Birth control is something all new mothers should think about, even if you’re not feeling ready to have sex. Most people don’t believe they need birth control already, but did you know that:
- Some women can get pregnant again just six weeks after having a baby.
- You can still get pregnant if you’re breastfeeding.
- Your body needs time to recover after having a baby before getting pregnant again.
- If you’re not doing anything to prevent getting pregnant, it could happen.
Talk to your partner about future plans for the size of your family, and then talk to your provider so they can help you choose the method that is right for you. There are a number of good birth control options for nursing moms.
Oral contraceptives or birth control pills are available in many dosages and types. There is about a 92% effectiveness rate and you have to take the prescribed pill daily in order for it to be effective. If you miss a pill or take certain medications, you should use a back-up method such as condoms.
Nuvaring is a small flexible plastic ring that is placed in the vagina around the cervix. It contains a combination of hormones that function the same way as birth control pills. The device is inserted and left in place for 3 weeks, removed for one week and then replaced. It is as effective as birth control pills when used as directed.
Intrauterine devices are small T-shaped devices that are placed in your uterus by your doctor and have an effectiveness rate of approximately 99%. They act by preventing the egg to be fertilized by sperm. Depending on the type of IUD you get, this method of birth control is effective for 3-10 years.
Nexplanon is an implant that is inserted by your doctor under the skin in the inner area of your upper arm. It is about the size of a match and is about 99% effective in preventing pregnancy by releasing the hormone called progestin. The device is effective for 5 years.
DepoProvera is an injection that is given every 3 months in your arm or buttock. It is a type of progestin and works by preventing ovulation. It has about a 94% effectiveness rate.
Essure is a surgical procedure that involves placement of coils in your fallopian tubes that block them to prevent fertilization. These can be inserted in the office or surgery center depending on the preference of the doctor. It has a 99% effectiveness rate.
Tubal Ligation is a surgical procedure that is done in the hospital or outpatient surgery center. It involves removal and/or closing off the fallopian tube to prevent the egg from moving down the fallopian tube. It has a 99% effectiveness rate. If you are planning to have a tubal ligation, it can be done after delivery while you are still in the hospital but arrangements need to be made before you have your baby.
Vasectomy is a procedure that is performed on your male companion. It involves cutting the tubes, vas deferens, through which sperm travel. It is an outpatient procedure and is usually done by a urologist. This procedure is not totally effective for 2-4 months because there still may be sperm in the vas deferens. He will be tested after the procedure to check his sperm count. A back-up method will need to be used until he is cleared by his doctor.
Condoms are latex sheaths that are placed over a man’s penis prior to intercourse. It prevents the ejaculate from entering the vagina. It must be used each time you have intercourse and provides an 82% effectiveness rate. It provides the best protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
Spermicides are chemicals that destroy sperm before they are able to fertilize the egg. They must be inserted in the vagina close to the cervix before intercourse. They have a 72% effectiveness rate.
Diaphragms are a dome shaped silicone cup designed to fit over the cervix to prevent entrance of sperm into the uterus. It is used in conjunction with spermicides and must be inserted before intercourse. It is left in place 6 hours after intercourse, removed, washed and stored until needed again. It intercourse occurs before the 6 hours is up more spermicide is inserted into the vagina. It has an 88% effectiveness rate.
Withdrawal involves removal of the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation. This has a 73% effectiveness rate and requires a great deal of discipline.
Speak with your doctor about the right birth control method for you. It’s important to refrain from sexual intercourse after giving birth until your doctor tells you it is okay. Most doctors recommend waiting at least six weeks after delivery in order to allow your body time to heal. If you do have intercourse before that time, you need to be aware you can get pregnant even if you are breastfeeding.