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#1 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've started thinking more about postpartum birth control, since DH and I aren't sure if we'll have more kids, and we definitely don't want another pregnancy right away.  I know this is something I can get more information about by doing independent research and posting on the family planning forum, but I wanted to see what you ladies were thinking about with regards to future birth control.

 

Just from googling around this morning, it seems like a copper IUD might be the way to go, for me, since it's non-hormonal and pretty reliable.  Anyone have experience with that?  Anyone have experience with fertility awareness as birth control?  Do you think exclusive on-demand breastfeeding is pretty good birth control, at least for the first six months?  What else should I be looking at?


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#2 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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on demand breastfeeding was not reliable for me (had my period very regularly at 2m after the birth of my first, and irregularly by 6m after the birth of my second, regularly again by 9m) and I know too many people IRL who are 15 months or so from their sibling due to their mom's belief that it was working. The problem is-- the first time you ovulate you may not know it. My previous 2 MWs urged me to take BC seriously, b/c breastfeeding hormones can mask many other signs of fertility, and they both said they just have seen many, many patients coming back pregnant. The also both recommended IUD (the more medical practice with my first the hormonal IUD, the more natural-minded MW with my second the copper IUD). I decided against b/c I have had so many problems in the past with heavy, painful periods and heard that can be worse with the IUD- a main side-effect.

 

As for me, we've decided on vasectomy as our option, this is our third child (and an unplanned pregnancy, we were using condoms every single time, plus I was still BFing quite a bit) and we definitely do not want any more children.


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#3 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 11:43 AM
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I think it depends on how you and your DH feel about the different options.

 

After our first was born, I looked pretty seriously at getting an IUD, and ultimately decided it wasn't for me. We used dual barrier methods (condoms + spermicidal gel, except once when we skipped the gel, and hey, here I am in the DDC!)

 

After this babe, DH is getting a vasectomy. But if we weren't sure about future family plans, we would probably just use barrier methods again.

 

I personally like the idea of NFP but am just not organized enough to chart properly. Plus I now have pretty good evidence that I either ovulate twice per cycle and/or on a highly irregular (but not infrequent) schedule, at least some of the time, so that rules out a lot of time.

 

Note that this may or may not be something you have to think about right away. It's pretty normal to take a while to get back up and running.


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#4 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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I used a copper IUD before having it removed to get pregnant. It hurt like hell after the anesthetic wore off after insertion, but then was fine for four years. I like that it was non-hormonal and it really didn't cause much more cramping than I had before. That said, one of my friends had to have hers removed after a month because that was all she could stand of CONSTANT cramping. It really didn't work for her.

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#5 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 06:30 PM
 
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true... but make sure you have something in the house just in case. you never know!

(and sure, you *probably* aren't fertile right away, but I was in no hurry to live through it again when the birth was still fresh in my mind...)

 

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Note that this may or may not be something you have to think about right away. It's pretty normal to take a while to get back up and running.



 


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#6 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 08:15 PM
 
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I used NFP successfully for 3 years before conceiving our son.  The first month we didn't use condoms, I was pregnant!  On demand breastfeeding was not enough for me.  I got my period back at 3 months PP.  I found it nearly impossible to chart with all of the night wakings.  I was just exhausted. I monitored CM and we used condoms, but obviously we were sloppy about it.  

 

I personally don't feel comfortable with the idea of any IUD so it's going to be condoms for us again...every single time.  We want at least one more child.  


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#7 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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we plan to use nothing for approx 4-6mts while monitoring for fertility signs. with the previous dc it was 7-10m before af returned. after those first months well be using barriers (diaphragm and/or condom) always

once af returns we'll move onto FAM, using barriers during fertile phases

 

I don't have good options for BC other than barrier, I'm not allowed to use estrogen. The iud is out for personal reasons (I'm an IUD baby, and heard enough of it to know it will never be an option I'll choose for myself) and I've gotten pregnant on both the depo shot and the mini-pill. There was an implant that the mw said might be an ok option, but it's still not ideal with my history, so barriers are top option, we hope....

