Parenting · Pregnancy

Pregnancy spacing and birth control

Notebook with the words Birth control  on the table.If you’ve just had a baby and are not ready to have another baby so soon, consider using birth control to help you space your next pregnancy.

When planning another pregnancy, it’s best to wait at least 18 months to 5 years to have your next baby.

Birth control is used to help prevent a pregnancy. Some methods work by changing hormone levels to stop an egg from being released from the ovary.  Other methods thicken cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg.

There are many birth control methods that can be considered after you have had your baby. Deciding on the type you want to use will help you plan for a pregnancy at a time that is right for you.  The following are some birth control methods that are available.

Intrauterine system (IUS)/ Intrauterine Device (IUD):

  • a T-shaped piece of plastic that fits inside the uterus
  • >98% effective at preventing pregnancy
  • contains copper (IUD) or a hormone (IUS) that thickens the cervical mucus and changes the lining of the uterus
  • although it can stay inside the uterus for up to 5 years, it can be removed by a health care provider at any time, with a rapid return to fertility

 Condoms:

  • disposable latex or non-latex cover used on the erect penis during sex to catch the semen to prevent it from entering the vagina
  • effective and inexpensive
  • no ongoing effect on fertility

 Combined Hormonal Contraception (Birth Control Pill/Patch/Ring):

  • hormones stop ovary from releasing egg each month, as well as thickening cervical mucus to stop sperm from getting to egg
  • no long term effect on fertility
  • may have an effect on breastmilk supply; some people prefer to take a progestin-only birth control pill (“mini-pill”)

Using a reliable method of birth control can help you space your pregnancies

For more information on birth control options:

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