Pregnancy / Childbirth

Contraception during lactation


Breastfeeding women are not doomed to the protection against conception that exclusive breastfeeding on demand gives them during the first six months of a child's life. Contraception after birth is available in many forms, allowing you to have sex without fear and enjoying it. The only problem in this beautiful period, which is lactation, is reduced libido, which often significantly reduces the need for systematic and continuous use of contraceptives. Instead, many couples in practice wanting or not wanting to use temperance ...

Birth control pills

The experience of many women confirms that it is difficult to choose birth control pills so that you do not have to worry about less libido, problems with your complexion, weight gain and worse mood. The lactation period, which due to the specific secretion of hormones does not differ in this way in a particular way, often brings an additional surprise in the form of: a decrease in libido. Most often it is so that women tired of taking care of a small child definitely have less desire for sex. When they fall asleep together with the baby next to their breasts, love plays naturally fall into the background. In some ladies, the matter normalizes with the following weeks, in others reduced libido remains low until the baby is weaned. There is no rule.

The fact is that women are breastfeeding they should avoid combined contraceptives. Tablets that you decide to take during this period should be free of estrogen, which reduces the amount and quality of milk, i.e. threatens lactation. Estrogen-free tablets intended for women during lactation are completely safe and do not threaten lactation or the child. They do not penetrate into milk. It's so-called mini-pills, containing only progestin (synthetic progesterone). They can be taken even after the lactation has stopped, for example to use the remaining tablets from the packaging and to later return to the tablets used before pregnancy.

Attention! Sometimes a mini pill can cause spotting and even vaginal bleeding. You have to take it regularly at the same time to ensure its proper operation.

Condom

A condom, despite the increase in sales of birth control pills, is still there one of the most commonly used contraceptive methods. During breastfeeding, when the woman has no monthly bleeding at least in the first weeks, she should be used on each intercourse. Then when the menstruation comes back, it depends on the partners. You can go back to using the body observation method in combination with the use of condoms on fertile days, however, given that the body after pregnancy is only stabilizing its hormonal activity, it can be a risky solution and result in another pregnancy.

What is worth remembering? Condom is effective if stored properly (at room temperature), is used before the expiration date and is correctly worn. There are many types of condoms. Among them are those that additionally have spermicide, constituting another "obstacle" for sperm. Among the assortment you can choose the brand and type of condom that will best suit your pair.

Attention! Shortly after pregnancy and while breastfeeding, a woman may feel vaginal dryness. Despite the excitement and mental readiness, mucus may not be enough to make sex possible. It is worth using intimate gels, available for sale in a wide selection.

In addition, it is worth being alert to any infections. After pregnancy, while breastfeeding, a woman is more exposed to infections due to a higher susceptibility of the reproductive organs. When such appear, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Hormonal intramuscular injection

Progestogen, the same substance that is used in mini-pills, is administered intramuscularly. The only difference is that the injection works for three months. It is enough to visit a gynecologist once to be protected from unplanned pregnancy for about 90 days.
It's a good way, especially for active ladies, often forgetting to take pills.

Unfortunately, there are also minuses. If side effects appear: irritability, skin problems, weight gain - it is impossible to "stop" the method like tablets. In addition, usually one year after stopping hormonal injections, you have to spend on waiting for full fertility to return.

Intrauterine device

Intrauterine device (also called spiral) can be established only after six weeks after the birth of the child, i.e. on the occasion of the first visit to the gynecologist after delivery.

There are two types of inserts: intrauterine device that releases hormones and without hormones.

In the first case (insert with hormones), a special insert is inserted in the uterine wall, which releases the hormone locally: progestin. In this way, it thickens the mucus, prevents the sperm from connecting to the cell and inhibits the development of the endometrium.

This method is recommended for women who want to do it for themselves longer break in procreation. Although the insole can be removed at any time, it is intended to be worn for five years.

An additional plus is no periods or much less monthly bleeding. Although it should be mentioned that some women experience psychological discomfort because of this ...

The non-hormonal insert works similarly to that secreting hormones, but it does not reduce the development of the endometrium so much. It is worn once every 3-4 years. It is recommended for women not convinced of hormonal therapy.

Unfortunately, this method also has some side effects: it can increase the abundance of monthly bleeding and the frequency of genital inflammation.

Remember: no monthly bleeding during lactation is not a symptom of no ovulation. Hence, information about pregnancy is surprising a few months after delivery. High prolactin is responsible for the lack of bleeding. Therefore, menstruation often returns to women only after the baby is completely weaned.

Is breastfeeding a contraceptive method?

Opinions on this topic are divided ... Many women assume that breastfeeding is an effective method of contraception, and here before the child turns sibling ... How is this possible? However, does breastfeeding protect against another pregnancy ???

During lactation, prolactin stimulates milk production, while inhibiting the secretion of sex hormones by the ovaries. In this way, it has a contraceptive effect.
However, we must not forget that breastfeeding can theoretically be treated as a contraceptive only when the following three situations occur at the same time:

  1. Less than 6 months have passed since delivery.
  2. A woman feeds the child "on demand" only with her own food or additionally feeds the child only with small amounts of food. I don't use a pacifier.
  3. The woman does not menstruate or stain at this time.

If all three situations occur simultaneously, breastfeeding can be treated theoretically as a contraceptive method. The Pearl index for this method is 2. This means that 2 out of 100 women (using this contraceptive method) become pregnant within a year. In practice, however, it is considered that breastfeeding as a contraceptive method is not recommended. Too often, fertilization occurs during this period. The case is very individual. For this reason, it is not worth relying on this method.

Izabela Glazamgr medical biotechnology during doctoral studies in pharmacology, pharmacist