When to Stop Taking Contraception to Get Pregnant

Perhaps you and your partner have decided it’s time to have a baby. Congratulations! 

If you’ve been using any type of contraception, your biggest question may center on how you should transition stopping it in order to conceive. Most women’s biggest concern is ensuring that it’s safe to try to conceive once they stop using birth control.

Fortunately, you can get sound guidance on this important question from Christopher Serrano, MD at Serrano Obgyn. He develops relationships with his patients that are based on trust and respect, and is eager to care for you no matter needs, from prenatal care to treating conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOD) and uterine fibroids.

How should I time quitting birth control with trying to conceive?

The good news is that now, women have more choices than ever when it comes to contraception. You might use a short-acting hormonal birth control method like the birth control pill or patch, a long-acting hormonal birth control (LARC) method like an intrauterine device (IUD) or hormonal implant, or a barrier method, such as a condom or diaphragm. 

How soon you get pregnant after you stop using contraceptives is influenced by what type of birth control method you’re using. Since your fertility can return soon after you stop using birth control, it’s important to be certain that you want to get pregnant. 

With most types of birth control, it’s possible to become pregnant just a couple of months after you stop using them. Many women also wonder if their bodies need time to get clear of the hormones if they’ve used either short-acting or long-acting hormonal birth control, but the answer is no — it’s safe to start trying to get pregnant as soon as you stop using them.

Let’s go through each type of birth control and talk about how long you can expect to wait until you can become pregnant:

1. Barrier methods

You can become pregnant immediately after you stop using a condom, diaphragm, or cervical cap.

2. Birth control pills

If you use a pill that contains a combination of estrogen and progestin, it’s possible to get pregnant within one to three months after you stop taking it, but the majority of women will become pregnant within a year. 

Women who take the progestin-only “mini pill” can get pregnant just days or weeks after they stop taking it. This is because these types of birth control pills don’t have the same effect on stopping ovulation as pills containing estrogen do. 

3. Intrauterine device (IUD)

If you’ve been using an IUD, you can get pregnant immediately after your Holy Name Medical Associates provider removes it, and you can expect to start ovulating within a month after removal. Most IUD users conceive anywhere between six months and a year after having their IUD taken out.

4. Birth control implant

Like the IUD, you can get pregnant right after the implant’s removal, and you start ovulating typically within a month after its removal.

5. Vaginal ring

After your OB/GYN removes your vaginal ring, you can get pregnant soon afterward, with ovulation beginning after 1-3 months.

6. Birth control patch

Once you stop using your patch, you start ovulating within 1-3 months and will be able to get pregnant.

7. Injectable birth control (Depo-provera)

After stopping this method of birth control, expect getting pregnant to take longer, since you don’t start ovulating again until 10 or more months after you stop using it. Additionally, some women don’t get their periods until a year and a half after they stop getting the shot.

Some other important things to remember when you’ve stopped using birth control and are trying to get pregnant include:

Earlier studies raised concerns about whether trying to get pregnant right away after you stop using contraception puts you at increased risk for miscarriage, but more recent research shows that’s not the case

It may be a relief to know that it’s easier to get pregnant once you stop using contraceptives than you may have thought.

Call Serrano Obgyn or make an appointment online to discuss getting pregnant after using birth control.

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