How Long Does it Take to Get Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control

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Birth control pills are one method that can help you avoid an unwanted pregnancy. This temporary form of birth control allows you to choose when you want to have a baby. Once you stop using birth control pills, your hormones begin returning to their normal reproductive state, permitting conception to occur.

Reproductive Cycle

Without using birth control, your body goes through regular cycles in preparation for possible conception. Your hormones encourage your ovaries to release an egg about 12 to 14 days before the beginning of your next menstrual period. A fertilized egg may then implant into your uterine lining and develop into a baby. Birth control pills temporarily interrupt your normal reproductive cycle.

Birth Control Pills

The hormones in birth control pills help to prevent ovulation from occurring. The pills also thicken your cervical mucus and make the lining of your uterus thin, creating unfriendly environments for sperm and egg implantation. Like other forms of temporary birth control, pills are not foolproof in preventing pregnancy. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, about 8 in 100 typical pill users become pregnant while using this form of birth control.

Stopping Birth Control

MayoClinic.com advises waiting to conceive until you have at least one normal period after you stop taking the pill. Having at least one regular cycle can help your doctor determine the time of ovulation, providing valuable information regarding your due date. Many women experience ovulation and a return of fertility within two to four weeks of quitting the pill.

Considerations

While your reproductive cycle should return to normal shortly after you quit taking birth control pills, you might experience post-pill amenorrhea, according to MayoClinic.com. This condition occurs when the hormones in your body don’t quickly return to their normal state, resulting in a lack of periods. Pregnancy is another reason for a lack of periods after stopping the pill. Although not a common occurrence, some women get pregnant before having a menstrual period.

Warning

Take a pregnancy test if you don’t have a period within three months of stopping the pill. Pregnancy tests work even while you are on the pill because they measure a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin, a pregnancy-related hormone. If you aren’t pregnant, your body may just take a little longer to get back to normal. Contact your doctor if you go for six months without the return of your menstrual periods.

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