 

We are planning to have 1 more dc, but hoping to wait a couple years (kinda when we'd planned to wait for this one...). After 1 more, it'll be the vasectomy route


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#8 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 09:51 PM
 
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If you are interested in NFP/FAM there is a regular charting to avoid thread over in family planning. Those ladies have also put together some good wikis on the subject (see the first post in the linked thread).

We were doing FAM, using condoms or diaphragm during fertile times, before we decided to conceive. After the this pregnancy we might go back to FAM, though I would worry a little about catching the first postpartum ovulation. From what I've read, it can be pretty tricky to chart ovulation postpartum. Lactational amenorrhea seems to work with widely varying success - works great for some women, others say they start ovulating right away anyway.

I'm actually leaning toward the non-hormonal IUD, at least initially. (I was an IUD baby too, but that was 35 years ago.) I had tried to do an IUD before I found FAM, but my cervix just would not allow it. After the sprog, I'm guessing it'll be a lot easier to place!
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#9 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 09:59 PM
 
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I had a terrible, terrible IUD experience with the copper (Paraguard) IUD and will never try it again. However, I've been told it was because I had never had kids, and apparently women that have handle it better? I don't know how accurate that is, but I know I'll never try it again.

I loved depo until it made me gain 50lbs, and I'm not a big fan of the pill. DH says no condoms, and we both say no ring. I think I'm down to the patch (but I'm betting that's not safe for breastfeeding) or the one type of pill that's BF approved. I just hope it works (and I remember to take it). We don't know if we ever want more than one kid, and I don't want that decision to be based on an accident. I think DH would prefer we let nature decide, but I am not comfortable (yet) with the idea of being pregnant ever again, let alone "double trouble." smile.gif

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#10 of 21 Old 09-04-2011, 10:41 PM
 
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If you don't like the pill, you won't like the patch. Same hormones. And not BF-safe because of the estrogen. I've tried 4 pills, the patch and the ring in an effort to find one that did not worsen my migraines. The ring worked (in fact it was amazing) but it does raise my BP, which makes it an absolute no-no now. The patch was about tolerable but I developed a reaction to the glue over time. Plus, my migraines have aura, which is also a problem for combined BCP.... AND NuvaRing uses a 3rd generation progestin, which may have increased clotting risk. All in all, the only way I could make it worse would be to wait a year (35th birthday), take up smoking, and THEN use the ring.

 

I had a copper T after baby #1 (it was a European one, so technically not a Paragard, but very very similar). It wasn't terrible, but also not perfect. It made my period worse, and made me cramp badly. This time, I think I'll try a Mirena. The progesterone dose is low, and it's 2nd generation, so while it's not 100% localized I should be able to tolerate it, and it thins the uterine lining so your periods are much less. We don't know if we want a 3rd, but I'm not going for a permanent solution till I make a permanent decision. I hate charting/NFP (and I have PCOS, and who knows when my cycles will be wonky) and I prefer an "always on" method, so I don't want to use a diaphragm.

 

Yes, nulliparas do have more problems with the IUD. In Europe, there is a "mini" copper T which is designed for smaller uteri but it is not sold here. You may also be sensitive to the effects of the copper IUD, and might want to try a Mirena. As a medium term contraceptive for pregnancy spacing, I think the IUD is a fabulous option--I'm just angry that our choice in the US is so limited and that the manufacturers charge so much. (Bayer charges $800 in the US for a Mirena; it's £90 [$130] in the UK. Plus fitting. Paragard is $335, comparable UK IUDs are £10-20.)


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#11 of 21 Old 09-05-2011, 12:39 AM
 
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I had a paragard prior to TTC. I liked it in general, but it really did increase my cramping and bleeding amounts.
Most people are much happier with the hormonal Mirena, IME.

I think I'll probably take my chances with a regular low-dose estrogen containing birth control pill at 6 months. I liked the pill. As long as nursing is going well, I'd like to try, although estrogen containing methods can decrease milk.

Before then, probably condoms/foam.

After experiencing sub-fertility, birth control is kind of a bitter topic. We're really not sure of our future plans, either.

