Breastfeeding: Can I be Fertile Before I Have a Period?

Question

Our daughter is five months old and I’m exclusively breastfeeding on demand. We’ve been using this as our birth control but I know that it might not work as well after she starts solid foods in the next month or two. My question is, if I still don’t have a period, can I be fertile, and what are the signs that I am or not? We are not very experienced in the mucus observations.Can the lady comp work while breastfeeding?
Therese

Answer

Last Updated: May 2, 2022
Dear Therese,

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter and for breastfeeding her exclusively for these important first months of her life.

Let me start by answering your first question. Yes, you can be fertile before you have your first period whether you are giving solid food or not. You stated that you are not very familiar with any of the mucus methods. This would be an excellent time to learn. When you are breastfeeding and/or breastfeeding weaning you can observe a return to fertility by observing and charting your cervical mucus.

I would consult the CANFP web site to find a practitioner near you in one of the mucus methods so that you can learn to identify the onset of fertility. Not only will this be helpful to you now while breastfeeding, it can be used in any stage of your reproductive life and is an invaluable tool for you and your husband for family planning and giving you knowledge of your reproductive health.

As for the Lady Comp, since it is based on the woman’s temperature, with breastfeeding this can not be reliable to predict the onset of fertility, I would strongly recommend learning one of the mucus methods from an NFP practitioner.

Vicki Delucchi

Answered By:

Vicki Delucchi, CFCP
Vicki Delucchi, Professional Member of CANFP, taught the Creighton Model FertilityCare System in the San Francisco region, until her retirement. She and her husband Randy are parents to two adult daughters, and reside in the Monterey region.

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