It might be hard to believe—especially if you're seven months pregnant with what feels like quintuplets, caring for a colicky infant, or just feeling about as desirable as sack of potatoes—but someday you're going to want to have sex again, which means now is a good time to start thinking about what method of birth control you'll want to use. Maybe your old method will work just fine, or perhaps you plan on nursing and want to try something hormone-free. Thankfully it seems a new birth control product hits the market each year (although we're still waiting on a pill for the guys!), so moms have more choices today than ever before. Here's a look at the basics to help you decide what will best fit your needs.
Birth control pills (BCPs) have been used in the US for over 50 years. They have been clinically proven to be safe and effective, and are one of the most extensively studied medications in the US. The first birth control pill, Enovid, was introduced in 1960; and since then, over 45 brands have been released.
The pill enlists the help of two hormones: estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are synthetic versions of naturally occurring female hormones. And they work together to prevent ovulation. The two common type of pill packs are:
The birth control pill is a very popular choice for contraception among women and is considered to be 99-percent effective when taken properly.
If you are nursing, your OB-GYN will recommend a progesterone-only pill (or mini pill) because this hormone won't interfere with your breast milk production or quality (the pills that contain a combination of progesterone and estrogen can decrease milk production and pass through the breast milk to your infant). When taken as directed, the mini pill is 97-percent effective.