Most women will worry and wonder when there fertility and menstrual cycle will return after they have given birth. The solution to this depends on different factors and most importantly whether the mother is breast feeding or not. Child birth impacts greatly on the woman’s health especially during the pregnancy period. Most health professionals will usually recommend not going in for pregnancy immediately after having given birth since your health may not have picked up to the previous pregnancy stage and thus, it’s important to wait until you regain your health before you go for another pregnancy. Women ought to know exactly when their periods come or the times they could be fertile to become pregnant. If they have this knowledge, they can be able to take precaution so as to avoid being pregnant again after a very short period.

What Are the Chances of Getting Pregnant After Delivery?

Most of the women may believe that they cannot get pregnant soon after they have given birth. But the truth is that whether you gave birth vaginally or even through a C-section, the chances of conceiving are high few days after you have given birth. You may not realize when you have a period at that moment because ovulation may take place even before your period.

Although health care practitioners recommend not having sex before your sixth week checkup, but it can happen sometimes especially if you don’t use any form of contraception or any birth control methods. In addition, when women breast feed, it delays the onset of ovulation but only in few cases; hence, it’s not 100% proven to be an effective method of birth control.

Most of the mothers will often experience a prolonged bleeding after child birth for about 3 to 8 weeks, and the blood is usually bright red. However, the bleeding (lochia) and its flow eventually become lighter indicating that the uterus is fully healed. The possibilities of ovulating during the first 6 weeks of giving birth are usually very low, but they are not impossible at all.

Soon after the postpartum bleeding ceases and the mother isn’t exclusively breastfeeding, she may resume her ovulation at around 10 weeks after she has given birth. About 80% of women who do not breast feed have their normal periods at approximately this time. Thus, there exists a possibility that a woman could become pregnant even without having or experiencing her period. If you are not breastfeeding, it’s advisable to talk to your health care provider about using contraceptives at the 6week postpartum checkup.

Here is video to tell you when you can start to have intercourse with your partner, how soon you will get pregnant after delivery and why it is important to take contraception after delivery:

Are There Any Risks of Getting Pregnant Soon After Delivery?

There has been very limited research in regard to this subject; however, getting pregnant in between the 12 months after giving birth is linked or associated with an increased potential risk of:

  • Partial or complete peeling away of inner walls of uterus before delivery such as placental abruption.
  • It can lead to autism in the second born babies or children.
  • Placenta may attach to the bottom part of the uterine wall; this may totally or partially cover the cervix such as  placental previa, especially in women who had a first C-section birth.

According to studies and research that has been conducted on the risks associated with pregnancy shortly after giving birth, the risks have been shown to increase, especially of uterine rupture in women attempting vaginal birth after caesarian, commonly known as VBAC, less than eighteen months after the previous delivery. There are some risks which are mainly associated with a pregnancy before or within eighteen months after delivery, and they include:

  • Pre-term birth
  • Low birth weight in babies
  • Small size usually for gestational age

In addition to this, some experts clearly believe that closely-spaced pregnancies usually impact on the mother negatively, since they don’t give the mother the chance to relax as well as get relieved of physical stress of the previous pregnancy before going in to another. For instance, breastfeeding as well as pregnancy depletes all the stores for essential nutrients such as folate and iron in the body in order to cater for both the mother and her child. In case you become pregnant before replacing the nutrient reserves, it could affect your health and also that of your baby.

The genital tract may also undergo inflammation during pregnancy. You should give time for your body and such organs to heal before you get another pregnancy.

What Contraception Can You Take to Decrease the Chances of Getting Pregnant After Delivery?

1. Short-Acting

In case you plan to have another child in the next year or so, you can consider using a short-acting contraceptive, which include:

  • Combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP)

This pill contains progesterone and estrogen and it mainly acts by stopping or preventing ovulation. It’s safe with rare side effects; it ceases pain as well as heavy periods. In addition, it minimizes chances of some cancers, and any woman, who uses it, becomes fertile immediately she stops using them. However, there are some disadvantages with this method, some women may have some significant blood clots and it cannot be used by women who have a serious medical condition. Most importantly, it can be used 21 days after delivery and should not be used while breast feeding.

  • Progestogen-only pill (POP)

 It’s also referred to as a mini pill and contains progestogen hormone. It’s used in cases where   COCP is not suitable, such as in some women who have migraines as well as in women who are above the age of 35 years and are smokers. It functions by causing or leading to the formation of mucus plug in the neck of the cervix or womb, which prevents the sperm from progressing. In addition, it thins the womb lining decreasing the chances of implantation.

  • Contraceptive patch

It is similar in composition to COCP in regard to hormonal composition, but it is usually in patch form. It’s as effective as COCP and functions by stocking the contraception patch on the skin where the hormones are delivered into the body in acuminous manner. It’s very convenient to use since you don’t need to take a pill every morning. Some women can experience skin irritation with it, but is usually rare.

  • Barrier methods

They include such methods i.e. male condoms caps and diaphragms; they prevent the entry of the sperm into the uterus. They are safe and no side effects are related with their use. They don’t affect you fertility as well. However, the only problem with these methods is that they are not reliable as compared to other methods.

2. Long-Acting

  • Contraceptive injection

They contain progestogen hormone that is released at a very slow rate into the body. It’s such an effective method that functions by inhibiting ovulation, it works in the same way as POP, and you will need to be injected every 8 to 12 weeks. Although it’s very efficient, sometimes you can have irregular periods and some few side effects.

  • Contraceptive implant

It’s a small device that is placed or implanted into the skin; it releases progestogen slowly into the body. It functions in the same way as the contraception method and it’s very effective. However, you can experience some irregular periods and some side effects as well.