Clinical study of the lactational amenorrhoea method for family planning

Lancet. 1992 Apr 18;339(8799):968-70. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(92)91538-j.


The effect of breastfeeding on fertility is well known; however, its use as a method of family planning was, until recently, untested. In 1988, the Bellagio Consensus Conference proposed guidelines that became the basis for a method of family planning called the lactational amenorrhoea method (LAM). The principle of LAM is that a woman who continues to fully or nearly fully breastfeed her infant and who remains amenorrhoeic during the first 6 months postpartum is protected from pregnancy during that time. We have assessed this method in the context of a breastfeeding support intervention study of 422 middle-class women in urban Santiago, Chile. The cumulative 6-month life-table pregnancy rate was 0.45% among women who relied on LAM as their only family planning method (1 woman pregnant in month 6). The findings indicate that LAM, with its high acceptance and efficacy, is a viable method of family planning and can safely serve as an introductory method for breastfeeding women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea* / etiology
  • Breast Feeding
  • Contraception
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation*
  • Pregnancy