Choosing which birth control method is right for you and your partner can be a confusing decision, and there are often many factors that will influence your choice. Although birth control is meant to prevent an unintended pregnancy, many women worry if using birth control will harm their chances of conceiving a baby later on.
Birth Control Pills
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, birth control pills are the most commonly used method of birth control within the United States. The hormones found in birth control pills work to prevent ovulation. Once you stop taking them, despite how many months or years you’ve been using them, the hormones completely leave your body within a matter of days. Although every woman’s body is different, it generally takes a few weeks to 3 months for your body to resume its normal cycle and for the follicles to begin producing eggs again.
Twenty-seven percent of women rely on tubal ligation as a means of birth control. According to Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, however, it is possible to become pregnant even after you’ve undergone surgery to have your tubes tied. For the most part, these unintended pregnancies progress normally within the uterus. Occasionally, though, an egg will become fertilized within the fallopian tube, but scar tissue can prevent it from descending into the uterus. When this happens, the result is an ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening circumstance in which the pregnancy must be terminated.
Condoms, Diaphragms and IUD’s
Male condoms and diaphragms are non-hormonal, short-term methods of birth control that block the progression of sperm, rather than disrupting ovulation. Once you and your partner stop using either option, it is possible to become pregnant quickly. Although doctors do not completely understand how IUDs work, they suspect they interfere with the movement of either the sperm or eggs, or change the lining of the uterus. Regardless, once the IUD is removed, the hormones are no longer present and it is possible to conceive with no lingering affects of the medication.
Depo-Provera is a hormonal injection that works to provide your body with a constant supply of hormones for up to three months at a time in order to prevent ovulation. Doctors agree that Depo-Provera is not for women who are considering starting a family soon. Even after your last Depo-Provera shot, it can take, on average, 3 to 18 months for your body to return to its normal cycle.
Call the Doctor
You should discuss with your doctor the birth control option that is right for you and your partner. Depending on when you want to begin or add to your family can significantly influence which method you choose. Although it is normal to experience a delay in the return of a normal cycle once you stop using hormonal methods of birth control, you should see your doctor if ovulation has not resumed after 6 months. It’s also important to remember that it can take 90 percent of healthy couples up to 18 months to get pregnant.