Lactational Anovulation in Monkeys: Prolactin Secretion and Ovarian Function

  • R. F. Williams
Conference paper


In nonnursing women, pregnancy is followed by an interval of anovulation, which persists for an average of 2–3 months [1–3]. This puerperal infertility is extended if nursing occurs [1–5]. The interval of lactational anovulation and amenorrhea associated with nursing is highly variable, being dependent upon cultural practices in infant feeding and child rearing [2, 3, 5]. In Western cultures, lactational amenorrhea has been described as lasting less than a year [1, 3], while in developing countries 4-year interbirth intervals have been attributed to the inhibitory effects of breast-feeding [6]. These societal differences in postpartum infertility are specifically related to the frequency and duration of suckling [6, 8], and, in general, the cultural practices which reduce breast-feeding and thus the inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis [4, 5]. Despite the importance of lactational anovulation in the control of population growth, the physiologic mechanisms sustaining lactational infertility are enigmatic.


Corpus Luteum Prolactin Level Ovarian Function Prolactin Secretion Gonadotropin Secretion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. F. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.The Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyEastern Virginia Medical SchoolNorfolkUSA

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