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Lactation, Nutrition and Fertility and the Secretion of Prolactin and Gonadotrophins in Mopan Mayan Women

  • A. E. Fink (a1), G. Fink (a2), H. Wilson (a2), J. Bennie (a2), S. Carroll (a2) and H. Dick (a2)...


The effect of lactation on menstrual cycles, ovulation and conception was studied in a group of non-contracepting Amerindian Mopan Mayan women. Anthropological observations of relevant events were made over a 21-month period. Blood samples were assayed to determine the plasma concentrations of prolactin, luteinising hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin, placental lactogen, oestrogen, progesterone and cortisol. The data show that: frequent and prolonged breast-feeding was associated with a marked increase in plasma prolactin concentrations to levels similar to those in lactating Gaing but higher than those in lactating Scottish women; ovulatory menstrual cycles and pregnancy occurred during frequent lactation; in lactating menstruating women there was an inverse correlation between fat weight and months post-partum. These data suggest that other factors as well as suckling account for the effects of lactation on fecundity.


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*c/o MRC Brain Metabolism Unit, Edinburgh.


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Lactation, Nutrition and Fertility and the Secretion of Prolactin and Gonadotrophins in Mopan Mayan Women

  • A. E. Fink (a1), G. Fink (a2), H. Wilson (a2), J. Bennie (a2), S. Carroll (a2) and H. Dick (a2)...


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