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HomeHealth & FitnessGetting pregnant after birth control: Everything to know

Getting pregnant after birth control: Everything to know


Wondering how soon you can get pregnant after stopping birth control? Read on to know about birth control and pregnancy.

If you have been using birth control methods to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, it is not necessary that you will get pregnant right after you stop their use. One of the most frequently asked question around pregnancy is how soon women can get pregnant after stopping birth control. The answer lies in the fact that it may depend on multiple factors. Let us tell you all about pregnancy after birth control.

How soon can you get pregnant after stopping different forms of birth control?

The timeline for pregnancy after stopping birth control varies, as it mostly depends on the method used. About 83 percent of women who stopped birth control got pregnant within a year, according to a 2018 research published in the Contraception and Reproductive Medicine. Understanding the potential impact of each contraceptive method on fertility is crucial when considering the timing for conception.

Woman looking at birth control pill
Timeline for pregnancy after stopping birth control varies. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Here’s an overview of the potential timelines for pregnancy after discontinuing birth control:

1. Hormonal birth control (birth control pills, patches and hormonal ring)

For most women, it may take a few months for menstrual cycles and ovulation to resume their regular patterns, says gynaecologist and fertility specialist Dr Gurpreet Batra. Some women may ovulate within a few weeks of stopping birth control pills, while for others, it might take several months. It is generally recommended to wait until after a full menstrual cycle post-discontinuation before attempting pregnancy to allow the body to return to its natural hormonal balance.

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2. Hormonal intrauterine device (IUD)

Some women may ovulate and regain fertility soon after removing a hormonal IUD. But for others, it may take a few months for ovulation to resume. Generally, fertility can return quite quickly after removal.

3. Copper IUD

Unlike hormonal IUDs, the copper IUD does not affect fertility. Once it is removed, a woman can become pregnant immediately, as there are no hormonal effects on the body’s natural cycle.

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4. Contraceptive implants

Fertility can return relatively quickly after the removal of contraceptive implants. Some women may ovulate within a few weeks after removal, and pregnancy is possible soon after discontinuation.

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Factors such as age, overall health, and pre-existing fertility issues can also influence the timeline for pregnancy after stopping birth control, says the expert. For example, if you are healthy and yet to turn 35, you may easily get pregnant after stopping birth control.

Woman holding birth control pills
Age influences the timeline for pregnancy after birth control. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

When to stop taking birth control if you are planning to get pregnant?

Hormonal birth control methods such as birth control pills, patches or hormonal IUDs, can impact the menstrual cycle and ovulation patterns. So, it is better to wait until after a full menstrual cycle post-discontinuation before attempting to conceive, says Dr Batra. This allows the body to return to its natural hormonal balance, ensuring a more regular menstrual cycle and accurate ovulation timing.

What if you are not able to get pregnant after birth control?

After discontinuing hormonal birth control, it may take some time for a woman’s menstrual cycles and ovulation to return to their natural patterns. If pregnancy does not occur within a reasonable timeframe (six months) after stopping these methods, fertility assessments can be conducted to identify the cause. Depending on the findings, further fertility treatments or interventions may be recommended by your doctor. The same goes for other methods. You just have to wait for some time before consulting a fertility specialist to determine the return of normal fertility.



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