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Lactational amenorrhea and the recovery of ovulation and fertility in fully nursing Chilean women

  • S. Díaz
    Affiliations
    Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva Consultorio de Planificación Familiar J.V. Lastarria 29, Depto. 101 Santiago, Chile

    Laboratorio de Endocrinología, Facultad Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile
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  • G. Rodríguez
    Affiliations
    Departamento de Probabilidad y Estadística, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile

    Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva Consultorio de Planificación Familiar J.V. Lastarria 29, Depto. 101 Santiago, Chile

    Laboratorio de Endocrinología, Facultad Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile
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  • O. Peralta
    Affiliations
    Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva Consultorio de Planificación Familiar J.V. Lastarria 29, Depto. 101 Santiago, Chile

    Laboratorio de Endocrinología, Facultad Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile
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  • P. Miranda
    Affiliations
    Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva Consultorio de Planificación Familiar J.V. Lastarria 29, Depto. 101 Santiago, Chile

    Laboratorio de Endocrinología, Facultad Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile
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  • M.E. Casado
    Affiliations
    Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva Consultorio de Planificación Familiar J.V. Lastarria 29, Depto. 101 Santiago, Chile

    Laboratorio de Endocrinología, Facultad Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile
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  • A.M. Salvatierra
    Affiliations
    Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva Consultorio de Planificación Familiar J.V. Lastarria 29, Depto. 101 Santiago, Chile

    Laboratorio de Endocrinología, Facultad Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile
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  • C. Herreros
    Affiliations
    Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva Consultorio de Planificación Familiar J.V. Lastarria 29, Depto. 101 Santiago, Chile

    Laboratorio de Endocrinología, Facultad Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile
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  • A. Brandeis
    Affiliations
    Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva Consultorio de Planificación Familiar J.V. Lastarria 29, Depto. 101 Santiago, Chile

    Laboratorio de Endocrinología, Facultad Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile
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  • H.B. Croxatto
    Affiliations
    Instituto Chileno de Medicina Reproductiva Consultorio de Planificación Familiar J.V. Lastarria 29, Depto. 101 Santiago, Chile

    Laboratorio de Endocrinología, Facultad Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Matemáticas, P. Universidad Católica de Chile Chile
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      Abstract

      The probability of experiencing the first postpartum bleeding, the first ovulation and the risk of pregnancy during exclusive breastfeeding was assessed in a selected group of urban Chilean women. Admission criteria included having had a normal pregnancy and a vaginal term delivery of a healthy infant and the desire to maintain breastfeeding for as long as possible.
      The risk of bleeding and the recovery of ovulation was assessed in 48 women selected for being amenorrheic and fully nursing at day 75 postpartum and their willingness to participate in the blood sampling protocol. The first bleeding and ovulation was experienced while fully nursing by 28% and 26% of these subjects, respectively, at day 180 postpartum.
      The probability of experiencing the first bleeding and the probability of pregnancy during full nursing were calculated for 236 women not contracepting who were enrolled during the first month postpartum. The cumulative probability of bleeding and of pregnancy was 52% and 9.4% at day 180 postpartum, respectively. The risk of pregnancy was less than 2% in the subset of amenorrheic cases.
      In this urban population selected for having the highest motivation and best breastfeeding performance, the association of breastfeeding with infertility was too weak to serve as an effective birth spacer, except for the period of lactational amenorrhea. When the first postpartum bleeding took place before the sixth postpartum month in fully nursing women, it had a good predictive value to indicate the onset of a higher risk period.
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