When to start birth control?
WHO experts recommend starting birth control within 3 weeks after delivery. In order for conception to occur it is necessary that the menstrual cycle is restored, ovulation occurs and menstruation begins. The time during which the body of a young mother will have time to do this is very individual and depends on many factors, such as complications of childbirth, breastfeeding, the activity of the hormonal system.
According to a recent WHO study, in those mothers who do not breastfeed after giving birth, the first ovulation most often occurs between 45 and 94 days. However, there are exceptions downward, up to 25 days. Of course, such an early pregnancy is unlikely to happen, but there is still a minimal risk.
Most women who do not breastfeed already have their first ovulation as early as 6 weeks after childbirth and protection after this period is mandatory.
Breastfeeding can be used as a contraceptive method (the so-called “lactation amenorrhea method”), but for its effectiveness, several important conditions must be met, among which is the absence of menstruation. If more than 6 months have passed after delivery and menstruation has started, then ovulation occurred and there is the likelihood of getting pregnant. Besides, baby feeding should be completely nursing, without complementary foods. Their introduction dramatically reduces the effectiveness of breastfeeding as a means of birth control.
It is better to start birth control immediately, without waiting for a surprise, from the very first sexual intercourse. When choosing contraceptives, it is necessary to take into account if a woman is a nursing mother. Contraception should not affect the quality and quantity of breast milk.
The intrauterine device is the most suitable method of protection against pregnancy in such a case. It works effectively (90% reliability) and does not affect the production of milk. For uncomplicated births and the absence of contraindications, the helix can be inserted as early as 6 weeks after delivery.
The use of a diaphragm or cap also does not interfere with lactation (milk production) and does not affect the health of the child. It is advisable to wait until the end of the postpartum period (6 weeks after delivery) before trying on the diaphragm.
It is also possible to use condoms. However, their use may be temporarily difficult, since during breastfeeding women produce less lubrication in the vagina. Spermicidal agents will solve this problem.
Most combined birth control pills contain two female sex hormones – estrogen and gestagen. However, estrogens reduce the amount of breast milk and can affect the normal growth of the child. In this case, mini-pills, tablets containing only gestagen, may help. You can start taking these pills six weeks after delivery.