Postpartum contraception

It may take time for you and your partner to feel comfortable to have sex after you have given birth.

However, approximately 10% of women start ovulating quickly after giving birth, and therefore if you feel ready to have sex again then you must consider contraceptive methods when your baby is 21 days old.

There are several contraceptive options available and your midwife or GP will be able to advise you on any queries or concerns you may have.

Some of your questions may be covered in the points below:
  • You cannot become pregnant in the first 3 weeks after giving birth.
  • After this, you can use condoms at any time.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you will not be able to use the combined pill or patch until your baby is 6 months old.
  • The progesterone-only pill or implant can be initiated at 3 weeks even if you are breastfeeding.
  • There is evidence that small amounts of hormone may be present in your breast milk but that your baby will not be harmed by this.
  • Coils can be fitted 4 weeks after delivery - these are good options if you have completed your family.
  • You will have contraception from fully breastfeeding if your baby is less than 6 months old and have no periods.

Further sources on information

You can find further information from your practice nurse, GP or family planning clinic.

Alternatively, you can visit the Family Planning Association website at:
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