There are many very effective and safe methods of contraception that are ideal for people who have just had a baby and want to space their pregnancies or have long term contraception.
Your midwife will discuss contraception with you during one of your antenatal visits. Staff in the hospital, or community, will make sure you can get your chosen method easily and quickly, to allow you to start it as soon as you have your baby.
The need for contraception returns again as soon as 3 weeks after your baby is born, so ideally starting the sooner the better is best.
Contraception and breastfeeding
There are a number of contraceptive options available when you are breastfeeding. These should not affect your baby or your breast milk. Breastfeeding is not a reliable method of contraception. However, you are less likely to get pregnant if:
If you have problems with breastfeeding or milk supply, you should contact the infant feeding centre in the hospital for advice.
The implant is a tiny rod, about the size of a bendy matchstick that is inserted under the skin of your upper arm.
It releases a hormone called progestogen that prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs and thickens your cervical mucus. This helps to block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place. It can be inserted as soon as you have your baby, before leaving the hospital.
A little, t-shaped device that is placed in your uterus (womb). It prevents pregnancy by keeping the lining of the womb thin, and often people have lighter or no periods. It can be fitted either in the first 48 hours after delivery or four weeks later. This will be discussed by your midwife or doctor antenatally and can be planned for the time of your delivery. It can also be inserted at the time of a planned caesarean section. Follow up is needed 4-6 weeks after the procedure to check the it is correctly placed.
A little, t-shaped device that is placed in your uterus (womb) and alters the way sperm move which prevents the sperm from fertilising an egg. This type of contraception has a small amount of natural, safe copper. It’s 100% hormone free and keeps periods regular. It can be fitted either in the first 48 hours after delivery or four weeks later.
This will be discussed by your midwife or doctor antenatally and can be planned for the time of your delivery. It can also be inserted at the time of a planned caesarean section. Follow up is needed 4-6 weeks after the procedure to check the it is correctly placed.
The injection contains progestogen, a hormone that prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs. It also thickens your cervical mucus, which helps to block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place. It can be given as soon as you have had your baby, before you leave the hospital.
Usually this is a pill that you take at the same time every day. There are lots of different kinds of pills on the market. There are also patches or vaginal rings which work just like the pill. These methods contain two hormones, oestrogen and progestogen, that prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg. If you are breast feeding you cannot use a combined hormonal contraceptive until 6 weeks after you have had your baby. If not breast feeding you may be able to start at 3 weeks post birth, but some women may need to wait until 6 weeks due to health reasons. You can use another method in the meantime.
This pill contains only one hormone, progestogen, which is taken every day. This method suits women who want to take a pill but who cannot have oestrogen. The newer type of pill stops the ovaries from releasing an egg, as well as thickening cervical mucus. It can be started as soon as you have had your baby and is available from the postnatal ward.
This involves blocking the fallopian tubes so that sperm cannot get through to meet an egg. There are different ways of doing this, which need to be done in hospital. If you are thinking about having female sterilisation you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible, so they can advise you about what your options are. It is important to remember that the intrauterine methods (hormonal and non hormonal "coils") and implant are more effective than female sterilisation.
This involves blocking the tubes (vas deferens) that take sperm from the testicles to the penis. It is a quick procedure done under local anaesthetic. To arrange this you can ask your GP for a referral to Sandyford Sexual Health Service or phone 0141 211 8654 for a pre vasectomy appointment. Male sterilisation is more effective than female sterilisation and a much simpler procedure. The intrauterine methods (hormonal and non hormonal "coils") and implant mentioned in this leaflet are also very effective, reversible method. You will normally be advised to wait until your youngest child is a year old before you have a vasectomy.
If you have unprotected sex in the first 3 weeks after having your baby, you will not need emergency contraception. If you have unprotected sex after the first 3 weeks without using contraception you can get pregnant. There are two main types of emergency contraception- the copper IUD (coil) and hormone pills.
To discuss your options and when contraception can be provided.
If you have any questions or concerns.