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What Are The Chances of Getting Pregnant Soon After Giving Birth?

The short answer is that you can become pregnant again in as little as two to three weeks after giving birth, even if you have not yet had a period.

However, there are a variety of things that will determine whether or not you will become pregnant soon after giving birth.  The biggest factor is whether or not you are breastfeeding.  You can get pregnant while breastfeeding;  however, if your baby is less than six months old, you have not had a period, and your baby is taking only breast milk and not other foods or formula, breastfeeding can be around 98% effective as birth control.  After six months, or if you have had a period, or if your baby is eating other foods or formula, breastfeeding cannot be relied on as a method of birth control.  However, this does not mean that breastfeeding is completely ineffective at birth control, only that there are some important aspects of the question to consider.

Your chances of getting pregnant soon after giving birth can vary from one woman to the next.  If you are not breastfeeding, it is technically possible to be fertile within just a couple of weeks after giving birth.  Generally speaking, however, it takes several months to become fertile again.  Even if you are not breastfeeding, the timing of the return to being fertile will vary greatly from one woman to the next, and it will also depend greatly on the nursing pattern of your infant.  In addition, your body’s sensitivity to the hormones that respond to lactation will determine whether you are going to become fertile sooner.

For most women, the menstrual period will take around 14 months to return to normal.  When a woman’s cycle returns before this, she will often still not be ovulating yet;  mom’s whose cycle returns after this have probably already started ovulating even without the return of their period.  Whether or not you are breastfeeding, it is important to be aware that you may become pregnant soon after giving birth.  If you don’t want to become pregnant again right away, it is recommended that you practice some form of birth control pretty much right away after giving birth.

Last modified: February 10, 2013

The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.