Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team

Congratulations – if you just had a baby, these are exciting times with many decisions! Are you ready for another one? The World Health Organization suggests that women wait 18 months between children for their and their future child’s maximum health.

If you’re holding off and wish to have another child in the future, these are some Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) options for you to consider, listed in order from most effective to least effective:

  1. IUD with hormone: this lasts for 5 to 7 years and makes your periods lighter. Some women have dull uterine ache for 3 months.
  2. IUD with copper: this lasts for 10-12 years, but may give you heavier and possibly more painful periods. However, it has no hormones.
  3. Implant: this lasts 3 years and has a side effect of irregular periods.
  4. Depo Provera shot: this last 3 months, but can affect your bone density, so make sure you get enough calcium (specifically 1500 mg per day) while taking this.
  5. NuvaRing: no side effects, just have to be comfortable inserting and taking out. Like a tampon but softer.
  6. Contraceptive Patch
  7. Birth Control pills (estrogen and progesterone)
  8. Condoms + spermicide  (for great options, check out Condom Depot)

If you are breastfeeding, you should wait until your baby is 1 month old to take methods 5-7, otherwise it might affect your breastmilk supply.

And if you are done with kids:

  • Vasectomy – the least invasive method for women, and very effective – 0.1% of women experience pregnancy in 1 yr when their partner gets this method done!
  • IUD with hormone beats tubal ligation in efficacy. 0.2% of women experience pregnancy in 1 yr on this method.
  • Tubal ligation 0.5% of women experience pregnancy in 1 yr on this method.

Bedsider Birth Control Support Network is a great resource for side effects, etc.

Pandia Health can help you with #s 5-7. If you need a prescription, we have doctors that can provide a consultation and write the prescription for birth control pills, patch, or vaginal ring. If you already have a prescription from your doctor, we can deliver your birth control to your mailbox, saving you the trip to the pharmacy every month.

Spend more time with your baby instead <3

The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.