless as their first experience. However, this is not always the case. Secondary infertility is a term used to describe difficulties in conceiving or carrying a pregnancy after successfully giving birth to one or more children.
>>MORE: 6 Ways To Manage Secondary Infertility
What causes secondary
infertility? Anything from age, changes in overall health, hormonal balance, and reproductive conditions can occur between pregnancies, affecting fertility. Other potential factors contributing to secondary infertility include underlying medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or uterine abnormalities. These conditions can interfere with ovulation, implantation, or the overall reproductive process. Signs of ovulation after giving birth
You know how long you might have to wait to ovulate after having a child, but what signs of ovulation after giving birth should you look out for? While you might not experience all of these signs, some common signs of ovulation after giving birth include:
Changes in cervical mucus: As you approach ovulation, your cervical mucus becomes more abundant, clearer, and stretchy, resembling raw egg whites. This change in mucus consistency helps facilitate sperm movement and enhances the chances of fertilization. Ovulation pain (mittelschmerz): Some women may experience a brief, mild pain or discomfort on one side of the lower abdomen during ovulation. Increase in basal body temperature (BBT): After ovulation, there is a slight rise in basal body temperature, typically ranging from 0.5 to 1 degree Fahrenheit. By monitoring your temperature each morning before getting out of bed, you can identify a pattern of temperature changes that indicates ovulation has occurred. Changes in cervical position: As you approach ovulation, the cervix becomes softer, higher, and more open. By regularly checking the position of your cervix, you may notice these changes that coincide with your fertile period. Heightened libido: This heightened libido is thought to be influenced by hormonal fluctuations associated with ovulation, making it a potential sign to be aware of. >>MORE: Does Sex Drive Increase During the Ovulatory Phase? Here’s What the Research Says. Breast tenderness or sensitivity: Hormonal fluctuations associated with ovulation can cause temporary changes in breast tissue, making them more sensitive or sore. Increased energy and well-being: Some women report feeling a boost in energy levels and an overall sense of well-being around the time of ovulation. This could be attributed to the hormonal changes that occur during this phase of the menstrual cycle.
Remember that these signs may vary from person to person, and not all women will experience every sign mentioned. It's important to observe your body's individual patterns and combine multiple indicators to gain a clearer understanding of your ovulation cycle.
Signs of ovulation after giving birth vs. typical ovulation
What are the differences between the signs of ovulation after giving birth and the signs of ovulation at any other time? Short answer: little to none.
Long answer: giving birth has a big impact on your body, which in turn can impact the timing and intensity of ovulation. The overall recovery process and hormonal adjustments that follow childbirth can vary from person to person. Factors such as breastfeeding frequency and duration, hormonal balance, and individual differences in postpartum body adjustments can influence the manifestation and intensity of ovulation signs.
>>RELATED: What Are the Signs of Ovulation After Stopping the Pill? How to track your ovulation after giving birth
While the signs of ovulation after giving birth can be a physical indicator that you’re ovulating again, tracking ovulation after giving birth is essential for those who want to understand their fertility patterns accurately and plan for (or avoid!) pregnancy effectively.
So, how do you
track your ovulation and find your fertile window more accurately? Instead of relying on physical signs of ovulation after giving birth, you can look for trends in your hormone levels. You want to look for the LH surge, which triggers ovulation. Using a product like the Oova kit, you can get a clear, accurate picture of your hormone levels and know exactly when you’re ovulating — all in the comfort of your own home.
Overall, the timing of ovulation after giving birth varies from person to person, and it is important to recognize the uniqueness of each individual's body. For those who are not breastfeeding, ovulation can typically occur within four to six weeks after childbirth as the body recovers and hormonal levels regulate. For those who are, ovulation resumes, on average, between three to six months after giving birth as breastfeeding patterns change.
Some common signs of ovulation after giving birth include changes in cervical mucus consistency, increased libido, mild pelvic pain or twinges, a slight increase in basal body temperature, and breast tenderness or sensitivity.
Remember, every person's fertility journey is different, and it's important to approach it with patience, understanding, and support. By being aware of your body, tracking ovulation signs and hormone levels, and seeking appropriate medical advice when needed, you can take proactive steps towards optimizing your reproductive health.