Women who have given birth should not use combined hormonal contraceptives during the first 21 days after delivery because of the high risk for venous thromboembolism -- blood clots -- CDC officials say.
"During 21 to 42 days post-partum, women without risk factors for venous thromboembolism generally can initiate combined hormonal contraceptives, but women with risk factors for venous thromboembolism generally should not use these methods," the CDC says in a statement. "After 42 days post-partum, no restrictions based on post-partum status apply."
Recommendations for other contraceptives, including progestin-only contraceptives and intrauterine devices, remain unchanged. These methods are safe for post-partum women, including women who are breastfeeding and can be initiated immediately post-partum, the CDC says.
The revised recommendations are published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.