Posted by: dri | 2009-02-03

Extended breastfeeding and fertility

Hi, I am 39 years old and trying to conceive my second child. My first will be 3 in May. He was conceived after 2 years of unprotected intercourse (though we weren' t trying at all).

I have been trying now for around 7 months - 3 months naturally and 4 on Clomid (irregular ovulation). I also had IUI in the last cycle, but no success.

My doctor has advised continuing with IUI and fertility drugs, but has also said that I must give up breastfeeding. This is hard for me. My son obviously loves it, but I do too - the closeness has helped me through some difficult personal times. We only breastfeed in the morning and at night (though at the weekends at naptime also). I don' t think he' s getting very much milk at all - it' s more emotional.

What I would like to know is whether this is really a big enough issue to mean we definitely have to give up breastfeeding. Before I began taking Clomid they checked my prolactin levels and they were only 16, which I understand is pretty low even for a non-pregnant/non-lactating woman.

Thanks very much for your advice!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFertility expert

Dear Dri

You do not absolutely have to give up breast feeding however you do know that breast feeding and the resultant high Prolactin level may inhibit ovulation or may contribute to difficulty with ovulation. In your particular case that fact that your Prolactin level is low would mean that it a lesser effect on ovulation. It would still however be advisable to probably stop it to give you a better chance and avoid any contributing factors to a more successful chance of a pregnancy.

Answered by: Dr Y. M. Dasoo

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