First Period After C Section – What to Expect

The C-section is a procedure in which a baby is delivered through surgery. Instead of vaginal birth, the delivery takes place via a surgical incision on the uterus and the abdomen of the mother. Today, because of advancement in medical technology and medical care, C-sections are safer, but they do pose many risks for the mother.


Does a C-Section Delay Your Period?

Most women who undergo a C-section wonder whether the surgery can delay their period. A C-section doesn’t delay your period. Periods do return after some time depending on your hormones, health condition, and breastfeeding. However, it does have an effect on the nature of the period. The way your period occurs after a C-section is different.


When Will Your Period Start After C-Section?

The time taken for your first period to arrive after c-section primarily depends on your hormones. Post-delivery of the baby, hormonal levels of hCG or Human Chronic Gonadotropin, oestrogen and progesterone tend to be on the lower side. One important factor that determines when your periods will return after a caesarean section is breastfeeding.

1. If You are Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has an impact on your periods after caesarean delivery because breastfeeding impacts hormonal levels. The level of prolactin increases which causes ovulation to delay. So, it can at least take six months for periods to return in case of breastfeeding women. The periods can also be irregular in some cases. The periods can occur earlier if the breastfeeding is irregular.

Breastfeeding mother

2. If You are Not Breastfeeding

When you do not breastfeed, the prolactin level decreases which cause periods to occur sooner. In some cases, the first period may occur just after six weeks after c-section. If the period does not come even after three months, it is time to seek a doctor’s advice.

Bottle Feed a Baby

What Factors Affect Your Menstrual Cycle After C-Section?

Some of the factors include:

  • Stress
  • Lack of rest
  • Weight issues
  • State of health
  • Complications, if any

How Will Your Period Be Different After Caesarean Delivery?

Caesarean delivery is a surgery and as incisions are made on the uterus, the body needs its own time to heal. Hormonal levels too need to be normal. So, the first period happens in between hormonal fluctuations and recuperation of the body.

What Does the First Period After a C-Section Feel Like?

The first period after a C-section is different from that after a vaginal delivery in the following ways:

1. Period Can be Painful

The hormonal changes can be different in different women. Some may experience stronger cramps and thus have painful periods post c-section.

2. Period can be Heavy

 Some women can suffer from a very heavy period after c-section and this could be due to the surgery on the uterus and the damage to the uterine wall. It should be only for some time but if it continues, it is advisable to see a doctor.

3. Period can be Lighter and Less Painful

In some cases, a period can be much lighter than usual, and it will also not be painful. It was also seen that women who suffered from endometriosis got their period issues resolved after delivery. A reason that is believed to cause lighter periods after c-section is the increased progesterone levels. The high level helps in balancing oestrogen levels which helps the growth of uterine cells.

4. Period can Last Longer

Depending on the hormonal changes and the health condition of the body, there are women who can get longer periods than usual. Generally, most women get normal periods that last for a week, but in some cases, there can be heavy bleeding for five days or more and it can continue for at least 12 days.

Irregular Periods After Caesarean

Normally, that is in case of most women who have undergone c-section. It does not take long for the menstrual cycle to be normal again. That is, they get the 28-day cycle soon. But at the same time, in some women, there can be irregular periods as well. This condition may be due to many factors including stress, a thyroid condition, weight loss or even weight gain. In some women who are in their mid-30s, perimenopause can occur earlier, which can cause irregular periods.

First Period After Caesarean Section and Tubal Ligation

Many women prefer to opt for a tubal ligation after c-section. It is a procedure in which the fallopian tubes are either cut or blocked with an aim to prevent any more pregnancies. This procedure is also referred to as having the tubes tied or it is also known as tubal sterilization.

Tubal ligation does not have any impact on the period or recuperation post c-section. Yet, there have been cases in which women who have undergone both c-section and tubal litigation, had heavy bleeding.

When to Seek Medical Help?

Some of the issues are:

  • Extremely Heavy Flow: If you end up changing your pad multiple times a day, then it’s time to see your gynaecologist.
  • Fever: If you get fever along with the first period or after that, then you should visit your doctor to find the reason because there should not be any such condition after a c-section.

  • Long lasting period: A seven-day period is normal, but more than that is a reason to consult the doctor.
  • Severe pain: Stomach cramps may occur but if you suffer from unbearable pain and if it is causing you too much inconvenience, the doctor can suggest solutions after finding the reason.

  • Exhaustion: The body getting tired is normal, but heavy exhaustion or any sign of anaemia is not. The earlier you see your doctor, the better.
  • No periods: In some cases, especially with breastfeeding women, it can take six months or so for the first period to occur after c-section. If the periods do not occur even after so many months, there can be other reasons which your doctor can advise you about.

Thus, you should know that there will be changes in your body as well as your menstrual cycle after a c-section. The key is to take care of your health, be stress-free and enjoy motherhood. Consult your doctor as and when necessary and take due care.