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LAM Method as a Natural Contraceptive

The Lactational Amenorrhea Method or LAM.


LAM is a contraceptive method used in the first 6 months postpartum by breastfeeding or chestfeeding individuals who are exclusively breastfeeding or chestfeeding and experiencing amenorrhea. It can last from two months postpartum up to 6 months or even longer.

Amenorrhea is the absence of the menstrual period or menstrual bleeding. Frequent nipple suction by the breastfeeding or chestfeeding individual leads to an increase in prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for human milk production. When these levels increase due to the stimulation received during breastfeeding or chestfeeding, prolactin also plays a role in the production of luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is the hormone that triggers ovulation. When prolactin inhibits its production, ovulation does not occur, and consequently, menstruation does not occur.


At times, although slight bleeding may occur during the first 6 months postpartum, there is generally also luteal phase deficiency. This causes the endometrium not to prepare adequately because progesterone levels are lower than necessary for pregnancy to occur. This type of bleeding may not last more than 24 hours.


For the method to be effective, several factors must occur simultaneously:

  • The baby must be under 6 months old.

  • Breastfeeding or chestfeeding must be exclusive, without offering a pacifier, solid food, or expressed milk during the first 6 months.

  • Breastfeeding or chestfeeding should be on demand, without interruptions or extended periods of more than 4 hours between breastfeedings or chestfeeding during the day and no more than 6 hours during the night.

  • Menstruation or menstrual bleeding should not occur after the postpartum bleeding.


This method has a 99% effectiveness rate during the first 6 months if all the mentioned conditions are met.


There are several factors that could reduce the effectiveness of the method, such as:

  • When combined with other contraceptive methods during those first 6 months.

  • Deformities or abnormalities in the baby's jaw, palate, or lips, or separation between the breastfeeding or chestfeeding individual and the baby requiring intensive care.

Once the first menstruation occurs, the method is considered ineffective in preventing pregnancy. Therefore, even with frequent breastfeeding or chestfeeding, if the breastfeeding or chestfeeding individual desires, they should inquire about other methods to space pregnancies when menstruation returns.


It is important to emphasize that ovulation precedes menstruation. Many individuals know how to identify ovulation through changes in vaginal discharge and variations in their temperatures. If this is not the case and more than 6 months have passed, consult with your healthcare provider about other contraceptive methods.

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