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Contraception After Delivery

Before resuming sexual intercourse, it’s recommended that you wait until your bleeding has stopped, or at least greatly decreased, any stitches have healed, and you’re on a reliable form of birth control. Ideally, it would be best to wait until your postpartum appointment to make sure everything is healing without problems and that your birth control method is adequate. If you feel well enough to enjoy sex prior to that time, check with your provider and discuss the birth control options available to you.

If you’re not breastfeeding, you can expect to have your first period anywhere from four to six weeks after delivery. With full breastfeeding, meaning no supplements of any kind, your periods may be delayed up to six months. It’s recommended that breastfeeding women avoid using combined oral contraceptives with both estrogen and progesterone, since they may decrease the milk supply and alter the milk composition. Talk to your healthcare team about birth control options specifically designed for breastfeeding women.

Keep in mind that you’ll be fertile before your first period occurs. This is why women should consider a reliable type of birth control prior to resuming intercourse, no matter when the intercourse occurs. There are several good choices of reliable birth control methods available for both breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding women. Check with your healthcare team to determine which method is best for you.