Fertility and TTC after Birth Control

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When you are ready to get pregnant, but you have been taking birth control, one of the first questions that may run through your mind is how soon you can get pregnant after you stop taking your contraceptives. This answer varies greatly depending on the type of birth control that you were taking to begin with.

Your body will be ready to become pregnant as soon as you begin ovulating again. For some birth controls, this process can be the next day, but for others it could take several months to complete. Below are some of the most popular birth control pills that are available and the length of time that you can expect to see from each.

1. Birth Control Pills

If you have been taking traditional birth control pills, you will most likely begin to ovulate very quickly after you stop taking them. Most pills will allow you to begin ovulating after a couple of weeks, but it is difficult to pinpoint an exact timeframe.

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Many women have found that the first few cycles to be long or irregular after they stop taking birth control. However, as your period begins to return to normal, you will begin to see signs that your body is ovulating once more.

2. Depo-Provera

Depo-Provera is a long lasting birth control and it may prevent you from getting pregnant for several months following the last time that you take it. Although it was only intended to block pregnancies for about three months, it may actually take much longer for your body to return to normal.

Depo-Provera is similar to progesterone and was designed to keep your body from ovulating. However, there are other things that it does as well, such as thickens your cervical mucus and things the lining of the uterus, which prevents the egg from implanting if it does become fertilized.

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So, if you have been taking Depo-Provera, it is not only important that you are ovulating regularly. You also need to be producing healthy cervical mucus as well and your uterus wall will need to thicken. It is possible for it to take around 200 days to completely rid your body of Depo-Provera and as long as a year before your body begins returning to normal. After your menstrual cycles return to normal, it may be an additional year before you become pregnant.

If you have been taking Depo-Provera, it is a good idea to plan well in advance as to when you should stop taking it. If you are planning to get pregnant in the next couple of years, you may find it wise to begin another form of contraceptive well before you are ready to conceive.

3. Mirena

Mirena works in much the same way as Depo-Provera because it can make your cervical mucus very thick and will thin the lining of your uterus. Thick cervical mucus may actually block the sperm from getting to the egg and in the off-chance that the egg is fertilized, it will not be able to implant because of the thin lining of your uterus.

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However, after you have removed this device your fertility should return to normal fairly quickly. Unlike Depo-Provera, most women return to their normal cycles soon after the device is removed, but it is also possible and not unusual to have a few cycles that are irregular. After your cycles do return to normal, you have just the same chance of conceiving as women who had not been using any form of birth control.

4. Conclusion

The best way to prepare for pregnancy after birth control is to know ahead of time what you should expect when you are ready to become pregnant. Before you begin taking or changing your birth control methods, be sure to discuss with your doctor the different areas that you will be effective and what you should do when you are ready to have a child.

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Birth control is a very effective way to stop pregnancies, but for women who are now ready to start a family, they may have long lasting effects on their bodies. It is a good idea to plan your pregnancy well in advance so that you will give your body plenty of time to rid itself of the birth control and return to a normal ovulation and menstrual cycle.

Fertility and TTC after Birth Control, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Dr. Karen Leham, MD

Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.