Many women might be unaware that breastfeeding to the child can also work as a birth control method. It might work effectively for first 6 months if the mother regularly breast feeds her child. So, how does breastfeeding prevent pregnancy? What is the breastfeeding contraception mechanism?

To become pregnant, there should be ovulation. For ovulation to occur, there should be series of hormonal events. Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) is release form the hypothalamus. GnRH acts on anterior pituitary gland then releases follicle stimulation hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) that are needed for proper ovulation. Moreover, breastfeeding causes the rise in prolactin hormone.

Evidence suggests that prolactin hormone has inhibitory effect for GnRH hormone and antagonizes (oppose) the action of FSH and LH hormones. Therefore, there will be no ovulation and women can’t become pregnant.

Women who breastfeeds their child regularly have amenorrhoea (absence of menstruation) for about 6 months whereas who did not nurse their child have their menstruation start after 6 weeks of delivery of their child. Furthermore, almost 50 percent of the menstrual cycles in first 6 months are anovulatory (without ovulation).

Five to 10 percent of women can become pregnant if they are just depend upon breastfeeding method.

So it is not 100% effective method. Other contraceptive devices can be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Pic source: Babyish Care


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