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Articles About Health

FAMILY PLANNING: POST-PILL AMENORRHOEA

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, and 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 amenorrhoea.

 

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GENERAL HEALTH