However, whenever nature is being thwarted, there is always likely to be
a problem. This applies to man's efforts at preventing pregnancy.
One of the most worrying, quite unrelated to common
side-effects, is a condition commonly called "post-Pill
amenorrhoea." In short, it means that when a couple decides they
wish to reproduce, the female stops the Pill, and normally expects
to see an immediate return of menstruation. If this occurs, of
course, it shows that ovulation is occurring again, an essential
prerequisite for conception, and the chances of becoming pregnant
are back to normal.
But a significant number of young women and the number appears to be
slowly increasing, now find that normal menstruation simply does not
occur. In short, their ability to become pregnant does not return.
Until such time as ovulation (and periods) starts again, it means that
there cannot possibly be a baby.
Until fairly recently this was a probability of no small degree. However,
various measures have become available. A medication aimed at
re-establishing normal ovulation is a preparation called
bromocriptine. Given in a certain manner, his can readily make
menstruation recommence, and pregnancy may follow very quickly,
often within a few months.
It has been found, with the newer methods of measuring body blood
chemicals and hormones called radio-immunoassay, that a hormone
called prolactin, produced by the pituitary gland of the brain, can
inhibit ovulation if present in high levels. These high levels are
common in women taking the Pill,
it persists afterwards,
often for many months or even years. It does not matter
how long the patient is taking the Pill, the same effect may occur.
It has been found in trials in women taking it for as short a time
as three months.
At the other end of the scale,
it has been found in other women who have been constantly taking the
Pill for fifteen years.
However, bromocriptine is the prescribed treatment for women with