So you just gave birth and you are already wondering whether you will be fertile? Some people may have told you that you will not be fertile for a while after birth but that is simply not true. Many women have gotten pregnant within just a couple of weeks of giving birth. Many siblings out there today are only nine months apart. You can conceive again in as little as two to three weeks after giving birth, even if your period has not returned.
Quite a few factors will come into play that will determine how soon after giving birth you will get pregnant again. The most important factor is whether you are breastfeeding your newborn. Although it is possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding, breastfeeding itself is about 98 percent effective as form of birth control if the following statements are true:
- Your baby is younger than six months
- Your period has not yet returned
- Your baby is not eating or drinking anything else other than breast milk
If you are not breastfeeding your infant, then it is quite possible that your fertility can return within a few weeks of giving birth; although for most women it can take quite a few months for their bodies to return to normal. The time it takes for fertility to return will vary between women and will be contingent upon your infant’s nursing pattern as well as how your body reacts to the lactation hormones.
It typically takes about 14 months for a menstrual period to return. If your periods do return prior to 14 months, it is most likely that you are not actually ovulating. Regardless of whether you are breastfeeding, it is important to realize that it is completely possible to conceive soon after giving birth. It is therefore suggested that you practice birth control starting right after the birth of your baby.
What Protection Should You Use?
Here are some birth control options to consider if you do not want to get pregnant soon after giving birth:
- Birth Control pills: There are many different varieties of birth control pills out there. You will need to take your time and do your research on these pills before you take them. Talk to your doctor about any risks, and which one would work best for you.
- Depo Provera: This is an injectable form of birth control that will keep you from getting pregnant for several months. You will need to do your research and speak to your doctor first to see if this method is right for you. If you are planning to try for more children in the near future, you may want to choose another form of birth control. Your fertility can take quite a long time to return after stopping this form of birth control.
- Spermicides: There are many different spermicides available and you will need to find one that works well for you and your partner.
- Condoms: Condoms are inexpensive and quite effective. There are both female and male varieties of condoms available.
- Natural method: This is where you determine your cycles via charting and only have sex on the days when you are not ovulating.
Getting pregnant soon after you have a baby can cause problems for you and your baby. You may find that you are overly tired and lack the energy that you need. If you are breastfeeding, your supply may tank. Of course, many women have had successful pregnancies after getting pregnant quickly after childbirth. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons. The Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human Services believes that you should wait at least 12 months between having your children to ensure your body’s full recovery.