Getting Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control

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How long does it take for your fertility to return after stopping birth control?

The time varies from woman to woman and depends on the type of birth control you used. Read on to find out how long it usually takes for different types of birth control.

Trying to get pregnant after birth control pills (the pill)

After coming off the pill, it may take a few months for your menstrual cycle and fertility to return to normal.

However, in most cases, your cycle will go back to normal right after you stop taking those birth control pills. So, all you really have to do to reverse the effects of the pill is to stop taking them.

How Do You Know When You're Ovulating After Being On The Pill

How to detect when you are ovulating again

There are numerous ways to detect ovulation. Some women can feel when they are ovulating because they get what they describe as slight cramps in the area of their ovaries.

You should notice a change in cervical mucus which is likely to be wetter and egg white like in appearance before ovulation. See our guide to cervical mucus observations.

Tracking your basal body temperature (BBT) is another option and can also be logged in Ovulation Calculator. After ovulation your BBT should rise slightly and remain elevated until the end of your cycle.

Here is a full list of 12 ovulation symptoms including details on what to expect.

How long does it take to get pregnant after the pill?

The amount of time it takes to get pregnant after taking the pill varies for each women. Fertility is a very individual issue, and even without taking the pill, there are many factors to consider. Although most women return to their normal fertility after they stop taking the pill, it may take a few months for others to start ovulating again.

Nevertheless, even when you do start ovulating again, there is no guarantee that you will get pregnant right away. There are fertility issues that have nothing to do with ovulation, and if you and your partner are dealing with one of them, you may have trouble conceiving even with regular ovulation.

The general rule of thumb is to try to conceive for a full six months before seeking help if you are over 35, and 12 months if you under 35. If you have not conceived within this time, you and your partner may consider visiting a doctor for fertility testing.

Is it safe to get pregnant right after the pill?

Many women are able to get pregnant soon after stopping the pill and go on to have healthy pregnancies. While it is completely safe to do so, some healthcare practitioners suggest waiting a cycle or two as it can help you to establish a more accurate due date.

If your cycles are irregular when you conceive, it can be difficult to pinpoint a conception date from your last menstrual period. Even if this happens, you can rely on your first sonogram, often called a dating sonogram, to tell you when you are due.

What about the mini-pill?

Mini-pills contain a low dose of synthetic progesterone, which flows through your body rapidly. In fact, its effects do not last much longer than 24 hours. This is why your doctor may have been so firm about you taking the mini-pill at the same time every day. You can consider yourself fertile and ready to conceive the day after you stop taking your mini-pills.

Getting pregnant after Depo-Provera

Depo Provera is hormonal contraceptive birth control drug that is injected every three months into the arm. The shot has to be repeated every three months to prevent pregnancy.

Depo-Prevera is well know brand name for Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA). It is made from a hormone similar to progesterone and is 99.7% effective in preventing an egg being released from the ovary.

Many women prefer it because not only does it alleviate the stress of worrying about taking a pill, it also has a success rate of 99.7%. However, because it has a longer-term effect than a birth control pill, many women also worry about getting pregnant after they stop getting shots.

Once injected with Depo, the effect cannot be reversed and it can take months for its full effect to wear off and 12 months before leaving your system completely, in some cases even longer. However, some women become pregnant as soon as three to four months after stopping Depo-Prevera. The average time it takes to get pregnant after Depo-Provera is nine months, but it can take some women up to two years.

Since there is nothing you can do to reduce the time to takes to wear off, start preparing your body for pregnancy, this will help you get pregnant sooner once Depo has left your system.

The "Morning After Pill"

Accidents and unplanned pregnancies happen. And these days, if you think an unplanned pregnancy may take place, women have more options than waiting and deciding whether to opt for an invasive surgical abortion.

The morning after pill, also known as emergency contraception, is considered as a type of birth control that you can use for up to five days after you have had unprotected sex to help prevent unplanned pregnancy. But this pill was not designed to be used as a substitute for standard birth control. If you have used the morning after pill to prevent pregnancy in the past, there are some things you should know.

