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    Fertility
    1234 · 20 min read

    Are You More Fertile After Having a Baby?

    No matter how long you’ve been trying to fall pregnant when you finally have your baby, nothing will ever beat that feeling. It can be incredibly tempting to chase that feeling, and you may want to get pregnant again fairly quickly. 

    The hormone oxytocin, which is produced during childbirth, has even been linked with studies that suggest mothers forget the pain of childbirth, making them more likely to want to fall pregnant again (NCT, 2022). But, are you more fertile after having a baby? Is the process of conception, pregnancy, and childbirth more likely to make it easier for you to fall pregnant again? In this article, we will provide you with the answer to this very question, as well as others you may be wondering such as how your body changes following childbirth, and whether or not you need contraception after giving birth.

    Key Takeaways

    Fertility After Childbirth:

    You are not more fertile after having a baby, but you can get pregnant as soon as 3 weeks after giving birth if you are ovulating again. Even if you are breastfeeding and your periods haven't returned, it is important to use contraception if you do not plan to conceive again.

    Return of Menstrual Cycle:

    The return of your period varies from person to person and can range from one month to six months after childbirth. Breastfeeding can delay the return of ovulation, a method known as lactational amenorrhea method (LAM), which some women use as contraception.

    Contraception After Childbirth:

    It is important to use contraception when you resume having sex after childbirth to prevent unwanted pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections. Condoms are recommended for protection against STIs, and other contraceptive methods can be considered based on your needs.

    A mother holding a new born baby in her arms

    Are you more fertile after having a baby?

    You are not actually more fertile after having a baby. After you have given birth you may find the last thing on your mind is having another child. But, for many couples, having one child may actually spur them on to have another. If you are wanting a quick turnaround with kids, you will need to know exactly how soon you can get pregnant after giving birth. In short, it is possible to get pregnant quite soon after giving birth, as long as you are ovulating again. 

    • Key point: You can get pregnant as soon as 3 weeks after giving birth (NHS, 2024), even if you're breastfeeding and your periods haven't returned. To avoid pregnancy, use contraception every time you have sex after childbirth unless you plan to get pregnant again.

    The return of your period varies from person to person (Parents, 2024), so some people can actually get pregnant sooner than others. Typically, your period will return as normal around a month after giving birth, but for some people, it can be as long as three to six months (What To Expect, 2021). If you choose to breastfeed, however, this can prevent ovulation (Harvard Health Publishing, 2022). Some women will use this as a form of contraception, and it is known in medical fields as the lactational amenorrhea method (Vekemans, M.; 1997), or LAM for short. 

    After you have given birth, you are not any more fertile than you were before you fell pregnant. Your body, whilst it has changed due to birth, will return to its normal state in terms of hormones. Just because you were able to conceive once does not mean that you will be able to conceive with more ease. Many people experience trouble conceiving naturally, however, there are many ways in which you can boost your fertility, including the use of fertility supplements and tests.

    A couple sat together, the male partner is holding his pregnant female partner's pregnancy bump and smiling

    Do you need contraception after giving birth?

    Following birth, you may be wondering whether or not you will need to use contraception when you feel comfortable returning to having sex. As childbirth produces a large amount of strain on the body, you should take your time before having sex again (Nemours® KidsHealth®, 2018). This is especially true if you gave birth vaginally. The skin of the vagina, as mentioned, will be looser and will be sore. It can typically take up to six weeks for the damage to the vagina to heal, but it can be between six to ten weeks for the vagina to return to a similar shape and sensitivity as it was before having a child (WebMD, 2022). 

    Once you are ready to have sex again, you may need to use contraception as you would have before. As mentioned, one of the methods that mothers use is LAM, the lactational amenorrhea method. As always, practicing safe sex is about more than not falling pregnant, you or your partner could be carrying sexually transmitted diseases and infections that could be passed (NHS Inform, 2023). Condoms are the only form of contraception that protect against these. If you know that you are both free of infections and you do not wish to conceive again, there are many other forms of contraception you can consider using.

    Whether you have had a child or not, you may need some help with your fertility. Our range of Babystart fertility products has got you covered, no matter what part of the fertility journey you are at.

    Sources

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    From £43.99
    • Explore your fertility together
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    Related Products

    preview
    From £43.99
    • Explore your fertility together
    • Easy to use at home
    • Fast results
    preview
    From £139.99
    • Save over 20%
    • Fully prepare for your fertility journey as a couple
    • Products for him and her

    Blog author

    Scott Weaver

    Scott is an experienced and professional content writer who works exclusively for UK Meds.

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