June 8, 2012
Unless you're hoping to become pregnant right away, sex after pregnancy requires a reliable method of birth control — even if you're breast-feeding.
Your doctor may recommend barrier methods such as condoms and spermicides, which are usually available over-the-counter and are safe to use at any time.
You might also consider birth control methods that contain only the hormone progestin, such as the minipill or Mirena, a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD). You can begin using the minipill and other progestin-only contraceptives immediately after childbirth.
Birth control methods that contain both estrogen and progestin — such as combined birth control pills or NuvaRing (vaginal ring) — pose an increased risk of blood clots shortly after delivery. For otherwise healthy women, it's OK to begin using combined birth control pills and other types of combined hormonal birth control six weeks after childbirth.
Although birth control methods that contain both estrogen and progestin have long been thought to decrease milk supply for women who are breast-feeding, recent research suggests this might not be true. If you're breast-feeding and want to take birth control pills, ask your doctor to help you choose between combined birth control pills, which contain both estrogen and progestin, and the minipill, which contains only progestin.
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