Multicenter study of the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM): I. Efficacy, duration, and implications for clinical application

Contraception. 1997 Jun;55(6):327-36. doi: 10.1016/s0010-7824(97)00040-1.


A multicenter study of the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) was carried out to test the acceptability and efficacy of the method. Additionally, the data are used to test new constructs for improvement of method criteria. A protocol was designed at the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH), Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Georgetown University Medical Center, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center, and was reviewed and modified in collaboration with the co-sponsors, the World Health Organization and the South to South Cooperation for Reproductive Health, and the principal investigators from each site. Data were gathered prospectively on LAM acceptors at 11 sites. Data were entered and cleaned on-site and further cleaned and analyzed at IRH, using country-level and pooled data to produce descriptive statistics and life tables. The 98+% efficacy of LAM is confirmed in a wide variety of settings. In addition, the results yield insight on the possibility of continued use beyond 6 months. LAM is found to be highly effective as an introductory postpartum method when offered in a variety of cultures, health care settings, socio-economic strata, and industrial and developing country locales. In addition, LAM acceptance complements breastfeeding behaviors without ongoing breastfeeding support services. The parameters studied yield high efficacy and method continuation. Therefore, the basic tenets of the 1995 Bellagio consensus on LAM is reconfirmed and it is recommended that LAM be reconfirmed and it is recommended that LAM be incorporated into hospital, maternity, family planning, maternal and child health, and other primary health care settings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea* / physiopathology
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Data Collection
  • Family Planning Services / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lactation* / physiology
  • Life Tables
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors