Written by : Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
"Which is the best birth control method which can be used after childbirth, in the postpartum period ?" - This is a common question asked by many new mothers.
Before answering this question, here are some common facts about postpartum birth control:
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A woman who has recently given birth will get a period usually about four to ten weeks after the baby's birth if she is bottle-feeding, or combining breast and bottle. If she is exclusively breast-feeding then periods may not start until much later. For some women this might be after she has stopped breast-feeding.
Condoms have the advantage of being readily available, of not containing any hormones and being cheap. They have no effect on breastfeeding and have no risks to the mother or child. The disadvantage is that they can irritate the already fragile vaginal tissues and additional lubrication may be necessary.
Spermicides can be used alone, but is more effective when used with other contraceptives like the female diaphragm.
Postpartum insertion of a Cu-T can take place within 10 minutes of the placental delivery (immediate postplacental) or upto 72 hours after delivery. Or it can be done at about six weeks after birth. Postpartum insertion should not be done between 72 hours and about six weeks postpartum because of an increased risk of expulsion and perforation. Special training is required for immediate postplacental insertions and for insertion within the first 2 hours.
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