Fertility regulation in nursing women: III. Short-term influence of a low-dose combined oral contraceptive upon lactation and infant growth

Contraception. 1983 Jan;27(1):1-11. doi: 10.1016/0010-7824(83)90051-3.


The study was designed to test the short-term influence of a low-dose combined oral contraceptive upon lactation and infant growth when treatment was initiated at day 30 postpartum. The contraceptive tested contained ethinyl estradiol 0.03 mg and levonorgestrel 0.15 mg. Two control groups were formed by women who received either an oral placebo or an injectable placebo at day 30 postpartum. An exacting list of requirements for admission and continuation in the study was applied to all groups. The oral contraceptive group had a lower percentage of cases in exclusive breastfeeding at day 91 postpartum when compared to both control groups. Infants in the oral contraceptive group showed a significantly lower average absolute weight at days 61 and 91 postpartum and a significantly lower average daily weight increase during the first month of treatment when compared to both control groups. It was concluded that the oral contraceptive tested had a negative influence upon lactation and child growth.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding
  • Contraceptives, Oral / pharmacology*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / administration & dosage
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / administration & dosage
  • Ethinyl Estradiol / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Growth / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactation / drug effects*
  • Levonorgestrel
  • Male
  • Norgestrel / administration & dosage
  • Norgestrel / pharmacology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors


  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Norgestrel
  • Ethinyl Estradiol
  • Levonorgestrel