Contraception Advice

Post-natal contraception advice


After pregnancy a lot of women are unsure what contraception they can use and what will be best for them. There are a lot of questions that are commonly asked and this blog post aims to offer some contraception advice to the confused.

How soon do I need to use contraception?

You can get pregnant three weeks after the birth of your child, but it is not possible to get pregnant before this. A lot of women think they can’t get pregnant if their periods haven’t restarted but this is not true. Three weeks is the maximum time before you can pregnant again, so women are advised to start contraception by this point.

What contraception can I take?

All contraception is available and safe for those who have just had a baby. The choice is purely based on preference. Our contraception advice is that you should consider the following factors: medical history, any problems you’ve previously had in your pregnancy and whether you are breastfeeding.

When can I start my chosen method of contraception?

The contraception advice we give on when you can start varies between forms of contraception.

The following methods can be used straight after birth:

  • Progestogen-only pill.
  • External (male) or internal (female) condoms.
  • Contraceptive implant.
  • Contraceptive injection.

Please be aware that you are likely to have heavy and irregular bleeding when using the contraceptive injection within the first six weeks after giving birth.

  • Fertility awareness methods.

Our contraception advice here is to be cautious as it may be harder to understand when you’re fertile immediately after birth.

The following methods can be used three weeks after giving birth or six weeks if breastfeeding:

  • Combined pill
  • The contraceptive patch
  • Vaginal ring.

The following methods can be used four weeks after giving birth:

  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Intrauterine system (IUS).

These can both be fitted within 48 hours of giving birth.

Our contraception advice: always check with your doctor before starting any form of contraception whether post-partum or if this is your first time.

Will breastfeeding act as a contraceptive?

You may have heard that breastfeeding can act as contraception after pregnancy and you would be right.  This method, lactational amenorrhoea (LAM) can be used for up to six months after giving birth.

LAM will only work if the following conditions apply:

  • You’re fully breastfeeding.
  • Your baby is less than 6 months old.
  • You haven’t had your first period since the birth.

Pregnancy could occur if any of these conditions change but otherwise the method has been found to be 98% effective.

Can I use emergency contraception?

You can use the emergency pill from 21 days after birth and the emergency IUD from 28 days. Our contraception advice is to discard your breast milk for a week if you take an emergency pill containing ‘ulipristal acetate’.

Deep Vein Thrombosis Scan

Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body, usually in the leg. Blood clots that develop in a vein can also be known as venous thrombosis.

DVT usually occurs in a deep leg vein, a larger vein that runs through the muscles of the calf and thigh.

It can cause pain and swelling in the leg, this can lead to complications such as pulmonary embolism (this is a blocked blood vessel in your lungs, this can be life threatening if not treated quickly) It occurs when a piece of blood clot breaks off into the bloodstreams and blocks one of the blood vessels in the lungs.

DVT and pulmonary embolism together are known as venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The symptoms of DVT can include pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs (usually the calf area) a heavy ache in the affected area, warm skin in the area of the clot and red skin at the back of your leg. In some cases DVT will show no symptoms at all.

DVT will usually only affect one leg, although not always.

Each year DVT affects around 1 person in every 1000 in the UK.

Anyone can develop DVT but it becomes more common over the age of 40. As well as age there are also a number of other factors that can increase your risk of DVT:

  • Having a history of DVT or pulmonary embolism.
  • Having a family history of blood clots.
  • Being inactive for long periods of time, such as after an operation or a long haul journey.
  • Blood vessel damage.
  • Having certain conditions or treatments that cause your blood to clot more easily than normal.
  • Being pregnant.
  • Being overweight or obese.

The combined contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) both contain the female hormone Oestrogen, which causes the blood to clot more easily. Your risk of developing DVT is slightly increased if you are taking either of these.

It can be difficult to diagnose DVT from symptoms alone; your GP will most probably advise a blood test or ultrasound scan. The blood test to look for DVT is a specialised one called a D-Dimer test.

This test detects pieces of blood clot that may have been broken down and are loose in your bloodstream. If there are large numbers of fragments found, the more likely is that you could have a clot in your vein.

However the D dimer test isn’t always reliable because blood clot fragments can increase after an operation, injury or even during pregnancy. Additional tests to confirm if you have DVT or not will usually need to be carried out.

An ultrasound scan can be used to detect clots in your veins, this will usually take between 20-40 minutes and will not be painful, you will be asked to wear loose fitting clothing and the ultrasound will be applied from the top of the groin down the leg.

If you get diagnosed with DVT, you will most probably be given a medicine called Anticoagulant. These anticoagulant medicines work by interrupting the process involved in the formation of blood clots. They are also known as blood thinning medicines, although they do not actually do this.

The length of time you need to take these medicines will depend on each case and why it has been prescribed. In many cases treatment will be a lifelong thing.

Vein Legs

How to become a chiropodist

There are many chiropodist courses in the UK which allow you to become a chiropodist.  Here at …. we explain what chiropodist is and how you become a chiropodist.

What does a chiropodist do?

A chiropodist is also known as a podiatrist keeps feet healthy. As a chiropodist you will care for your patient’s feet, toes and lower leg. You will treat common problems such as bunions as well as perform physical exams, x-rays and blood tests. However easy and simple this sounds, you will need to be medically trained in order to deal with a range of ailments, deformities and diseases.

As a chiropodist your day to day can change and vary massively. This is due to the fact that every patient that walks through the door will bring with them a different problem. It is then your job to get them back to being healthy again. You will need to be knowledgeable with a wide range of conditions for this.

chiropodist courses

How to I become a chiropodist?

Becoming a chiropodist in the UK takes a few simple steps. Firstly, you will need to be able to get your foot in the door as well as a degree in podiatry and approved by the Health and Care Professions. This easiest way to do this is by a chiropodist course.

To get accepted onto this course you will need at least 5 GCSEs at A* – C. This include English, maths and biology plus 2 or 3 a-levels and one these must include a biological science.