Postpartum Birth Control Choices and Facts You Must Know
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Sure, motherhood is amazing, but probably you aren’t ready for another one so soon? At some point in time you might think about Postpartum Birth Control and also want to speak to your partner about it to decide what kind of contraception will work the best for you after you deliver.
We all know that life with a newborn completely changes your lifestyle and routine where you have very little nighttime left to catch up on your sleep and exhaustion. With sex being a distant memory, your thoughts to re-establish physical intimacy with your partner will eventually start falling into place. That is when you might want to re-think something you haven’t taken a firm decision: Birth Control.
Ovulation after pregnancy can occur as early as four weeks after delivering the baby. You might want to think about what kind of contraception would work the best for you post delivery when you are ready to have sex again. Although it is advised to not have sex until at least six weeks postpartum. And in some cases, you might want to consult with your doctor to give you a go-ahead. In either case, you need some form of protection!
Also, if you are breastfeeding, you must look for all the forms of birth control that has estrogen as the content as it might reduce the milk supply, which you surely do not want to happen. The combined-hormone pill or NuvaRing - a ring that you insert in your vagina to keep it for 3 weeks, Ortho Evra -the patch etc. have estrogen in them which is not advisable in such cases. Hormone-based methods contain no estrogen.
Birth-Control Options For Breastfeeding Moms:
- IUD: IUD is a small plastic T-shaped device, which is inserted by a clinician into the uterus and has hormones or copper to prevent egg fertilization. There are few brands which have levonorgestrel as the hormone like Mirena. It is safe to be left in place for five years. The other brand called ParaGard which is made of copper is safe to be used for 10 years. Irrespective of the type of device you choose, it is advised to be inserted only six weeks postpartum, even though in few cases, the doctor or clinician might agree to get it done immediately after the delivery.
Advantages: 97% to 99% is its effectiveness and the best part is that it is safe to use while the new mother is breastfeeding. A convenient method and spontaneous.
Disadvantages: It has a possibility of increased cramping and sometimes, heavier periods. The cons also include the higher risk of uterine infection for the initial four weeks after the IUD is inserted.
- Depo-Provera: It is a high-dose progestin shot given by the clinician every 12 weeks. It helps in suppressing ovulation. Depo-Provera shots also thicken the cervical mucus which leads to blocking sperm and doesn’t let the egg fertilize even in case ovulation.
Advantages: This method is 99% effective and safe to use while breastfeeding for new mothers. It is also a convenient method and spontaneous.
Disadvantages: This causes altered periods and sex drive in many.
There is a change in the appetite and chances of weight gain. Fair increased risk of ectopic pregnancy if pregnancy occurs. Also, this may take longer to get pregnant once the intake of shots is stopped by the woman.
- Condoms and barrier methods: It does prevent sperm from entering the vagina and uterus and does not let the egg fertilize. However, this should be used in combination with spermicide for maximum effectiveness.
Advantages: The effectiveness is about 86% to 98%. Pros: It is also safe to use while breastfeeding for new mothers. This is easily available over the counter and importantly also prevents transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Disadvantages: It lacks spontaneity and risks involved are like breakage of the protection easily.
Birth-Control Options For Non- Breastfeeding Moms:
When the new mother wants to breastfeed her baby, it is okay to consider the below postpartum birth control methods.
- Combined-Hormone Birth Control Pill: It is a pill which has both estrogen and progestin and is meant to be taken daily. It helps in suppressing ovulation and also thickens the cervical mucus which blocks the sperms and prevents fertilization even in case of the woman ovulating.
Advantages: This method is 95% to 99% effective. This is a highly effective and a convenient method, also spontaneous.
Disadvantages: If you are over the age of 35, you must not use it or must not be used if you smoke. The reason is that these factors can increase your risk of heart attack, heart stroke or blood clots. Moreover, the estrogen in it might reduce milk Supply while you are breastfeeding. Your clinician must determine whether the combined-hormone pill is a right option for you.
- NuvaRing: It is a small, flexible ring that you insert into your vagina once a month, where it remains for three weeks; you then remove it in the fourth week. Contains estrogen and progestin to suppress ovulation; also thickens the cervical mucus, thereby blocking sperm and preventing fertilization in case ovulation does occur.
Advantages: Effectiveness of this method is 95% to 99%. This is also a convenient method with spontaneity.
Disadvantages: There could be a potential increase in vaginal discharge. Moreover, the estrogen in it might reduce milk supply while you are breastfeeding. Your clinician must determine whether the combined-hormone pill is a right option for you.
Facts About Postpartum:
The below postpartum birth control facts will help you to know what is it after pregnancy to get pregnant again.
- Pregnancy for a new mother: Pregnancy after birth for a new mother can happen even before her first periods after delivery. Since ovulation starts two weeks before periods and a new mother ovulates nearly four weeks post delivery, the time in between her delivery and mensuration cycle, she can get pregnant. Thus a new mother must not wait for her periods to start using birth control.
- Can breastfeeding woman get pregnant? A breastfeeding mom needs to be certain about a pattern before she can rely on the breastfeeding as a birth control method. Unless the mother is breastfeeding the baby at the least every four hours during the daytime and six hours during night time, along with providing more than 90 to 95 percent of the baby’s food through breast milk and planning to continue it for more than six months, the risk of the new mother getting pregnant is merely reduced. But again, this is not a reliable birth control method.
- A non-breastfeeding mother: The new mother who chooses not to breastfeed will ovulate between the 25th to 72nd day after the day of delivery; a calculation of about 45 days in an average.
- Birth-control pills while breastfeeding: As the debate goes on whether hormonal supplements are okay while breastfeeding, the fact is that they should stay away from the estrogen content in the supplements and stick to progestin-only pills.
- A diaphragm re-fitted: Since the childbirth affects the shape and size of a woman’s vagina, one must consider the diaphragm re-sizing before resuming intercourse after delivery.
- Hormonal birth control pills: The hormonal birth control pills must be 99% effective like a patch, the IUD, Depo-Provera injections etc. Barrier method such as condoms spermicide or diaphragm has lesser protection as compared to the above.
- Tubal ligation: 8% of the women in the USA have opted for tubal ligation after deciding what the family plans are. This could be performed immediately after the delivery.
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