The morning after pill

Impact on fertility

When taken sparingly, the morning after pill, often referred to as "Plan B," does not have an impact on fertility. It works much in the way that your birth control pill works, but the potency is much greater than that of the birth control pill. This pill is meant to disrupt your cycle, so it is not healthy to take on a regular basis. You should return to your normal cycle about 32 days after taking this pregnancy termination pill. Although this is still within the range of normal, it is not ideal. And adding these high-dose hormones to your body on a regular basis may have long-term effects. However, if you have only used the morning after pill sparingly, it should not have an impact on your fertility at all.

If you are having trouble trying to conceive and have had an abortion or taken a pregnancy termination pill, talk to your doctor. The chances are good that your fertility issues do not have anything to do with your past abortion, but it is important for your doctor to have all the facts before he or she can diagnose any potential issues and get you back on the road to pregnancy. The good news is that if you have had a previous pregnancy, you are likely to be ovulating normally, which is a major part of becoming pregnant.

Morning After Pill Vs. Abortion Pill

If you have taken some form of pregnancy prevention or termination pill in the past, you should know which you have taken. There is a difference between the morning after pill and an abortion pill. The abortion pill, or medical abortion, can usually be taken up to 63 days after the first day of your last period, although some states have restrictions that limit the use of this pill to 49 days.

The abortion pill blocks your body's progesterone production, which will cause the lining of the uterus to break down. Then you are given a second medication to empty the contents of your uterus. Either way, whether you have taken the morning after or abortion pill sparingly, you should not have issues with fertility, but it is important that you know the difference, so you can discuss your medical history with your health care practitioner.

What to do after stopping birth control?

As soon as you decide that you would like to try and get pregnant you should start taking a prenatal vitamin, it is advised that you take one at least three months before trying to conceive in order to provide your body with the required nutrients to support a healthy baby right from the moment of conception. Why you need to take prenatal vitamins BEFORE getting pregnant.

Next, you should prepare your body for pregnancy, see How To Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy for a complete list of things you should be doing to provide you with the best chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Finally, have a look at how to detect when you're most fertile so you can ensure you get the timing of intercourse right each cycle.

What birth control have you used? How long after did it take for your cycles to return to normal? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

New Join the Discussion!

