There are about 15 different types of contraceptives which allow you to enjoy intimacy without the risk of getting pregnant. These birth control methods include condoms, the diaphragm, the contraceptive pill, implants, IUDs (intrauterine devices) or sterilisation (male/female).
The Pill is not your only option. Other ‘worry free’ options might work better. You and your health provider can talk about the best contraception for you.
Even though the purpose of birth control is to prevent pregnancy, many women choose to use contraception because of certain health advantages e.g. some hormonal birth control methods may help regulate your periods, reduce acne, and/or lower endometriosis-related pain.
So Why Use Contraception?
The use of contraception can significantly lower your chances of becoming pregnant.
Choosing the right birth control method for you is a personal decision and should be an informed one. See your GP to discuss your options.
It is possible to become pregnant again very soon after giving birth, even if you are breastfeeding and/or if your period has not returned. You can ovulate (release an egg) about two weeks before your period is due, so your fertility may have returned before you realise it. It is important to discuss with your GP the recommencement of contraception.
You can use male and female condoms as soon as you feel ready to be intimate. The combined pill, progestogen-only pill and contraceptive implants can be used from 21 days after birth. However, the use of the combined pill may not be recommended if you are breastfeeding, as it can affect your milk supply. Seek medical advice.
You may need to change the type of contraception that you use as you get older.
Fertility usually starts to decline from around age 37, although you will still need to use contraception after this time to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Most women will have reached the menopause by the time they're 55 years old and can usually be advised to stop using contraception around this time.
Reference: The Royal Women's Hospital