If you have been using birth control to prevent pregnancy, you may wonder how much time you need to plan between stopping the preventive method and conceiving. The amount of time you need to be off birth control before pregnancy varies, depending on the type of contraceptive you have been using and your ovulation schedule.
If you use barrier contraceptives like condoms, you can become pregnant as soon as you stop using them. Birth control options that affect your hormones may require a longer period of time. The Mayo Clinic reports you can become pregnant within two weeks of stopping the pill, depending on your ovulation schedule. Your body can become pregnant as soon as you begin ovulating. While it is rare, it is possible for you to become pregnant in your first monthly cycle off the pill, which means you wouldn’t have a period between stopping the pill and becoming pregnant.
In the past, some doctors recommended waiting for a month before becoming pregnant. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommendation was a result of the belief an immediate pregnancy after birth control would increase the risk of miscarriage. Research has failed to confirm this belief. Today, doctors may recommend waiting, but, in most cases, it is to help make it easier to track your gestational period.
The Parents website recommends waiting to get pregnant for a few months after you stop birth control. This time frame gives your body a chance to return to its normal hormonal balance, which can allow you to track your ovulation schedule. When you stop birth control, it is possible for your body to go through an adjustment stage, and your cycle may change from the pattern it followed prior to using birth control.
According to “The Today Show” on NBC, birth control will not affect your chances of getting pregnant. The European Active Surveillance Study on Oral Contraceptives evaluated the length of time it took more than 2,000 women to conceive after stopping oral contraceptives and found there was no significant difference between women who had taken birth control and those who had not. Both groups showed a statistical success rate of 21 percent for conceiving within one month of trying.
Even while you are taking birth control, there is always a chance you may become pregnant. If this happens while taking birth control, you should stop using hormonal contraceptives. Family Planning reports birth control options like the patch, the pill or the ring will not harm the baby; however, having Depo-Provera in your system in the first two months following an injection may lead to a low birth weight for the baby. The drug also has the potential to cause birth defects if you inject it during the first trimester.
- contraceptive image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com