What To Think About
- To use the fertility awareness methods effectively, consider taking classes on natural family planning from a trained health professional. Many women's clinics and hospitals offer classes.
- Fertility awareness methods used for birth control do not protect against Reference sexually transmitted infections (STIs) Opens New Window.
- Home kits to help with fertility awareness are not always accurate. Kits that measure Reference luteinizing hormone (LH) Opens New Window may have different results but may help when you use them with other methods. Kits for some of the other methods do not always accurately predict ovulation. More studies are being done.
- Women who breast-feed after having a baby
often go several months (sometimes longer than a year) before they start having
menstrual periods again. This is called lactational amenorrhea. For many women,
full-time breast-feeding means you do not ovulate, so breast-feeding can be an
effective method of birth control if all of the
following conditions are met:
- You gave birth less than 6 months ago.
- You are breast-feeding exclusively and do so day and night and your baby is not sucking often on a pacifier. Breast-feeding is not an effective method of birth control if your baby is also getting formula feedings.
- You are not having menstrual periods.
- Many women experience a few days of bleeding about 6 or 8 weeks after giving birth. If you are breast-feeding full-time and not using any formula, you may not get pregnant at this time. But if you start regular menstrual periods after this "6-week bleed," you should start using another method of birth control to prevent pregnancy.
- Although breast-feeding may provide some protection against pregnancy, it is best to use another method while breast-feeding if you do not wish to become pregnant.
- Women who breast-feed after having a baby often go several months (sometimes longer than a year) before they start having menstrual periods again. This is called lactational amenorrhea. For many women, full-time breast-feeding means you do not ovulate, so breast-feeding can be an effective method of birth control if all of the following conditions are met:
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 7, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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