Lactation amenorrhea is a natural method of contraception based on natural infertility installed immediately after birth when a woman is breastfeeding. It is a period of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) that protects you from pregnancy. Find out how safe it is and under what conditions it works!
How does the lactation amenorrhea method work?
It is based on the physiological infertility of the woman after birth. When the baby sucks in the mother's breast, neural signals are sent to the mother's hypothalamus, which influences the level and rhythm of gonadotropin hormone secretion. This influences 2 essential hormones in ovulation: FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinized hormone).
Reducing gonadotropin secretion thus prevents the onset of ovulation, which is necessary for pregnancy.
How effective is this method?
The lactation amenorrhea method is temporary and can have a success rate of 98-99.5% only if used under certain well-established conditions:
- is used especially in the first 6 months after birth (as time passes after 6 months, the efficiency decreases considerably);
- in these 6 months the baby is exclusively breastfed;
- combining breastfeeding with the bottle or introducing solid foods earlier than 6 months decreases the efficiency of the method;
- breast feeding is done as often as possible (at least 8-10 times a day, of which at least 1 time and night);
- if you breastfeed the baby correctly;
- menstruation has not yet returned in these 6 months;
- the child is younger than 6 months.
It should be noted that it is a contraceptive method that does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
What should the mother do to increase her efficiency?
It is advisable to breastfeed as soon as possible after birth (even in the first hour, if possible).
- a model of breastfeeding beneficial and fruitful in the case of breastfeeding amenorrhea is the "on demand", that is, whenever the baby asks to eat; But to be sure that you satisfy the need for "sucking" the method to be effective you must consider a number of 10-12 daily breastfeeding in the first weeks after birth and then a frequency of 8-10 times a day, of which the at least once at night;
- you must make sure that the breaks between meals are not more than 4 hours in order to increase the efficiency of the method, and those during the night not more than 6 hours; however, you should not force the child to eat if he does not want to.
If you cannot meet this breastfeeding pattern, ask your doctor to prescribe another form of contraceptive suitable for breastfeeding.
Advantages of breastfeeding amenorrhea in contraception
It's free; very efficient, if used properly; can be applied immediately after birth; is the easiest to use (does not require instructions, certain rules or prescriptions); does not interfere in any way with the sexual act (such as the coitus interruptus method); has no side effects; has beneficial effects on mother and baby.
Disadvantages of using lactation amenorrhea as a contraceptive method
It is not an option for women who do not breastfeed after birth; observing the rules and integral breastfeeding for it to be effective can be difficult to follow; is a temporary method, limited only to the first 6 months after birth; does not protect against BTS.
When is the method of contraindicated lactation amenorrhea?
Almost all women who give birth and breastfeed can easily use this method, if they follow all the necessary measures. However, there are several medical situations where women should consider another contraceptive method:
- sexually transmitted infections (especially HIV or AIDS);
- the baby is unable to breast feed due to diseases that make breastfeeding difficult (for example, if he is born with certain congenital malformations in the mouth or if he is born prematurely and cannot be breastfed immediately after birth) is below postpartum drug treatment based on reserpine; ergotamine, antimetabolites, corticosteroids, cyclosporine, etc.).
In such cases, you need an additional method of protection against another pregnancy because the effectiveness of the lactation amenorrhea method is very low.
Tags Breastfeeding baby