Jenny is still on birth control and getting ready to try for a baby. Having been on the birth control pill for over 10 years, she wants to know how long it will take for the hormones to leave her system so she can get pregnant. Heather, on the other hand, got the progestin shot 12 months ago and has been trying to conceive for 6 months. She is wondering if the shot could be still affecting her fertility.
Whether you are just like Jenny or more like Heather, if you are trying to conceive, you probably have several questions about how birth control affects your fertility. How long it takes to get pregnant after stopping birth control depends on a number of factors, including what type of birth control you were using.
Scientifically Backed Data to Help you Get Pregnant Sooner
Birth Control Pill Method:
If you used the birth control pill, it should only take a couple of days to leave your system and you can get pregnant right away. The pill stops working quickly if not taken, which is why women get pregnant if they forget to take their pill for only a couple of days.
The pill keeps you from getting pregnant by preventing ovulation. As soon as the hormones leave your body, you will start to produce follicles again and start ovulating. How long it takes to ovulate again really depends on the individual. Some women ovulate right away while others take several months. If you are not ovulating after two to three months after stopping the pill, however, talk to your doctor.
Many women take birth control not only to avoid pregnancy but also to regulate their period. If you had an irregular period or if you know that you had ovulation issues before being on the pill, those issues may still be present.
The Mini-Pill method:
Mini-pills affect women differently than the combination pills. Mini-pills only contain a low dose synthetic progesterone and its effects actually don’t last much longer than 24-hours. This is why it’s so important to take them the same time every day when trying to avoid getting pregnant.
You are pretty much fertile the day after you stop taking the mini-pill.
Skin Patches and Rings:
Data is not yet available on how fast fertility returns after using skin patches and rings, however, experts believe it is the same or perhaps shorter than the pill.
This includes implants (ie: Implanon or Nexplanon) and the shot (ie: Depo-Provera).
With the implant you can get pregnant as soon as you remove it.
If you got the shot, it may take 3 to 18 months after your last shot to get pregnant. I know it seems to be a long range 3-18 months, but once you get the shot, it can’t be reversed and it’s shown that it can take up to 12 months to completely leave your system. While some women get pregnant only after 4 months, the average time is 9 months.
Please note that it has been recorded that it can take some women up to two years.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) Methods:
For whichever type of IUD you got, whether the copper or hormonal IUD, you can typically get pregnant your first cycle after it’s removed.
What if you get pregnant right after stopping the Pill? Does it harm the baby?
Don’t worry! It does not increase any risk of having a miscarriage or hurt the baby. Typically, doctors recommend waiting a couple of cycles so that they can give you a more accurate due date. If you don’t know when you conceived, however, a health professional can figure estimate your due date during your first sonogram.
I’m not getting pregnant, could it be due to the hormones?
There are a lot of factors that contribute to the length of time to conceive. The two biggest reasons are age and having intercourse during your fertile window. Click here to learn how to find your fertile window.
The older you are, the longer it will take to conceive. Don’t worry if you have only been trying for a couple of months. If you have been trying for under 6 months, it is completely normal that you are not pregnant yet.
You can always talk to your doctor at any point, but it is recommended that if you are under 35 that you talk to your doctor after 12 months of trying and after 6 months of trying if you are over 35 years of age.
Don’t forget to have your partner’s sperm checked as well. Infertility is not more common in women- it can equally be you or your partner or combined infertility.
What should I do right after stopping birth control:
No matter what method you used (even condoms), you should start preparing your body for pregnancy. Start taking prenatal vitamins right away. If you are not already eating healthy and exercising, you should start that right away as well. Not only will it increase your fertility and make for a healthier pregnancy, it will have long term positive health effects for your baby.
You will also need to pinpoint when your fertile window is occurring each month. Check out this blog post to learn how to find when you are most fertile.
- WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise