Which contraceptive method will be suitable for me?
This depends on what you and your partner prefer, your medical history, any problems you had in your pregnancy and if you are breastfeeding. If you think you may want to have another baby in the next year or so you may prefer a short-acting method:
These are all effective methods of contraception if used according to their instructions. Condoms and the progesterone only pill can be started straight away and can be used if you are breastfeeding.
The combined pill cannot be used if you are breastfeeding as it interferes with the production of breast milk.
If you don’t want to get pregnant again for some time one of the following long-acting reversible contraception methods may suit you:
Implanon can be started straight away, and the Mirena coil can be inserted six weeks after having your baby. Both can be used if you are breastfeeding.
If you are absolutely sure you never want any more children you may wish to consider female sterilisation or male sterilisation (vasectomy). These are permanent methods of contraception.
If you are exclusively breastfeeding, it is common to not have periods. Some women chose to rely on this as a method of contraception. This is called lactational amenorrhoea method (LAM). This can be reliable if you are having no periods, fully breastfeeding and the baby is less than six months old. It is possible to get pregnant again before you have your first period as you ovulate two weeks before you get your period. One in 200 women using this method get pregnant in the first six months.
If you need further information about contraception please speak to your GP, midwife or health visitor at your postnatal follow up appointments. The six week check at the GP is a good opportunity to discuss contraception.