Being 6 months pregnant and having the choice while having my elective section to be sterilised I need start thinking about our long-term fertility and what options we have after delivery if we decide not to opt for being sterilised.
In the weeks after giving birth, you may not be feeling at your sexiest (I certainly wasn’t last time) – still recovering physically and mentally from the delivery, and exhausted from caring for a new-born. But soon enough, you’ll start feeling the urges of old or so hubs hopes, but unless you want to gift baby a younger sibling almost immediately, it’s important you also get back into the swing of using contraception.
Although there is no waiting time, set in stone, for waiting to resume post-birthing promiscuity – many sexual health professionals will advise abstaining until six weeks have passed. Once the six-week postnatal check-up has confirmed that mum is physically ready for sex again, Resuming a sexual relationship with your partner again can be incredibly healthy for the relationship to get intimate again. New parent advice portal, Baby Centre, confirms that roughly half of new parents wait for the 6 week milestone to resume their sex life, although this is not set in stone and its an incredibly personal choice.
Even if your periods have not started again following the pregnancy and birth, you may still be susceptible to falling pregnant once again. This is just another of those crazy quirks of the female reproductive system, like there aren’t enough of those already hey ladies! so better stock up on contraceptives.
The NHS confirms that it is perfectly safe to use contraceptive implants 21 days after giving birth. Similarly, it is safe to use the combined pills, vaginal ring and contraceptive patch as protection at this stage – however, these three methods could have a negative effect upon your supply of milk if you are the breast feeding your baby.
From six weeks after birth, it is usually safe to have the contraceptive injection or start using a diaphragm or cap. For all these methods, it is advisable to consult your GP or family planning clinic before committing to the contraception.
But perhaps the easiest and most effective method of contraception to use after giving birth is the male condom. Even if you are breastfeeding, condoms can help protect against a second pregnancy in a year and make it easier for you and your partner to reconnect after the stressful period of giving birth and bringing baby home.
Using lube can also help make sex more comfortable and enjoyable for both partners. After a few long weeks or even months without sex and all the new stresses in your lives – there may be slight mental and physical roadblocks when trying to have sex again… this can be quite normal!
It is important to put time aside to resume intimacy with your partner after giving birth. The longer you wait to have sex, the harder it may become to see each other as lovers – effortlessly falling into the category of ‘parent’. For the health of the relationship, an enjoyable sex life is almost mandatory — and unless you want your home to be overrun by babies, it’s vital you use full and effective protection.