As a result of growing urbanization and changing social norms concerning the role of women in developing countries, the duration of exclusive breastfeeding and its impact as a contraceptive strategy has been reduced. This has given rise to the need for a contraceptive method that can extend the infertile period following delivery, especially in countries where access to other contraceptives is limited and where longer duration of breastfeeding is a social norm and a major benefit to infant health. This project brief provides information on the progesterone vaginal ring (PVR), which can enhance the effect of breastfeeding on birth spacing. The PVR is effective in preventing an early return of ovulation, and preventing the return of cycling and fertility that may occur even in women who are fully breastfeeding. A review of unmet need among postpartum women also suggests that in contexts where breastfeeding is common, counseling women about lactational amenorrhea and urging contraceptive adoption within six months of birth has programmatic rationale. These conclusions support the position of offering the PVR to women who plan to breastfeed in the context of postpartum contraceptive counseling.
"Progesterone vaginal ring: Beneficial role in birth spacing," Project brief. New York: Population Council, 2015.
The Progesterone Contraceptive Vaginal Ring: Expanding Contraceptive Options in Africa; Delivering Contraceptive Vaginal Rings