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CDC: After Giving Birth, Wait to Restart Birth Control Pills

Age Fotostock

Not that sex is the first thing on many women’s minds in the weeks following childbirth, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released new guidelines for birth control use in the immediate postpartum period.

The CDC now recommends that women who have just given birth vaginally wait a minimum of three weeks before starting to use birth control pills because of the risk of serious, potentially fatal blood clots, reports the New York Times. Mothers who deliver via c-section or have other risk factors for blood clots, including obesity or a previous history of clots, should wait a minimum of six weeks before resuming use of birth control pills.

Plus: Guide to Birth Control Options 

The new recommendation is based on the results of several studies showing that women are far more likely to develop a blood clot in the weeks following delivery than their non-pregnant counterparts who have not just given birth. Although the risk declines quickly after 21 days, it doesn’t return to normal until 42 days post-delivery.

Plus: After-Baby Birth Control

What kind of birth control did you use after giving birth? How soon did you start using it?