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How Long after Stopping Birth Control Can You Get Pregnant

How Long after Stopping Birth Control Can You Get Pregnant

ic:couple consulting with doctor on how to get pregnant

How long does it take to become pregnant after stopping birth control?

You might have been using contraceptives for a while and have now decided that it’s the right time to have a baby. In this scenario, the same question always pops up: how soon can I become pregnant after I stop birth control?

The time it takes for a woman to conceive after stopping birth control varies by the form of birth control that was used. In addition, the ability to become pregnant gradually decreases with age. Poor health and irregular menstrual periods can also reduce fertility, so while birth control is a factor, it is not the only one that will affect your ability to become pregnant.

How does birth control work?

All birth control methods are based on keeping eggs and sperm apart. If sperm can’t reach the eggs or eggs aren’t released, pregnancy can’t occur.

However, not all birth control methods work the same way; some may affect your fertility differently than others.

Barrier Methods Of Birth Control

When you stop using any barrier method, you can become pregnant the next time you have sex. Barrier methods include the diaphragm, cervical cap, male condom, female condom, spermicides in foam, sponge, gel, suppository, and film forms.

Combined Hormonal Methods

These methods include pills, skin patches, and rings. They contain estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone). You can get pregnant right after you stop using regular-dose or low-dose hormonal birth control.

Statistics show that about fifty percent of women can conceive 3 months after they have stopped taking contraceptive pills. Overall, most women were found capable of conceiving in less than one year, after they stopped taking the pill.

There is no specific information available concerning how quickly a woman's fertility returns after she stops using patches or rings. However, experts think that the timeframe may be similar or shorter than that experienced by women who use pills.

Hormonal Methods Based Only On Progestin

These methods include pills, implant based-forms (like Nexplanon), and shots (like Depo-Provera).

If you are using an implant method, you can usually become pregnant as soon as it is removed. With injections, it may take 3 to 18 months from the last shot for you to become pregnant.

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs).

There are two types of IUDs available: hormonal and copper. With both types, fertility usually returns within the first menstrual cycle after IUD removal.

ic:different types of birth control

How soon can I become pregnant?

This is a different question. Just because your fertility has returned doesn’t mean that you will conceive right away.

It can be difficult for women who have spent years preventing pregnancy to experience this. Most women think that without any birth control they can conceive right away. When they find out that they can’t, they might feel frustrated or anxious.

As noted above, it can take a while for women to conceive after they have stopped using contraceptives (some women may need to try for up to a year).

How do you plan your pregnancy if you take birth control pills?

The main objective of birth control pills is to stop ovulation, however, that doesn’t mean that they cause infertility.  

The first thing you should do if you want to become pregnant and start planning your pregnancy is stop taking pills once your current cycle is complete.

Next, you should wait for your period and then calculate your menstrual cycle. It might take 3 to 6 months for you to have a regular period. Once you calculate your menstrual cycle you will be able to estimate the number of fertile days (from day 14 to 16 in the regular cycle of 28 days) which will allow you to maximize your chances of becoming pregnant.

Do not be in a hurry to have your period. When you least expect it, it will come.

Fertility complications

Some women may need help getting pregnant after birth control, especially if they had irregular menstrual cycles before contraception.

In addition, some women may not be able to conceive due to reasons unrelated to birth control use.

You should see your obstetrician if:

  • Your period doesn’t return after three months
  • Your period is irregular
  • You have attempted to conceive for 12 months unsuccessfully

Wrapping up

Most women will become pregnant within twelve months after stopping birth control. Keep in mind that, in some cases, it can take much longer. Also, you might need to use some assisted reproduction technique (ART) like Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

If you're thinking about stopping any form of birth control, you should schedule an appointment with your OBGYN to talk about what you can do to maximize your chances of conception.

Your doctor will probably recommend starting prenatal vitamins and discuss whether there are any lifestyle changes you can make to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

Don’t worry if you don’t get pregnant soon after you stop taking birth control. As noted, it can take a while. In the meantime, it is important that you take good care of yourself – your health, your lifestyle, etc. – because doing so can help things along. We know that soon enough you will be looking through our other blogs searching for the best skincare options for you and your growing bump, like stretch mark cream, belly oil, and other toxin-free pregnancy safe products.

Contributor Bio: David Bull is the founder of MySurrogateMom, an online surrogacy community dedicated to everyone considering pursuing a surrogacy process in the US and Canada. He is a passionate advocate of surrogacy education and access for all seeking their third-party path to parenthood.

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