Document Type


Publication Date



Catholic Medical Association

Source Publication

The Linacre Quarterly

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1177/00243639231167235


The uses of cervical mucus and basal body temperature as indicators of return to fertility postpartum have resulted in high unintended pregnancy rates. In 2013, a study found that when women used urine hormone signs in a postpartum/breastfeeding protocol this resulted in fewer pregnancies. To improve the original protocol's effectiveness, three revisions were made: (1) women were to increase the number of days tested with the Clearblue Fertility Monitor, (2) an optional second luteinizing hormone test could be done in the evening, and (3) instructions were given to manage the beginning of the fertile window for the first six cycles postpartum. The purpose of this study was to determine the correct and typical use effectiveness rates to avoid pregnancy in women who used a revised postpartum/breastfeeding protocol. A cohort review of an established data set from 207 postpartum breastfeeding women who used the protocol to avoid pregnancy was completed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Total pregnancy rates that included correct and incorrect use pregnancies were eighteen per one hundred women over twelve cycles of use. For the pregnancies that met a priori criteria, the correct use pregnancy rates were two per one hundred over twelve months and twelve cycles of use and typical use rates were four per one hundred women at twelve cycles of use. The protocol had fewer unplanned pregnancies than the original, however, the cost of the method increased.


Accepted version. The Linacre Quarterly, Vol. 90, No. 2 (May 2023): 182-193. DOI. © Catholic Medical Association

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