Birth Control for New Moms | Fit Pregnancy

Sex Objects

Your birth-control choices after having a baby

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Diaphragm
How it works: Used in conjunction with spermicide and inserted before intercourse, the diaphragm blocks sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing the egg. A clinician must initially fit the diaphragm to you and recheck its fit after you have a baby.
Effectiveness: 80% to 94%.
Pros: Safe to use while breastfeeding; protects against gonorrhea and chlamydia and possibly other STDs as well.
Cons: Relatively low effectiveness rate; lack of spontaneity; shouldn’t be used by people with allergies to latex or spermicide.

IUD
How it works: This small, plastic T-shaped device is inserted into the uterus by a clinician and contains hormones or copper to prevent fertilization. The brand Mirena contains a hormone called levonorgestrel and can be left in place for five years; ParaGard is made of copper and can be left in place for 10 years. Whichever type you choose, it is typically inserted six weeks postpartum, although your doctor or clinician may agree to insert it immediately after you deliver.
Effectiveness: 97% to 99%.
Pros: Safe to use while breastfeeding; high effectiveness rate; convenience; spontaneity.
Cons: Possibility of increased cramping and heavier periods; increased risk of uterine infection for first four weeks after the IUD is inserted.

Cervical Cap
How it works: The cap is a thimble-shaped latex device that is coated with spermicide and inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It blocks sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing the egg. A clinician must initially fit the cap to you and recheck its fit after you have a baby.
Effectiveness: 60% to 80%.
Pros: Safe to use while breastfeeding; protects against gonorrhea and chlamydia and possibly other STDs as well.
Cons: Low effectiveness rate; available in only four sizes; can be difficult to insert; lack of spontaneity; shouldn’t be used by people with allergies to latex or spermicide.

Combined-Hormone Pill
How it works: A pill containing both estrogen and progestin is taken daily. Suppresses ovulation; also thickens the cervical mucus, thereby blocking sperm and preventing fertilization in case ovulation does occur. Effectiveness: 95% to 99%.
Pros: High effectiveness rate; convenience; spontaneity.
Cons: Must not be used if you are over the age of 35 and smoke, as these factors can significantly increase your risk of heart attack, blood clots and stroke. Also, estrogen can reduce milk supply, so if you’re breastfeeding, your clinician will need to determine whether the combined-hormone pill is an option for you.

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