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Postpartum contraception: what you need to know

‘Don't touch me!’ ‘This is all your fault.’ ‘Sew it all the way, doctor. We won't be using it anymore.’ If we took our birthing selves seriously, there would be a good chance that we’d never need contraception again. 🤣 But, given that our memories of birth soon blur and that you can get pregnant a shocking 21 days after giving birth (whaaaat?), it’s a good idea to know your contraceptive options.

At any time after birth

As long as you have no medical risks such as hypertension, you can use an implant, an injection, the progesterone-only pill and condoms at any time after birth. You can also have an IUD or IUS inserted within 48 hours.

Three weeks after birth

You can start to use the combined pill, vaginal ring or a contraceptive patch three weeks after birth. But if you’re breastfeeding, have certain health conditions, or a risk of blood clots, you’ll be advised to delay using the combined pill, ring or patch until six weeks.

Four weeks after birth

If you did not have an IUD or IUS inserted within 48 hours of the birth, you can request one again at four weeks.

Six weeks after birth

If you’re breastfeeding or have certain medical conditions, you can probably now use the combined pill, ring or patch. Caps or diaphragms can also now be used, but you’ll need to see a doctor to make sure it still fits.