Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Whether and when to insert IUD postpartum

17 November, 2015

Question:

Hi, I'm so glad I came across your site.

I just had a baby, #6 bh! & I feel I must take a break in order to be a responsible mother & properly care for my children.

I was going to put in an IUD ( after consulting my rav of course). I am 5 weeks postpartum & finally clean. I was going to wait to put in an IUD at my 6 week checkup appointment. I'm now having second thoughts because I'm finally clean & don't know how long the spotting will last. I'm afraid to do nothing till my period comes, to then put in an IUD.

What would you suggest? As I'm typing this, I remember that I'm not supposed to delay the mikvah, maybe this is a question for the rav at same time as I ask for heter?

Thank you!!


Answer:

Mazal tov on the recent birth of your baby!

You may immerse on time in order to allow physical contact, but refrain from intercourse until deciding on a birth control method with your doctor. In any case, many doctors recommend holding off with intercourse until the 6 week postpartum checkup. If you and your husband feel that it will be more difficult abstaining after immersion, you may delay immersion until after your doctor's visit.

Unfortunately irregular staining is a common side effect of many types of birth control during the first few months as your body adjusts. With a copper IUD is it common to stain for the first 1-3 months. In addition, many women experience longer, heavier periods even after the initial adjustment period. However, not all staining will render a woman niddah nor invalidate the clean days, so it is possible that you may have a smooth adustment period despite any staining. See our article on the IUD for more details.

If you are fully breastfeeding, within six months postpartum, and you have not yet resumed menstruation, you have a reasonable amount of natural protection against becoming pregnant (see our article on the Lactational Amenorrhea Method).  Using spermicide can add an additional level of protection. You can discuss this option with your doctor. However, if you are nervous or uncomfortable relying on this method, you can discuss other options with your doctor, such as a diaphragm. When used properly with spermicide it is highly effective and has none of the side effects that are present with IUDs or hormonal contraception.

See our article on choosing a contraceptive method and get back to us with any further questions.

B'Hatzlacha!


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