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#12 of 21 Old 09-05-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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I also did NFP for 7 years before conceiving DS. I'm one of those people who took forever (22 months) to get back my AF. I breastfed and co-slept, and basically did all the things you're "supposed to do". I'm Catholic, but even if I wasn't, I'd still do NFP. I understand not wanting to do it though. But for me it works perfectly. FAM is basically the same thing, as Capretta said, only it uses barriers during fertile times. I actually quite resented the BC talk at my 6 week, because even though I explained that I do NFP to the midwife on duty, and that it worked for 7 years and ds was very much planned, she continued to call it the "rhythm method" and treated me like I was 9 and had never heard of the pill or condoms. I had even told her that this method was consistent with my religion and that I wasn't interested in artificial methods at all, but she still insisted that I take the pamplets-for-dummies that basically say that if you have sex you can get pregnant. irked.gif


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#13 of 21 Old 09-05-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaegbert View Post

true... but make sure you have something in the house just in case. you never know!

(and sure, you *probably* aren't fertile right away, but I was in no hurry to live through it again when the birth was still fresh in my mind...)

 


Oh, definitely. I just meant that even if you don't want to use condoms forever, using them for the infrequent early times will be fine. Most people have some time to work out what they're going to do when sex becomes more frequent later. (Of course, there are always people who jump right back to their pre-pregnancy sex lives at six weeks, but that's uncommon.)

 

Rosemary, how infuriating.


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#14 of 21 Old 09-05-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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There's more to my being unwilling to use the iud than *just* that I was conceived with it. I just don't want to go into the details, It'd be like someone telling you a horror birth story when your pregnant. True, but not informative or helpful beyond the experience of the horror teller wink1.gif

 

My sis has had the mirena IUD for almost 2yrs. It was virtually the only option she could use. She's had almost no complaints beyond a bit of occasional discomfort. Originally she had a hard time to take it as well, knowing the same things i did about our moms experiences, but she had to use something and it was the only "safe" option other than barriers, but barriers tend to be less reliable, and she needed something as reliable as possible.


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#15 of 21 Old 09-05-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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I am sort of freaking out about birth control decisions, honestly.  I took pills before we were ready to start a family, but I decided long ago that I wasn't really thrilled with the idea of treating my body with artificial hormones anymore.  So since then, our birth control has always been condoms.  It worked fine at first-- we didn't conceive DS1 until right after we stopped using them.  But then we were surprised with conceiving DS2 while using condoms, and here we are waiting for DS3 to arrive, again, while we had been using condoms.  Religiously.  Obviously, it's not the most fool-proof method for us.  But it's about the only thing I'm comfortable with!  I don't want to have to mess with extra steps like inserting a diaphragm or using spermicide.  I don't want to have something foreign inserted into my body.  I don't want to use hormones.  I don't want to abstain (plus I don't think temping for fertile times would be a good choice for me, I'm not reliable enough).  And I don't feel comfortable having either DH or myself do anything permanent.  So I feel really stuck.  I may just break down and go with the mini-pill after 6 months or so (of using condoms...), but I'm not really thrilled with it.  Basically I hate all the potential side-effects of each birth control option (aside from condoms, which DH and I are both fine using), and I also hate the side-effect of less effective methods: More surprise pregnancies!!  It's hard to rally yourself to love a pregnancy when you weren't seeking after it in the first place, and the timing seems terrible, etc.   But I'm not read to commit to any other option at this point.  Blehhhhh.


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#16 of 21 Old 09-05-2011, 08:48 PM
 
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We've been using FAM for several years (both to TTA and TTC), and will continue to do so after the baby is born, using condoms during fertile times. LAM (lactational amenorrhea) worked for us for about 4 months pp after the birth of DS - I'm hoping we'll get to use it a little longer this time.

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#17 of 21 Old 09-05-2011, 10:20 PM
 
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mama2mad, I totally hear you. My IUD story is also horrific, as was my cousin's (post baby for her). Maybe there's some genetic/biological factors at work for some?

