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Best Contraceptives Following Birth

How soon you want to jump back into intimacy following the birth of your baby is a personal decision.

While doctors recommending waiting at least six weeks, some women may take a little – or a lot – longer to feel comfortable.

Regardless of how long you wait, chances are, having another baby won’t be on the top of your list of desires when you first recommence being intimate with your partner.

Which means you need to think about contraception. Your periods will return anywhere from six to ten weeks after your baby is born if you are bottle feeding or combine feeding. It may take longer if you’re breastfeeding.

The only way to be sure you’re protected though is to use contraception. While breastfeeding can reduce the chance of pregnancy, it’s not certain, and it can be difficult to tell when you’re fertile again.

There are a number of different contraceptive options but not all can be used while breastfeeding.

Condoms

Condoms are easy and convenient to use. When used properly, they’re around 98 per cent effective.

Since you’ve just had a baby you may experience some dryness. If so, you can use water-soluble lubricating jelly to make things more comfortable.

Diaphragms



Diaphragms are soft, circular domes made of rubber or silicone that fit over your cervix.

They can be fitted by some GPs or obstetricians around six weeks after you’ve given birth, as your body would have settled into its post-pregnancy shape by then.

Providing they’re used properly and with a spermicide, diaphragms are up to 95 per cent effective.


The mini-pill

The mini-pill can be taken 21 days after you’ve had your baby and are safe to have while breastfeeding, as they won’t affect your milk supply.

Also known as the progestogen-only pill, the mini-pill uses a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone.

If taken at the same time every day, the mini-pill is more than 99 per cent effective.


Injections 



Depo-Provera and Depo-Ralovera are injectable forms of progesterone which provide contraception for 12 weeks.

While a small amount of progestogen will reach your baby during breastfeeding, this won’t cause any harm.

To reduce the chance of irregular or heavy bleeding, it’s best to wait six weeks after your baby’s birth before commencing injections.
Injections are more than 99 per cent effective, but the effects can last some months after you stop having them.

Implants

Implanon is a small and flexible plastic tube containing progesterone, which is inserted into your arm, providing three years of protection at a time.

It can be inserted 21 days after your baby is born and you can continue to breastfeed as only a minimal amount of progesterone is passed on to your baby through breastfeeding.

Implants are more than 99 per cent effective. 

Intrauterine system 

The IUS is an implant that fits inside your uterus, releasing a steady dose of progestogen for up to five years. 

You can use an IUS from four weeks after having your baby, regardless of how you have given birth.

The Mirena coil is the only IUS available in Australia and is more than 99 per cent effective. 

Intrauterine device 

The IUD or coil can be fitted for three to 10 years, depending on which type you have, and can be used from four weeks after giving birth.

They are also 99 per cent effective.

What can’t I use?

Contraceptives that use combined hormones (CHCs), such as The Pill and the Vaginal Ring, can’t be used because they may reduce your milk supply.

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