As soon as you give birth, contraception is a topic you should discuss with your partner and your health caregiver. If you do not wish to get pregnant again soon after, you need to take contraceptives from twenty-one days after your baby is born. However, the method of contraception after giving birth that you decide to use will depend on your plans to have more children. If you want more, a short-term option is best, but there are long-term options if you feel your family is complete.
Disclaimer: This is a contributed post.
How soon can you get pregnant after giving birth?
Fertility varies in women. This is why you should not take any chances with contraception. After twenty-one days, you can easily get pregnant. Periods usually come back four to ten weeks after having a baby, but if you are breastfeeding, it could take longer before you start having your period again. When you breastfeed, your body produces a hormone called prolactin to stimulate milk production. Prolactin also blocks the release of hormones that are responsible for egg production. Some women use breastfeeding as a natural contraception method, but you have to be fully breastfeeding for this method to work effectively. It’s not a guaranteed method of birth control.
When Can You Start Taking Contraceptives After Giving Birth?
Contraceptives can be found at the hospital or over the counter at pharmacies, birth control pills especially. If you have a baby at the hospital, your doctor can tell you the best option since some contraception methods like an IUD can be installed immediately after giving birth. It is common to be uncertain about the right time to start having sex again. You can start as soon as you feel ready, both physically and emotionally. But if you experience any pain or discomfort, you should see a doctor or your midwife immediately. Some women usually feel drier than usual, so it is advisable to use lubricants when you and your partner start having sex again.
Below are another 5 safe contraceptive methods you can choose from after you have a baby.
All the various methods of contraception after giving birth are effective, although none of them is 100% reliable. The effectiveness of some methods depends entirely on how you use them, and a good example is the birth control pills. If you skip taking a pill or vomit when you’re sick, then the pill is less effective. Other methods don’t need to be renewed frequently, like implants or intrauterine contraceptive devices and sterilization.
1. The Male condom
Male condoms are made of rubber and are worn by your partner during sex. Male condoms prevent sperm from entering the vagina and uterus. Apart from pregnancy, condoms protect against sexually transmitted diseases as well.
A diaphragm is made of silicone. It’s a cap covering your cervix, worn inside the vagina. You can use this cap anytime, even when on your period. Wear it twenty-four hours before sex and remove it immediately after sex for maximum effectiveness.
3. Intrauterine device – IUD
This is a small contraceptive device placed in the uterus to prevent conceiving. They are made of copper and can last up to ten years. Some IUDs, like progestogen IUDs, last for five years, but they are still very effective.
4. Natural contraception methods
Natural methods depend on abstinence and the ability to detect when signs of fertility appear. This method is risky, and high failure rates have been seen. You will have to know how your cycle works and your basal temperature.
5. Emergency Contraception Pills
An emergency pill works either by postponing or preventing ovulation. They can be used any time after giving birth. These pills are to be taken seventy-two hours after having unprotected sex or five days after sex. However, they should not be relied upon as the primary form of contraception.
Many women can be uncertain about contraception after giving birth, or even when they can have sex after giving birth. The contraception you used before birth might not work afterwards, so you should consult your doctor to know what works for you if you don’t want to get pregnant again soon after getting a baby.