To clarify, my problem with the pill isn't the hormones, but the necessity of remembering to take it religiously. You know, when I thought I was infertile, I worried about birth control a lot less than I do now that I'm pregnant and have a husband that constantly jokes about keeping me pregnant...

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#18 of 21 Old 09-06-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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We used FAM for 3? years before getting pregnant with dd (on purpose), and so that is technically what we will be doing after this birth.  Breastfeeding dd   worked for me for 2 years, and then after we stopped bfing it took 3 months for me to ovulate.  Seriously.  I did not ovulate at all until the cycle that we concieved this one.  When I declined birth control after dd, all the nurses said "oh we'll see you again in a couple of months ha ha".  But I don't assume that this will happen again (and please no one use me as a reason not to take bc pills!), so I will be charting again.


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#19 of 21 Old 09-06-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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I am sort of freaking out about birth control decisions, honestly.  I took pills before we were ready to start a family, but I decided long ago that I wasn't really thrilled with the idea of treating my body with artificial hormones anymore.  So since then, our birth control has always been condoms.  It worked fine at first-- we didn't conceive DS1 until right after we stopped using them.  But then we were surprised with conceiving DS2 while using condoms, and here we are waiting for DS3 to arrive, again, while we had been using condoms.  Religiously.  Obviously, it's not the most fool-proof method for us.  But it's about the only thing I'm comfortable with!  I don't want to have to mess with extra steps like inserting a diaphragm or using spermicide.  I don't want to have something foreign inserted into my body.  I don't want to use hormones.  I don't want to abstain (plus I don't think temping for fertile times would be a good choice for me, I'm not reliable enough).  And I don't feel comfortable having either DH or myself do anything permanent.  So I feel really stuck.  I may just break down and go with the mini-pill after 6 months or so (of using condoms...), but I'm not really thrilled with it.  Basically I hate all the potential side-effects of each birth control option (aside from condoms, which DH and I are both fine using), and I also hate the side-effect of less effective methods: More surprise pregnancies!!  It's hard to rally yourself to love a pregnancy when you weren't seeking after it in the first place, and the timing seems terrible, etc.   But I'm not read to commit to any other option at this point.  Blehhhhh.


I am kinda feeling like you! Back in the beginning (like high school) I did depo for a couple of years made me gain a ton of weight and the pill which I was not awesome at taking and helped keep me fat. We got pregnant with our first by surprise while using the spermicidal film things. so after her we used condoms. It took nearly 2 years of trying for us to have baby number 2 and after him we went back to condoms we were getting a bit sloppy there when we conceived our Oct baby. As far as I know now we are done after this one I am at the point of giving away all my boy stuff and excited to get rid of all the other stuff when this new little one is done with it, but we are not ready to commit to a permanent solution. We always said hubby would go get snipped after we were done but after more research we no longer feel safe with that option because of side affects. I already have supply issues while breastfeeding so I am not willing to risk adding more issues to that so I feel stuck with a lifetime of condoms at age 25 :/ yeah we don't love those either obviously lol! ETA I also wanted to add I wish I could do the charting or something like that but have decided that I have the most crazy ovulation schedual after years of ttc and then not with this one who we conceived less then a week before I was expecting my period I just cant trust this undependable cycle of mine!

 


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#20 of 21 Old 09-06-2011, 03:41 PM
 
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Well the combination charting and pulling out method has worked for me for 15 years so we will probably do that again.  I have never used hormonal birth control and I don't plan on ever using it.  I have only used condoms when I was casually dating and wasn't in a long term serious relationship with the person.  I know that a lot of people frown upon the pull out method but that is what we will use until I know my cycle is back and I can start charting.


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#21 of 21 Old 09-06-2011, 11:14 PM
 
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This is one area where having fertility issues is an asset. We know we want more children & as getting pregnant is so hard for us we are willing to take the risk of conceiving by accident at a less than ideal time. Part of me is still bitter about all the years I wasted time, money & energy with different hormonal birth control methods that were completely unnecessary & just messed up my hormonal systems further.

 

I fully expect the 6 week "talk" from my ob on the subject but I'm good at nodding & smiling!


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