Dr Reshma Reddy

Birth Control After Pregnancy: Types, Side Effects and More

Catagory: Maternity  Author: Dr E Reshma Reddy


The postpartum phase is unique in many ways. The new mother may not want to conceive at this time because she wants to devote all of her attention to her infant. There are several safe birth control alternatives available after childbirth. The approach must be safe during nursing, which is a unique necessity at this time. It should not be passed on to the foetus and should not prevent breastfeeding.


Following are the birth control alternatives available after delivery

Lactational Amenorrhea


LAM (lactational amenorrhea method) is a natural contraceptive method. When a woman is nursing, she does not ovulate. It necessitates exclusive and regular nursing. Feedings should not be separated by more than 4 hours during the day or 6 hours at night. This approach may only be utilised for 6 months following childbirth (when nursing is exclusive) or until the period returns, whichever comes first.


Methods of Barrier

Spermicide, male and female condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap, and sponge are all examples of Barrier techniques. Barrier techniques function by stopping sperm from accessing the egg of the woman. Starting 6 weeks following labour, the cervical cap, diaphragm, and sponge can be worn.
Condoms can be worn just after a baby is born. They also have the benefit of being the only way for preventing sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs). The use of spermicides on a regular (daily) basis can raise the chance of contracting HIV from a partner who is infected.


Intrauterine System

Copper and hormonal devices can be implanted right after a vaginal or cesarean delivery, as well as at the first postpartum checkup. They act by preventing fertilisation and implantation from taking place.


Progestin-only pill

Only progestin is found in progestin-only birth control tablets. They primarily function by inhibiting fertilisation. They must be taken every day at the same time. If a pill is missed by more than 3 hours, a back-up strategy must be used for the next 48 hours. In the case of breast cancer or a history of breast cancer, progestin-only tablets should be avoided.


Injection for birth control

The birth control injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) contains progestin. It stops ovulation. Every three months, it is injected into the upper arm or buttock. After a vaginal or cesarean delivery, the first injection can be administered right away.

The injection is known to cause irregular, unexpected bleeding, bone loss when administered over an extended length of time, headaches, and weight gain.


Birth control implant

After a vaginal or cesarean delivery, the birth control implant can be put beneath the skin in the upper arm. It is allowed for usage for up to three years and delivers progestin into the body.
Its primary disadvantage is that it might result in unexpected bleeding. Mood swings, headaches, acne, and depression are all frequent adverse effects.


Hormonal Combination Techniques

Birth control pills, vaginal rings, and patches are estrogen and progestin-containing birth control techniques. They primarily function by inhibiting ovulation. Pills must be taken on a daily basis. Every 21 days, the vaginal ring must be replaced. For three weeks, the skin Patch must be used once a week.
Women are at an increased risk of forming blood clots in deep veins during the postpartum period. Deep vein thrombosis is the medical term for this illness (DVT). DVT risk will be increased much more with combined hormonal treatments.

These techniques include estrogen, which might impact milk production. As a result, these approaches should be avoided for the first 4–6 weeks following childbirth until breastfeeding is established.

Women over 35 who smoke, have high blood pressure or a history of stroke, heart attack, or DVT, have a history of migraine headaches with aura, have specific medical disorders, or have breast cancer or a history of breast cancer should not use combined hormonal treatments.



Permanent birth control is achieved by sterilization. Sterilization in women is accomplished by cutting the fallopian tubes. It might be done shortly after delivery, or several weeks or months afterward.

Vasectomy is performed on men, but it takes around 2–4 months for the semen to become completely sperm-free. As a result, the couple will have to use another form of birth control or refrain from sexual activity until a sperm count verifies that no sperm are present.

Post-delivery It is critical to first discuss future pregnancy planning with your spouse and then with your doctor about your contraceptive options and pick the technique that best matches your needs.