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Lactational  Amenorrhea Method (LAM)

What is it?

Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) is used by a woman who has just given birth and is exclusively breastfeeding.

This method works well  for the first six months after childbirth, as long as the following occur:

  • You breastfeed the baby exclusively at least every four hours during the day. 
  • You breastfeed the baby exclusively at least every six hours through the night.
  • You do not have a menstrual period for six months after birth.

Remember that after six months fertility may return at any time.

Note: When all of the above conditions exist, a woman has less than a two per cent chance of becoming pregnant.

How does LAM work?

While a woman is breastfeeding, she naturally stops ovulating and having periods. Breastfeeding stops the hormones needed to trigger ovulation. So the more you nurse your baby, the less likely you are to ovulate.

When is LAM no longer effective? 

This method no longer works after six months and/or when any one of the above conditions does not exist.
  • To learn more about the lactational amenorrhea method, visit Sex and U

Does it prevent sexually transmitted infections?

Remember that most birth control or contraceptive methods will not protect a person from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  To reduce the risk of STIs, including HIV, use a condom with another method of contraception. This is referred to as dual protection.

To be effective, birth control must be used correctly and consistently. If you want to prevent pregnancy, choose a method that you and your partner will use every time you have intercourse. Talk to your health care provider or visit a sexual health clinic to find out what might work best for you and your partner.

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Updated Mar 14, 2017