If you’re under the age of 35 and do not have a diagnosed health condition affecting fertility, you may be more likely to become pregnant after discontinuing prescription birth control than those with an associated condition or who are over age 35.
When you stop taking hormonal birth control, it may take some time before the hormones leave your system. Your body may also need to adjust, and your menstrual cycle may take some time to return to its regularity.
Because of this, it may take anywhere from a few days to a year or more to become pregnant after discontinuing birth control. It ultimately depends on the method, age, and overall health.
If you experience difficulty becoming pregnant or have questions about your fertility, consider making an appointment with a doctor or other healthcare professional to learn more.
It’s possible. Whether you can get pregnant right after stopping the pill will depend on your menstrual cycle, your age, and your overall health.
Your menstrual cycle can take up to 3 months to fully reestablish itself after you discontinue the birth control pill. Your period may be irregular at first, regardless of its regularity before taking oral contraception.
The type of cycle you have also plays a role in how soon your period comes back. Factors such as weight, stress, exercise, and medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can all influence your cycle, its regularity, and when it returns.
While you can still get pregnant without having a period, it’s less likely. Therefore, some people may have a difficult time getting pregnant right away after stopping the pill.
For others, your cycle may return to its regular schedule immediately, and you may get pregnant immediately. Once your period returns, there’s a high possibility of pregnancy within the next 12 months.
According to a 2018 research review, approximately
There are many other forms of prescription birth control besides the pill. Here’s what research has to say about how soon you can get pregnant after stopping them.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
An IUD is a small, t-shaped piece of plastic a doctor inserts into the uterus as a form of birth control. The copper IUD is nonhormonal, while several other types of IUDs use hormones, including Mirena, Skyla, and Liletta.
Hormonal IUDs work a little differently than oral contraceptives since the hormones localize to your uterus. However, IUDs are statistically similar to the pill regarding how soon you can get pregnant after its removal.
Just like the pill, about
The patch is a form of hormonal birth control placed directly on your skin. Wearing the patch weekly, with an optional patch-free week after every 3 weeks to accommodate period-like withdrawal bleeding, helps prevent pregnancy.
Discontinuing use follows the same timeline as stopping other methods of prescription birth control. While some people may get pregnant immediately after discontinuing the patch, it can also take some time for your menstrual cycle to return to regularity.
The implant is a thin matchstick-sized rod a doctor inserts into your arm. This implant releases hormones into your body that help prevent pregnancy.
You may become pregnant as early as a week after implant removal. Still, like many other birth control methods, it may take your body several months to reestablish your menstrual cycle.
The ring is a small piece of plastic that you place inside your vagina. It releases hormones into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. You can replace it monthly (NuvaRing) or annually (Annovera), depending on the brand.
Similar to other birth control methods, it can take several months to become pregnant after stopping use. However, some people may get pregnant right away.
The shot (Depo-Provera) is a contraceptive injection that uses hormones to help prevent pregnancy. A healthcare professional must administer this shot once every 3 months to effectively suppress ovulation.
It takes approximately 15 weeks for the effects of the shot to wear off. So, it may take several months for your period to return after discontinuing its use.
According to Planned Parenthood, it may take up to 10 months for your menstrual cycle to return to its usual state. If you want to become pregnant in the near future and use the shot, it may make sense to factor this timeline into your plans.
If you would prefer to use an as-needed or short-term birth control, you may want to consider other methods.
There’s no hard rule for how long you should stop taking birth control before trying to get pregnant. You can begin trying to get pregnant as soon as you feel comfortable.
Each person’s body is different and will react differently to stopping prescription birth control.
Some people may get pregnant immediately after discontinuing use. For others, it could take up to a year or more to become pregnant.
Hormonal birth control that takes longer to wear off, such as the shot, can also delay pregnancy.
While you can start trying right away, you may want to wait until your period returns or becomes regular to give yourself a higher chance of getting pregnant.
A 2018 research review showed that
How soon you can get pregnant after stopping birth control can depend on the method used, how long it takes your period to return, your cycle, your health, and your partner’s fertility, among other factors.
Age can also matter. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), for couples in their 20s and early 30s, around 1 in 4 people can become pregnant during any menstrual cycle.
By 40 years old, the pregnancy chance is closer to 1 in 10.
It’s important to remember that each situation is different. Try not to feel discouraged if the process takes longer than you anticipate.
Getting pregnant can take longer than you might think. It can feel frustrating if it doesn’t happen right away. But for many people, it can take several months. Try to be patient with yourself.
You may want to consider joining a support group if you experience difficult feelings about trying to conceive.
According to ACOG, if you’re more than 35 years old and do not get pregnant after 6 months of having penis-in-vagina sex without contraception, you might consider making an appointment for a fertility evaluation.
If you’re over age 40, it may be helpful to consult with a healthcare professional before trying to become pregnant. This is particularly true if you have any health conditions that may impact fertility, such as endometriosis.
A high percentage of people become pregnant within 12 months of discontinuing prescription birth control.
Although overall fertility may vary depending on your health and age, it’s a good idea to factor your birth control method choice into your timeline when planning for pregnancy.