Birth Control Guide: Everything Women Need to Know

birth control methods

Right after childbirth, birth control may be far from your thoughts. Most new parents feel that they have plenty of time before they need to start thinking about birth control again.

But the time will come, sooner than you think, when you will want to have sex again. It’s a good idea to be ready.

Women need to know that after childbirth you can produce eggs (ovulate), and get pregnant, even though you have not had your period. About half of all new mothers produce an egg before they have a period.

It takes your body 1 to 3 years to recover completely from pregnancy. That’s why it is a good idea to delay pregnancy at least 2 years after childbirth.

The time to think about birth control is now — before you need it. If you wait for your 6-week-postpartum checkup, it may be too late.

Condoms are the safest method of birth control for the first few weeks after childbirth. After your 6-week checkup, you may want to use a different method. Below we provide details about birth control methods to help you choose one that will work for you and your partner. Also, go through the links of different methods outlined below this post.

Birth Control Methods

Choosing a method of birth control may take some thought. Talk about it with your partner and ask your nurse, nurse practitioner or doctor for more information.

When you are trying to decide, ask yourselves:
  • How well does the method work? Do I feel confident using it?
  • Is this easy enough that I will use it every time?
  • Will I enjoy sex less if I use this method? Could using it become part of lovemaking?
  • Do I have enough privacy to use this method? Do I need to use the bathroom to insert something? Is my bedroom close enough?
  • Do I have all the facts and skills to use this method properly?
  • Can I afford this method? Do I need to pay for something once, or will I need to keep spending money?
Natural family planning methods are based on what we know about woman’s natural cycles. These methods depend on not having sex on the days when you could become pregnant.

If you would like to learn more about natural family planning, talk with your nurse, nurse practitioner or doctor. There are several natural family planning methods to choose from. It is very important that you use the method properly. It is best to learn about them from people who are trained to teach them. Natural family planning methods will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. You and your partner should use a condom.

Withdrawal Method

What is it?

Withdrawal is when the man removes his penis from the woman’s vagina before he comes (ejaculates). To work, no fluid must enter the vagina.

How effective is it?

It does not work very well, for two reasons:
  • The man must have a lot of self-control. He must withdraw when he is having the most pleasure.
  • There may be sperm in the fluid that comes from his penis BEFORE he ejaculates. This fluid can enter the woman’s vagina as soon as the penis is near her vagina AND before the penis enters the vagina. This fluid may also contain sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).

Withdrawal will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections.

When Accidents Happen (Emergency Contraceptive Pills)

Even if you use birth control, accidents can happen. People make mistakes. If you had sex without using birth control or if your birth control fails, you can still prevent pregnancy by taking ECPs — Emergency Contraceptive Pills. They are also known as “Morning after Pills”.

You need to take ECPs within 3 days (72 hours) of having sex without birth control. The sooner you take them, the better they work.

If more than 72 hours have passed, a doctor can insert an emergency IUD. If this is done 5 to 7 days after sex, you may not get pregnant.

ECPs do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. You can get ECPs from the Sexual Health Centre, doctor’s offices, emergency rooms or pharmacies. ECP is available without a prescription from pharmacies.

Other birth control methods include;
Male condom
Birth Control Guide - The Sponge
Birth Control Guide - Female and Male Sterilization
The Oral Contraceptive Pill
Birth Control Guide - Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Birth Control Guide - Diaphragm or Cervical Cap
Birth Control Guide - Female Condom
Birth Control Guide - Lactational Amenorrhea Method
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