Becoming a mother is one of the most joyous experiences in a woman’s life.But most new moms may not be ready to go through it again soon after delivery. Postpartum birth control options are agreat way to rekindle the romance with your husband, without having to worry about conceiving.
Some of the popular methods of birth control after delivery include pills, intrauterine device, natural family planning methods, withdrawal, and condoms. Many women also use diaphragms, vaginal rings, injectable birth control, breastfeeding and implantable rods. Women who are not willing to become mothers again can also opt for nonsurgical sterilization.
The choice of birth control is completely personal and depends on what you and your partner are comfortable with.
11 Options to Birth Control After Delivery
This is probably one of the most popular birth control method after delivery. This uses hormones to stop ovulation so that you can’t conceive. You can start using these pills as soon as your doctor says it is alright for you to have sex again. This is usually around the six-weeks check up after delivery.
If you want to breastfeed your baby, you can opt for birth control pills with only progestin. This is also known as the mini pill. This doesn’t affect your milk production and are safe to take when you are breastfeeding. Discuss with your doctor for the option that best suits your needs.
Read More: 21 Common Birth Control Pill Side Effects
When used properly, condoms can be one of the most effective methods of preventing pregnancy after delivery. Condoms are available for both men and women. These are most preferred by women who are unwilling to use hormones or medication to prevent pregnancies. Many new moms, especially those that are breastfeeding, are concerned about the adverse effects of medicines and hormones on their babies.
Condoms are also a great way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases. These are easily available at most medical stores and do not require any medical checkups. Another reason why condoms are so popular is because they can be used as soon as you are ready to have sex after the delivery.
This is yet another popular postnatal contraceptive. It is used by the women after at least six weeks from the date of delivery. It is a shallow device that is shaped like a dome. You need to fill it partially with a spermicide and insert into the vagina before sex. This stops the sperms from passing through the cervix.
Many women use this method before pregnancy also. However, you will need to be refitted after the delivery. Your doctor can help you with this at the six-week check up visit after delivery. Make sure to ask your doctor about any concerns you may have regarding the use of a diaphragm after delivery.
This is also a popular postpartum birth control method. In this case, your partner pulls out of your vagina before ejaculation. It is a very popular method of protection against pregnancy. But it is definitely not the safest option available. There is a good margin for error as you may get caught up in the moment.
There is also a chance of some sperm may be ejaculated even when your partner can’t feel it. It is not the most reliable birth control method according to most gynecologists. In fact, one out of every five couples practicing withdrawal method have unplanned pregnancies. However, if practiced perfectly, it can be effective.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
There are three types of IUDs available in the market. The first one uses synthetic progesterone and can excrete a hormone that immobilizes the sperm. This is effective for up to five years. The second one can release the hormone for up to three years. The third variety is the copper IUD. Instead of hormones, this type releases a small amount of copper to disable the sperm. A copper IUD can last up to twelve years and it is completely safe.
Most doctors recommend the copper IUD as it is almost 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy after delivery. It is completely reversible. All you need to do is have your doctor take it out once you want to get pregnant again. However, there are side effects for each variety of IUD. Talk to your doctor and find out the one best suited for you.
Natural Family Planning Methods
These are also known as Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FAMs). These methods are based on the ovulation cycle of the woman. Couples following this method avoid intercourse when the woman is ovulating. You can find out your ovulation cycle by examining your cervical mucus. You can also chart your temperature as there is a spike in it during ovulation. There are also ovulation predictor kits available in the market that you can try.
However, these methods are highly unreliable and failure rates are quite significant. They also don’t work if you have more than one partner. Women with irregular cycles shouldn’t depend on natural methods as they can be misleading.
Many women prefer breastfeeding as an effective method of birth control after delivery. This is because breastfeeding naturally changes your hormones and stops you from becoming pregnant. However, for this method to be effective, you need to exclusively breastfeed your newborn. This means that your baby does not receive any other milk other than your breast milk.
When you breastfeed, your body naturally stops producing the hormone needed for ovulation. This stops the eggs from released from your ovary. However, this method is valid only for six months after the baby is born. It can also reduce vaginal lubrication when you are aroused.
This is a small plastic ring that you need to insert into your vagina once a month. Just like the hormone pills, these also produces hormones that suppresses ovulation. When used correctly, it is one of the most reliable birth control options after pregnancy. You need to insert the ring at the beginning of your cycle.
After three weeks you need to remove the ring for a weekto have your periods. Once your periods are over, you need to insert a new ring. However, these rings contain estrogen. This makes it unsuitable to use during nursing.
If you want something that is long lasting, but are uncomfortable about using an IUD, then implantable rods are the best alternative. These are also a great option for birth control after childbirth. These are small and flexible rods that are inserted under your skin. They are placed in the inner part of your upper arm.
Once implanted, the rod will produce synthetic progesterone into your bloodstream. This prevents you from getting pregnant. Implantable rods are highly effective (almost 99 percent). These are safe for use by moms who are breastfeeding. It’s a simple process that takes about five minutes to complete. It is effective for up to three years.
Injectable Birth Control
Many women opt for injectable birth control which delivers a dose of progestin into the bloodstream. One shot will provide you three months of birth control. This is popular among women who have an active lifestyle and find it difficult to remember to take the pill regularly. All you need to do is mark your calendar for the appointment every three months.
It is very effective, and is fast becoming popular among women as the chosen contraceptive method after childbirth. New moms also choose this option because it uses progestin and not estrogen. This makes it safe for use during breastfeeding. It also doesn’t hamper with the production of breast milk.
For women who don’t want anymore children, nonsurgical sterilization is a great option. However, you need to be absolutely sure that you do not want to become pregnant ever again before you decide on using this method.
In this method a device is inserted into your fallopian tubes. This device creates a blockage in the area where fertilization needs to occur. Two small coils attached to the device create scarring to ensure that there is no meeting of the eggs and sperms. The overall effect is similar to that achieved with the help of laparoscopic sterilization. The only difference is that there is no surgery and the associated recovery time.
If you are not planning on becoming pregnant again anytime soon after your delivery, it is a good idea to consider one of the above-mentionedbirth control measures. All these methods have their own pros and cons and varying levels of effectiveness. You must consult with your doctor and find out one that is best suited to your requirements.