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Mother and baby on walkMother and baby on walk

Contraception after childbirth

​It's important to sort out contraception shortly after having your baby as it's possible to get pregnant very quickly again even if you’re breastfeeding and your periods haven't returned.

You can discuss your contraception options with: 

Types of contraception

Depending on your circumstances and method of feeding you will need to discuss methods of contraception with your GP.

These can include:

Contraception type (links for more information on the NHS website)
Contraceptive implant
​Contraceptive injection
Combined pill
Progestogen-only pill
Male condoms
Female condoms
​IUD / copper coil
IUS / Mirena coil
​Vaginal ring
Contraceptive patch

Permanent methods of contraception

Female sterilisation

Female sterilisation is a surgical procedure that works by preventing eggs from travelling down the fallopian tubes, which link the ovaries to the womb (uterus). This means a woman's eggs cannot meet sperm, so fertilisation cannot happen.

Eggs will still be released from the ovaries as normal, but they'll be absorbed naturally into the woman's body.

Female sterilisation is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is considered permanent so you should only consider sterilisation if you are certain that you definitely don’t want any more children or don’t want children at all. Once you’re sterilised it’s very difficult to reverse.

Speak to your GP if you’re considering being sterilised.

Female sterilisation on the NHS website

Vasectomy (male sterilisation)

A vasectomy (male sterilisation) is a surgical procedure to cut or seal the tubes that carry a man's sperm to permanently prevent pregnancy.   

It's usually carried out under local anaesthetic, where you're awake but don't feel any pain, and takes about 15 minutes.   

A vasectomy is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is considered permanent so you should only consider sterilisation if you are certain that you definitely don’t want any more children or don’t want children at all. Once you’re sterilised it’s very difficult to reverse.   

Speak to your GP if you’re considering having a vasectomy. 

Vasectomies on the NHS website 

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