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What is Lactational Amenorrhea?

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  • Written By: Lindsay Kahl
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2016
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Lactational amenorrhea refers to the absence of a woman’s menstrual period when she is breastfeeding following childbirth. When a new mother breastfeeds, the act of the infant’s suckling suppresses production of the mother’s hormones. These hormones are necessary for ovulation, which is the release of a new egg during the menstrual cycle, so the mother will not ovulate. If the mother’s body does not ovulate, she will not experience a menstrual cycle or bleeding. The length of time that mothers will experience lactational amenorrhea varies greatly from woman to woman.

Many women use lactational amenorrhea as a means of natural birth control. Several conditions are necessary for this method to be used effectively. When used correctly, the lactational amenorrhea method can be at least 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.

In order to use the method correctly, the new mother must have not had a menstrual period since giving birth. She must be exclusively or almost exclusively breastfeeding her new baby. This means that the majority of nourishment the child receives is from breastfeeding, with only occasional supplements. The new mother also must feed the infant frequently, at least every four hours during daytime and every six hours through the night. Lactational amenorrhea can be used to prevent pregnancy only when the child is less than six months old.

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There are numerous advantages for women using the lactational amenorrhea method of birth control. It is natural and safe for the mother and baby, it is effective immediately, it does not interfere with intercourse and it is free. There are no side effects, and the act of breastfeeding offers health benefits for both the mother and the infant. Additionally, it can be a cost-saving measure for many women. Thanks to the process of the body, breastfeeding mothers can save money on bottles, formula and contraceptives.

The lactational amenorrhea method of birth control does have some disadvantages for those who choose to use it. Maintaining a stringent routine of frequent breastfeeding can be difficult. The method does not offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases, and the duration of effectiveness is limited to six months. Additionally, this method of birth control is not available to women who are unable to breastfeed or who choose not to breastfeed.

Many women choose to use their bodies’ natural lactational amenorrhea to prevent pregnancy. It is easy to do this, and it can improve health and bonding for the mother and her baby. The process also encourages consistent breastfeeding patterns.

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