After having a baby

Having a baby fundamentally changes a woman’s life (or a couple’s life) more than almost any other life experience. That also has implications for her/their sex life. From a medical point of view it is advised to wait about six weeks after the birth before having vaginal intercourse. However, that does not necessarily mean a ban on closeness, intimacy and sexual interaction. There are wide variations in when a woman begins ovulating again after she has given birth, but it can be as soon as just three weeks. It is therefore not advisible to wait until you have your first period before you start to use contraception – and it is also important to know that breastfeeding is not a reliable way of making sure you don’t become pregnant again!

Women entering this new phase of life often ask themselves what kind of contraception is suitable for them – they want something very effective, because most people don’t want to get pregnant again immediately after they’ve had a baby. Women who are breastfeeding have to choose a form of contraception that will not have an adverse effect on how much milk they can produce or on the baby.

The only hormonal methods of contraception recommended for use during breastfeeding are those that only contain progesterone, because these are known to have no effect on breastmilk. Forms of contraception that contain oestrogen, such as the combined pill, are not recommended if you are breastfeeding because they may reduce the amount of milk that you produce.

Being progestron-only, the hormonal coil can be fitted as soon as 4 to 6 weeks after the birth. By then, the womb has already returned to normal size and reliable contraceptive protection begins immediately.