Birth Control and Nursing

I have a five-month-old son who is being fed breastmilk that I have been pumping since he was born. I was on Loestrin but stopped taking it due to extreme hair loss. Do I even need to worry about birth control? I have a tiny bit of spotting on the day I would usually have my period -- dark brown, dried blood. What do you think?

--junemariek
Question:

While nursing does confer some protection against pregnancy, you cannot measure that protection or know when you have lost it. Therefore, I absolutely think that you need to consider birth control.

I would like to suggest that the birth control pill was not the cause of your hair loss. During pregnancy, many of the hair follicles synchronize in the growth cycle and therefore enter the telogen (hair loss) phase at the same time. As more and more time passes, the hairs will unsynchronize and the hair loss will reverse. This whole process is extremely common in the first few months after delivery and usually resolves itself if you can wait long enough. Otherwise you can consider any of the barrier methods of birth control or an intrauterine device.

-- Dr. Shari Brasner

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