Though sex might be the last thing on your mind after your delivery, surveys have shown that women resume their active sex life within a few weeks of childbirth. As your body regains its ability to conceive just after a few weeks of your delivery, if you are not planning to get pregnant again so soon, you should start taking precautions. Even better would be, that you plan for postpartum birth control measures even months before your delivery. There are various options available in the market, fix a session with your doctor and get to know about your options.
Permanent Birth Control after Delivery
The two main types are Tubal ligation and Vasectomy. Tubal ligation is the method of tying the fallopian tube. It is a minor surgical procedure and can be done in a matter of hours at your clinic itself without having to get hospitalized. After the procedure you might experience minor cramping in your lower abdomen area and may also have light bleeding. But, you will be up and about doing your household chores within a day or two.
The main aspect about these procedures is that they are hundred percent effective and cannot be reversed. So, if you get them done you will never be able to conceive for life. That is why it is very important that you are absolutely sure about your decision and have given it a thorough thought.
When to start using Birth Control after Delivery
To be precise, your fertility returns with the start of your new ovulation cycle which begins 27 days after your delivery. So, you are safe till maximum 21 days after, which is just till just one week away from the start of cycle. From then on your chances of conceiving increase so if you do not want to conceive, you will have to start using contraception.
Breastfeeding as a Birth Control method after a Baby
This is the most natural way of birth control. When the baby feeds on mother’s milk and nothing else the constant generation of milk changes a woman’s hormones in such a way that it prevents pregnancy. To explain in detail, while you constantly breastfeed, your hormones are engaged in producing more and more milk and does not produce the hormone necessary for ovulation. However, it to be noted here, that this does not stop your ovulation forever but just delays your periods. The method is only 98 percent effective and also depends on these following factors:
- Works only if your baby is younger than six months
- Works only until your periods have not started again
- You are breastfeeding your baby at intervals of 4 hours during the day and at intervals of 6 hours at night
The moment your periods return, this method will become ineffective so, it is better to consult your gynaecologist about other contraceptive options.
Other Birth Control Choices after a Baby
- Barrier method of Birth Control:
There is a fine line between birth control and barrier methods. Barrier methods are used only if you are having sexual intercourse unlike birth control methods which work irrespective of whether you are having sex or not. As the name suggest, these various methods blocks the sperm from entering the uterus.
These methods include use of male condoms, female condoms, spermicidal foam, cervical cap and cervical shield
- Hormonal methods of Birth Control:
This method involves taking in of hormones, it can be oestrogen or progesterone, in various forms to avoid pregnancy. These methods are highly effective and the good news is they are reversible too. Mainly it is taken in forms of pills and known popularly as oral contraceptive pills. There are different types of pills:
- Combination pill: a combination of both the hormones; estrogen and progestin
- Mini pill: Only progestin
Some of these pills are to be taken well in advance of having sex and some after the sexual contact as prescribed by the doctors
- Intrauterine devices as Birth Control Methods:
Popularly known as IUD, is a method which remains effective for a long time and it is reversible as per your wish. It is a small T-shaped device which is planted inside the uterus which prevents pregnancy by determining the way sperms move once inside your uterus.
It is the best choice for working women who are busy in their lives and want an option which will make them tension free for years to come yet when time comes and they feel the need, they can remove them and become pregnant again. No hassle of taking medications everyday either
- Natural methods of Contraception After Delivery:
As the name suggests, these methods are not mechanical. They involve a natural process where both the man and woman have sex at the time when the woman is not ovulating. This needs a lot of awareness and therefore there are these Fertility Awareness Methods through which you are trained to learn about your ovulation cycle and various symptoms and signs which give you a warning that you are ovulating and should not be having sex if you don’t want any chances of getting pregnant
Emergency Sterilization and Contraception
If you have had unprotected sex while you were ovulating then this is probably the best option to prevent pregnancy. Commonly known as the morning after pill, these pills are to be taken 72 hours of unprotected sexual contact. There is also the option of choosing a sterilization process by inserting an IUD in your uterus within 120 hours of the sexual act. Precisely, it can be inserted up till the 5th day and you can avoid your pregnancy.
All of the above mentioned methods are available to new as well as many time mothers.