Getting pregnant    Contraception

Contraception after birth: your midwife or gynecologist usually begins your first follow-up appointment by "What contraception do you use?" At the time, sexual intercourse is probably the last thing you will want to think about, but there will come a time when you will really be looking forward to resume having sexual intercourse. It is important not to get pregnant again immediately. Unless this is what you want, of course. Whether it is wise or not, we'll talk about it later. It is a myth that you cannot get pregnant while breastfeeding. There are a few factors that delay, but we definitely recommend that you do not take the risk!

What are the contraception methods?

the pill

The pill

The pill works as follows:

  • Hormones ensure that no egg is released, ovulation cannot occur.
  • The cervix is a mucus plug. Hormones make it thicker so that sperm cannot easily pass through anymore.
  • Under the influence of hormones, the lining of the uterine wall also becomes thiner so that a fertilized egg will have more difficulties to implant.

There are two kinds of pills: the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP) and progestin-only pill (POP). Generally, progestin-only (Cerazette) pills are considered appropriate for breastfeeding. These pills contain only progestin and no oestrogen. Some experts, however, are somewhat hesitant. As you can see above, a lot of things are happening in your body under the influence of the pill. However you use the pill, hormones are involved. Later in this chapter, you will probably find a contraceptive that has fewer side effects. It is well known that the use of the pill while breastfeeding can interfere with the milk production or even stop it!
Also note that the use of the pill breaks vitamin B in your body. A vitamin B deficiency can lead to depression. Factors such as age, smoking, a disorder in lipid metabolism and in blood pressure play an important role in the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, during pregnancy and in the year following childbirth, women have an increased risk of thrombosis. "Light" pills also increase the risk of thrombosis, something to keep in mind when choosing your contraception.

Benefits of the pill:

  • Very reliable contraceptive
  • Regular period
  • No "hassle" during sexual intercourse
  • People taking the pill are less likely to:
    • be contracting cancer of the ovary or endometrium
    • suffer from inflammation of the genitals
    • suffer from mild malfunction from ovaries and breasts

The contraceptive injection

It works the same way as the normal pill and does not contain estrogen. The injection protects against pregnancy during three months and is also very reliable. The downside is that your period can be irregular or even disappear. This may seem like an advantage, but menstruation is also a form of waste disposal. Whether the absence of period is good for your health, it is another question. Even if it is clearly convenient…


There are two types of IUDs:

The classical (containing copper or plastic IUD), works by irritating the endometrium.

  • the egg cannot nest in the uterine wall
  • the classic IUD provides no hormones
  • the classic IUD has absolutely no effect on your breasts and can be inserted without problems within 6 weeks postpartum
  • it often has the adverse effect that menstruation is heavier and longer
  • once the coil is placed you do not have to worry about it for the next 10 years

The hormonal IUD contains a hormone released in small quantities. It ensures that the endometrium stays very thin.

  • the egg cannot nest in the uterine wall
  • the hormonal IUD does release hormones. But that is nothing compared to the pill and it releases hormones in the right place
  • with this IUD, the menstruation is often less or disappears altogether
  • the main disadvantage is that it is quite painful to insert (especially if you have never given birth vaginally)

The Contraceptive Implant

This is a thin plastic implant that your GP or gynecologist will insert with a needle just under the skin of your arm. You cannot see it sitting, but when you rub your finger over it, you feel it. The implant releases a small amount of hormone (progestogen) daily, that is sufficient to inhibit ovulation. It offers a 3 year protection.

The condom

One of the most known in this area is the condom. For those who do not know how it works, it is a rubber sleeve being slid onto the erect penis. The condom is not only to prevent pregnancy, but also the only method that protects against sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS.

Besides the 'normal' condom is also the female condom. This is inserted into the vagina.  The main disadvantage of the female condom is that it makes a lot of noise during sexual intercourse and that can be irritating.

Both condoms are basically designed to catch the sperm, so that fertilization does not take place. The disadvantage of the condom is that the lovemaking must be interrupted and that some people have reduced sensations during intercourse. A condom may also tear or rupture. It is a safe method of contraception, provided you use it carefully!

Computing devices

With this type of method, you calculate when you are fertile and when you're not. It is most commonly used to determine when you have sexual intercourse just to get pregnant, but also works in the other direction.

There are several devices on the market:

  • Persona: a tester measures and records hormones in your urine and indicates when are your fertile and non-fertile days
  • Donna: mini microscope can examine a small amount of saliva or vaginal secretion and thus accurately determine what will be the day of ovulation
  • Mini-Sophia or Petite-Sophia: a thermometer measures and records temperature and vaginal discharge and indicates when you are fertile or non-fertile

The disadvantage of this method is that you must be very disciplined to determine if you are infertile. If you are fertile and you want to make love, then you should choose another method of contraception. This can definitely cast doubts on the romantic and spontaneous aspect of this process. You should always anticipate and first think to do the test if you want to have sexual intercourse. For those who simply want to conceive and do not need a safety net, it is a great way.


This is only possible for people who are 200% certain that their family is complete. The operation can be performed on men as on women, but for men the procedure is relatively minor, while for women it is a more serious operation. Sterilization is, in principle, final. If you end up regretting it is possible to reverse but it may not be a success. So think about it and talk with your partner.

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