If you are planning to become pregnant, it is ideal to
have a full
menstrual cycle before you try to conceive.
of time it takes for a woman's full fertility to return after stopping birth
control varies for each woman and depends on the birth control method she is
using. Your ability to get pregnant gradually decreases as you age, starting at
age 25. Poor health and irregular periods may also decrease your fertility.
After you stop any form of birth control, you may have a more difficult time
getting pregnant simply because you are older than when you started using birth
Barrier methods. You can get pregnant the next time
you have sex when you stop using any barrier method. Barrier methods include
the diaphragm, cervical cap, Lea's Shield, male condom, female condom, and
spermicidal foam, sponge, gel, suppository, and film.
Combination hormonal methods. These methods include
pills, skin patches, and rings. They contain both
progestin (synthetic progesterone). You can get
pregnant right away after stopping regular-dose or low-dose hormonal birth
control. About half of women get pregnant in the first 3 months after stopping
the Pill, and most women get pregnant within 12 months after stopping the Pill.
Specific information about how quickly a woman's fertility returns after
stopping use of patches or rings is not available, although experts believe the
delay may be similar to or shorter than the Pill.
Progestin-only hormonal methods. These methods include pills, the implant (such as Implanon),
and the shot (such as Depo-Provera). With the implant, you can get pregnant as soon as
it is removed. It may take 3 to 18 months after your last shot to get pregnant. The progestin-only pill, also
called the "mini-pill," does not seem to delay fertility. Most women will get
pregnant within 6 months after stopping the mini-pill.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs). For both the copper IUD and hormonal IUD, fertility usually returns with the first menstrual cycle
following IUD removal.
If you get pregnant shortly after stopping the Pill,
don't worry. Using oral contraception just before a pregnancy doesn't increase
the risks of miscarriage or fetal problems. But if you don't have a
normal menstrual cycle before you become pregnant, it might be a little harder
to accurately predict your due date.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.