Expert advice

Leah Hechtman: fertility expert

Leah is the Director of The Natural Health and Fertility Centre in Sydney , where she specialises in male and female fertility and reproductive health. She is passionate about helping couples make healthy babies.

Irregular periods after a miscarriage

Lean Hechtman
Monday, January 10, 2011
" If you are experiencing any nutritional deficiencies it is likely that your cycle will be both irregular and that you may bleed for longer."
Lean Hechtman

Question:

I suffered a miscarriage in July and have found that my period cycles are yet to go back to normal. This month my period came early, lasted four days and then a week later my period started again. Is there something I'm lacking in my diet or shouldn't be doing? Can you help me? I am also trying to fall pregnant again.

Answer:
I am sorry to hear about your miscarriage but am glad that you're ready to try again. Miscarriages are unfortunately very common, with recent statistics suggesting that one in four pregnancies will end in a miscarriage, however, most women won't know they have experienced one and will just have a "late period".

After a miscarriage the body goes from a hormonal state conducive with pregnancy and then tries to balance itself out after the miscarriage. This can take time but usually remedies itself after three cycles. My initial recommendation is that if your cycle has not stabilised yet, it is imperative that you see someone to review your health. This is especially important if you miscarried naturally (no dilation and curettage) so make sure that you have a check-up with your GP.

It is important to remember that everything can influence your cycle regulation. Our ovulation potential is primed to ensure that we conceive at the most beneficial time. Factors to consider include:

Stress levels: When we are stressed we can delay ovulation or induce an early ovulation. For example, if there is a major trauma such as an earthquake just before you ovulate your cycle is likely to be delayed.

Frequency of intercourse: Couples that increase their lovemaking in the follicular phase of their cycle (first half of the cycle, pre-ovulation) can literally bring ovulation sooner and thus your menses will follow sooner as well.

Nutritional status of prospective mum: If you are experiencing any nutritional deficiencies it is likely that your cycle will be both irregular and that you may bleed for longer. For example, iron deficiency presents as women who bleed more frequently, for longer duration and experience a heavier menstrual flow. Please note that it is crucial that you are properly assessed to determine your iron status before supplementation as negative health implications can occur. My recommendation to you would be to see your GP if you are still experiencing cycle abnormalities for longer than three months and then see a qualified fertility naturopath to assess your health from a holistic perspective and address anything necessary.

For more information please visit Leah Hechtman's website.


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