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Activity- Postpartum contraception

We have already mentioned that methods of contraception should be discussed with women as part of postnatal checks. Women can get pregnant within 3 weeks after birth if they are not fully breastfeeding! You also have had the opportunity to complete the modules on contraception in available in this webcourse. There are many options available for postpartum contraception, and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health have an excellent resource on postpartum contraception.

Options include the lactational amenorrhoeic method, barrier contraception, hormonal contraception, and intrauterine contraceptives. The lactational amenorrhoeic method has a failure rate of 2% and can used in the first 6 months after birth if the mother is fully breastfeeding day and night and if she remains amenorrhoeic. 

What about other types of contraception? Try these MCQ questions now to test your knowledge. 

Can condoms be used as contraception when breastfeeding?

Can the progesterone only pill be used as contraception when breastfeeding?

Can intrauterine contraception be used when breastfeeding?

Can Depot Provera or a Jadelle be used when breastfeeding?

Can emergency contraception be used when breastfeeding?

So, in summary, most methods of contraception can be safely used when breastfeeding!

Exceptions are (and these exceptions also apply to women who are not breastfeeding): 

  • The IUCD >48 hours to 4 weeks of birth due to the increased risk of uterine perforation during this period 
  • The COC within 3 weeks of birth for all women 
  • The COC within 6 weeks of birth for women with risk factors for VTE e.g. immobility, transfusion at birth, BMI ≥30, PPH, Caesarean birth, preeclampsia, or smoking 
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