When considering birth control while breastfeeding, I know there aren't very many options. The minipill isn't extremely effective and you have to remember to take it at the same time daily. I had the Mirena before but I generally don't like extra hormones so I was considering the Paraguard. However, upon talking to my midwife, she said that they used to insert it at the center there, but noticed that about half of the patients where having such bad bleeding/spotting that they had to correct it with added hormones anyway.
So she suggested the diaphragm. I did some research and it seems like it has a pretty high rate of failure and there's the chance that you don't insert it correctly too. She said I could pair it with extra spermicide to make it more effective. Does anyone have any experience with it?
If not, what would you recommend? We've gone the NFP route and got pregnant with our son so DH definitely doesn't want to do that again. He also hates condoms.
This might sound really dumb, but is the cervical cap the same as the diaphragm? DH and I are not too keen on hormones either and have briefly discussed the cervical cap, but I don't know what the failure rate, etc is.
GL! I am interested to hear if anyone else can give you some better info!
ETA: Just answered my own question lol. I guess they are not the same, but work in a similar manner and have similar failure rates. Other than that, I wouldn't know what to suggest.
Last edited by krazykat; 04-28-2010 at 09:44 PM.
Ariel & John: Military Family since May 17, 2006
Sylvia: 12/18/08, Justus: 9/17/10, Bunni: 5/11/12, Surprise Baby: Guess Date 11/5/13
I used a diaphragm when DH and I first got married. It was OK, I guess, but we sqitched to condoms pretty early on. Yes, it is nice to not really feel it during sex, however, I didn't like that it had to stay in for so long afterwords. It felt kind of gross, with all of the sperm and spermicide just sitting there. It wasn't so messy I guess but then you have to remember to take it out at a certain time after, but not too soon, and wash it, etc. It also started to hurt a little sometimes. But I think that might have been due to the fact that I was a virgin when I started with it and we were having sex more than once a day on our honeymoon...or maybe it just didn't fit right.
I found condoms to be a decent alternative when used in conjunction with NFP. We would use them from day 7 to 3 days after ovulation. And, I guess it kind of depends how badly you don't want to conceive...we always "cheat" with them and will go a little, get the thing on, finish, etc. I know that increases the failure rate but since we only loosely plan our kids we considered it an acceptable risk for the fun of it. But that was just us.
Hope that helps!
That is interesting about the Paraguard since I had one put in after DS and was really happy with it. Yes I did have spotting for quite a bit after it was put in. I cannot remember how long, but it was a while. But it did stop and it did not affect the effectiveness of it since it was just from irritation of the uterus I think. My mw swears by them. I plan to have one put in this time as well.
Something to consider - If you're prone to yeast infections, spermicides increase your likelihood of getting one...
Interesting, we just had the whole big birth control discussion in my prenatal group last night. Upshot is that I'm considering the copper IUD pretty seriously now. I actually hadn't known that you can't do hormonal (estrogen) BC while BFing, so that was good to find out! I am starting to suspect I might have a mild latex allergy, so I'd like to try to get away from condoms. And I'm tired of NFP.
Anyway, there were a couple of people in my class who'd done the copper IUD and were happy with it. One had absolutely no problems, and the other said she did have cramping/spotting for long enough at first that she got worried and wen tback to the doctor but they told her it was normal and it did indeed stop pretty soon thereafter, and was totally fine for the rest of the time she had it. I wonder if the high rate of problems your center is seeing might be stuff that would have gone away? TOTAL conjecture, but it does sound like there's an adjustment period for some women.
I'm no help on the diaphragm, but I'm not considering it due to it basically having the exact same issues as condoms for me. No one in my group had used it either. They don't do the cervical cap at my center...the mw said that they don't make the right size for a huge portion of women, and they were having way too much trouble getting good fits so they stopped offering it.
Hmm maybe I should go ahead and do the copper IUD anyway. I wasn't worried about heavier periods b/c mine aren't usually that heavy to begin with but I don't want to have so much problems that I resort to hormones eventually anyway.
If you're BFing then the minipill is highly effective, more than 99% which is higher than a diaphragm with spermicide at 94%, and it'll help hold off AF, too. I took the minipill after Tiven was born & went 17 months without AF. I've never used a diaphragm, mostly because the idea of a 6-hour wait is kind of gross. I also dislike the idea of putting toxic spermicides* into my body on a regular basis more than I dislike taking a bit more of a hormone my body is naturally making. I think the diaphragm is a good option if you're having sex only once in a while, but not regularly. And I've never heard of using a diaphragm without spermicide. It's not that much of a barrier. If you really don't like the idea of the minipill, I think the Mirena is your best bet. The amount of hormones is extra low and the side effects are minimal because it puts the hormones right there in your uterus instead of systemically through your body.
* Nonoxynol-9 is a similar compound to the nonoxynol nonionic surfactants found in laundry detergents, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies.
70% of the U.S. population now lives in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. At 36 and counting!
I was actually considering the diaphragm as well, but we bought a box of spermicide-coated condoms once and I really hated the chemical-y smell they left, so I'm sure using the diaphragm w/ spermicide would be the same. It's yucky and I probably could have guessed it wasn't a great thing to put in one's body.
We do the "cheating condoms" thing, too.
I do. I also do not tolerate hormone BC very well. It has about the same success rate as a condom. You do use spermicide with it so it creates a barrier plus it kills the sperm. I didn't mind inserting it--you are fitted by your doctor and they have you try it before you leave so they make sure you are doing it right.
The only thing I didn't like about it was that you need to leave it in for about 8 hours after. That does limit your ability to use it in the morning as you will have a mess leaking out throughout the day. In those instances, I made DH pull out as well.