Getting Pregnant After Birth Control

January 23, 2014

Thinking about having a baby, but concerned how birth control may affect your chances of conceiving? It’s common for women have taken birth control for years to question whether or not their long-term use of birth control will prohibit them from getting pregnant.

Fortunately, most experts say that the majority of women who have taken oral contraceptives should not have problems with ovulation or conception once they stop taking the pill. A recent study that focused on more than 2,000 women who had recently stopped taking the birth control pill discovered that 21 percent of the women became pregnant within one month. Approximately 79 percent of the women became pregnant within one year. These results were quite similar to the results of women who had not been taking the pill.

If you intend to start trying to conceive, read on for some helpful tips that will increase your chances of success.

Pick a date
In most cases, you will ovulate a few weeks after you stop taking the birth control pill. However, some women may have to wait a little longer for ovulation to occur. For this reason, it is a good idea to pick a date to begin trying to conceive so that you can plan to stop taking your birth control pills about three months before that date.

Women who have used IUDs or contraceptive patches should follow these same guidelines. This should give your body plenty of time to readjust its hormone levels and start the ovulation process. Contraceptives such as condoms and diaphragms can be used until you are ready to start attempting to conceive.

Women who have used injectable contraceptives like Depo-Provera will need to wait as long as nine months to one year for the drug’s hormones to leave your body completely. You will not start ovulating until your body is able to produce hormones on its own again. Pick a date to start conceiving that is one year from the date of your last Depo-Provera shot. Your body should be able to return to normal within that amount of time. If your cycle does not return after waiting for the recommended amount of time, you may need to visit your doctor to determine if there is another underlying problem.

Once you begin the process of trying to get pregnant, it takes the average couple about five months to conceive. Some couples may have to try longer before they conceive. This time frame is roughly the same for all women, whether they took birth control or not.

Get healthy
During your last month of taking oral contraceptives, you should start taking a preconception vitamin supplement. Ideally, the supplement should contain at least 400 micrograms of folic acid in addition to all of the other vitamins and minerals necessary for women’s health.

To significantly lower your risk of birth defects of miscarriage, it is a good idea to start taking a folic acid supplement at least two months before trying to conceive. These supplements will help to lay the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and lower or eliminate your risk for many complications.

There are many myths that exist about birth control use and fertility. Start by speaking to your doctor, and giving your hormones time to adjust.

What is your experience with birth control and getting pregnant?

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