Your ability to conceive can return as soon as a few weeks after birth, so you’ll most likely want to decide what contraception to use before your baby is born. Review the options below and discuss with your doctor to determine which method is best for you.
Natural family planning –
This method teaches women to recognize signs of ovulation so intercourse can be timed to prevent pregnancy.
Hormonal birth control options
Birth control pills –
Birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancy. Today’s pills are safe and effective for most women. They can help lighten monthly periods and lessen cramps. There is a type of birth control pill that contains only progestin which is safe and effective for breastfeeding mothers and women who cannot use estrogen.
Vaginal ring (Nuva Ring) –
The vaginal ring is a flexible, thin and soft ring-shaped device. It delivers birth control hormones similar to those in birth control pills. A woman inserts the device into her vagina, leaves in place for three weeks and then removes it. She inserts a new ring every fourth week.
Birth control injection –
This injection is given every three months and contains the hormone progestin, which prevents pregnancy. It is safe, highly effective and long-lasting.
Birth control patch (transdermal patch) –
The transdermal contraceptive patch is a highly effective, weekly hormonal birth control device that is worn on the skin. It uses a combination of hormones (estrogen and progestin) to prevent pregnancy – much like birth control pills.
Non-hormonal birth control options
Non-prescription barrier methods –
These products can be purchased at pharmacies, grocery stores and many other stores.
Prescription barrier method –
- Condoms are latex sheaths that are worn on the male penis. A new one must be used each time a couple has intercourse. Condoms also are used for protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
- Spermicides such as foams, gels and suppositories are products that a woman inserts into her vagina every time she and her partner have intercourse.
The diaphragm is a soft, reusable, dome-shaped device used with a spermicidal gel that a woman inserts into her vagina each time she has intercourse. A health care provider fits the diaphragm, and it is purchased at a pharmacy.
A single progestin-only implant is inserted under the skin in a woman’s upper arm. The implant (which is effective for up to three years) is about the size of a matchstick and is inserted in the physician’s office.
Mirena® Intrauterine system (IUD) –
The IUD is a sterile device that is placed inside a woman’s uterus by her provider eight weeks after delivery. It is a very effective contraceptive and is intended for long-term use. The IUD with a slow-release hormone can stay in place for five years.
ParaGard® Intrauterine system (IUD) –
The IUD is a sterile device that is placed inside a woman’s uterus by her provider eight weeks after delivery. It is a very effective contraceptive and is intended for long-term use. The non-hormonal IUD containing copper is effective for 10 years.
Permanent methods of birth control
Tubal ligation (a.k.a. “tubes tied”) –
During this female sterilization procedure, both fallopian tubes are closed by being cut, tied or sealed with a ring, a clip or an electric current. This prevents the egg from moving down the tube and keeps the sperm from reaching the egg. An outpatient hospital procedure, tubal ligation may require three to five recovery days.
During this male sterilization procedure, the vas deferens tube is separated preventing the release of sperm. This is typically an office procedure and may require a few days for recovery. A vasectomy is the least expensive permanent birth control method in comparison to Essure and tubal ligation.
Most insurance plans cover these permanent birth control procedures; however, confirm coverage with your insurance company.