During the breast-feeding period, hormonal contraceptives should be avoided and those with no hormones in their composition, such as the condom or the intrauterine copper device, should be preferred. If for any reason it is not possible to use one of these methods, you may use the contraceptive pill or a progestin-only implant, such as Cerazette, Micronor or Implanon, for example, which are considered safe and can be used during this phase.
On the other hand, combined oral pills, which have estrogens and progestogens in their composition, should not be used during breastfeeding because the estrogenic component may impair the quantity and quality of breast milk by suppressing the production of prolactin, which is the hormone responsible for milk production.
How to use the contraceptive method while breastfeeding
During breastfeeding the way you use the contraceptive method depends on the type of contraceptive you choose:
When you have to start taking the contraceptive after delivery depends on the hormone chosen:
- Desogestrel (Cerazette): This contraceptive can be started between the 21 st and the 28 th day after delivery, with one pill taken daily. During the first 7 days, a condom should be used to avoid an unwanted pregnancy;
- Linestrenol (Exluton): This contraceptive can be started between the 21 st and the 28 th day after delivery, with a pill taken daily. During the first 7 days, a condom should be used to avoid an unwanted pregnancy;
- Norethisterone (Micronor): This contraceptive can only be started from the 6 th week after delivery, with one pill taken daily.
Implanon is an implant that is placed under the skin and that releases etonorgestrel for 3 years.
- Etonogestrel (Implanon): Implanon is an implant that can be inserted from the 4 th week postpartum. During the first 7 days, a condom should be used to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
There are two different types of IUDs:
- Levonorgestrel (Mirena): The IUD should be placed by the gynecologist and may begin to be used as soon as the 6 th week after delivery, upon indication of your physician;
- Copper IUD (Multiload): The copper IUD should be placed by the gynecologist immediately after delivery, or from the 6 th week after normal delivery or from the 12 th week after a caesarean section.
See more information about these types of IUDs.
Effects of contraception on breastfeeding
Some of the side effects that may occur while using the progestogen contraceptive pill are:
- Decreased breast milk;
- Breast pain;
- Decreased sexual desire;
- Mood changes;
- Weight gain;
- Vaginal infections;
- Appearance of pimples;
Absence of menstruation or occurrence of small bleeding, several days of the month.
Does breastfeeding work as a contraceptive method?
In some cases, breastfeeding may work as a contraceptive method if the baby is exclusively breastfed without any other type of food or bottle. This can happen because when the baby suckles several times a day, often and with a lot of suction intensity, the woman's organism may not release the hormones necessary for the maturation of a new ovum, so that ovulation occurs and / or favorable conditions for a pregnancy.
However, this does not mean that the woman can not become pregnant and therefore, doctors do not indicate breastfeeding as a contraceptive method.