Fertility regulation in nursing women: IV. Long-term influence of a low-dose combined oral contraceptive initiated at day 30 postpartum upon lactation and infant growth

Contraception. 1983 Jan;27(1):13-25. doi: 10.1016/0010-7824(83)90052-5.


The study was designed to test the long-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 an injectable placebo or a Copper T at day 30 postpartum. Women in the injectable placebo group received non-hormonal contraceptives at day 90 postpartum. An exacting list of requirements for admission and continuation in the study was applied to all groups. The oral contraceptive group had a significantly lower percentage of cases in full nursing from the 4th through the 10th postpartum month when compared to both control groups. The average absolute weight of infants in the oral contraceptive group was significantly lower at several ages when compared to the placebo group but not when compared to the Copper T group. No adverse side effects upon infant's health were detected. It was concluded that the oral contraceptive tested showed a moderate inhibitory influence upon lactation when treatment was initiated at the beginning of the second postpartum month.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • 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
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • 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