  1. Rosie Jul 20, 2016
    I used the implanon for 2 years. I had regular periods on the implanon but longer periods but when I had it taken out I was already having a 9 days period which was my last period until 6 weeks came I had a 5 day period yeah and could be ovulating
    1. Sarah (OC Team): Hi Rosie, Thanks for sharing. - (Jul 20, 2016)
    2. Afshan: I have had a coil, but now I am trying to conceive. I took a coil out one year ago. What can I do? - (Sep 19, 2016)
    3. Larhonda: I was on depo for a year and some months. And I have been trying to get pregnant for months now. My breasts have been hurting so bad. I took a pregnancy test. It was negative. What does this mean? - (Dec 15, 2016)
  2. Caren Jul 22, 2016
    I used Depo provera for eight years, then pills for one year. I stopped the pill in January, my period has been constant. I think am ovulating and hoping to get pregnant but not yet. I do get the Ewcm
    1. Sarah (OC Team): Thanks for commenting Caren. Best of luck. - (Jul 23, 2016)
  3. Raven Jul 25, 2016
    I just stopped taking.
    1. Phil (OC Team): Thanks for your comment and all the best with TTC! - (Jul 27, 2016)
  4. Marquita Jul 25, 2016
    I haven't been on the Depo provera since June 2009. I've been trying to get pregnant and still haven't gotten pregnant yet. I pray I'm still able to I'm still young, and would love to try for a boy.
    1. Sarah (OC Team): Wishing you all the best. - (Jul 26, 2016)
  5. Olive Jul 27, 2016
    Stop norigynon last year December, but not menstruating after I stopped but I was menstruating when I was taking the norigynon injection. So confused am trying to get pregnant too.
  6. [email protected] Jul 27, 2016
    I was on the patch for a year. I've been off for 3 months. It's a long shot but patiently waiting to take a pregnancy test, fingers crossed!
    1. Sarah (OC Team): All the best! - (Jul 28, 2016)
  7. Meg Jul 29, 2016
    I finished my last pack of birth control pills on schedule and should have had my period yesterday. About two weeks ago I was having cramps, slightly elevated temp, some sensitivity to smell (which has passed) as well as nausea. Now, I'm a day late and cramping but no sign of my actual period. What is the likelihood that I'm pregnant? I realize that it can take some time to go back to normal so I don't necessarily want to take a pregnancy test for no reason. I guess I just want to know how long I should wait for my period to come before I take a test. Thanks for your help!
    1. Sarah (OC Team): Hi Meg, everyone is different, but it is possible to get pregnant right after coming off hormonal pills. Wait a few more days to see if your period shows. - (Jul 29, 2016)
    2. Alo: I was on the mini pill and just stopped talking it in july, and I had crazy symptoms like that. It was just my body readjusting to my own hormones and then AF showed. I took a few, one evey two weeks, just trying to be safe and keep my mind at ease. Good luck. - (Sep 04, 2016)
  8. EM Jul 31, 2016
    What about straight progesterone day in and day out? I had years of normal periods then stopped. Premature ovarian failure. Then DXed with uterine cancer. I was on progesterone after I was on megace for uterine cancer for few years. The verdict was close to all clear, but then cancer struck again and I was told not to stop taking progesterone. I ovulated in July, which was shocking, and what was happening as semi-regular periods on progesterone stopped? Would 200 mg/ day of progesterone keep me from ovulating? Does it enhance pregnancy?
    1. Sarah (OC Team): Hi Em, It's probably best if you ask your Doctor about this. - (Aug 01, 2016)
    2. EM: Thanks - It is scheduled. Unless there's a miracle, it's hysterectomy time. Baby moon shot over. - (Aug 02, 2016)
  9. Laura Aug 01, 2016
    I was on depo for 18 months after having my daughter. I came off of it 1 year ago, and it's taken 9 months for my periods to return. I've had regular periods now for the Last 3 months, so I'm hoping to get pregnant this month. I feel my cycle is back to Normal! Fingers crossed!
    1. Christina (OC Team): Good luck to you! - (Aug 01, 2016)
  10. Shanai Aug 24, 2016
    I've been off Depo since October of 2015. My period came back February of 2016. I have 2 kids already.
    1. Christina (OC Team): Good luck! - (Aug 24, 2016)
  11. Afshan Sep 19, 2016
    I put the coil on. It's been 2 years since and I am having a normal periods. What can I do to get pregnant? I am trying to conceive for 2 years with no results.
    1. Christina (OC Team): After 2 years, the coil shouldn't be impacting your ability to conceive. Are you tracking ovulation and having sex within your fertile window? - (Sep 19, 2016)
  12. Afshan Sep 20, 2016
    I have diabetes as well. I have 2 kids but want more.
  13. Stacey Sep 22, 2016
    I was on the depo for a year. I stopped it in Feb 2013. I have two kids already, but I have been trying for a baby since 2013 with a new partner. I still can't get my periods normal. They are very thick, no water. Can the depo mess your hormones up for this long? I'm 35 now and have a 10 and 8 year old kids.
    1. Christina (OC Team): It's not abnormal to take a year after depo to conceive, but if it has been 3 years, you should definitely talk to your doctor. At this point, you can request fertility testing. Good luck! - (Sep 22, 2016)
  14. LEIGHANNE Sep 28, 2016
    I had an IUD in place for 11 years (2 different devices). No periods while I had them. I had it removed in March and just turned 40. Is it possible to become pregnant after removal or is there a wait time for meds to come out my system? And for the 11 years without a period, did I still ovulate and release an egg or did the IUD stop that process? Thanks for your help!
    1. Christina (OC Team): If you had an IUD like Mirena, the hormone may sometimes stop ovulation, but that's not how it's meant to prevent pregnancy. It works by preventing sperm from reaching the egg, and then preventing the egg from implanting if it does become fertilized. According to the manufacturer's website, there's no waiting period for getting pregnant after Mirena is removed. - (Sep 28, 2016)
  15. Rebecca Sep 28, 2016
    I had my IUD removed in June. My cycle came on time in June, July and August. Then in September, it arrived 8-10 days early. Now, when my normal September period was due, I was spotting very lightly and no red. I went from a 30 day cycle to a 20. Never had that happen before. Likely due to stress? Any feedback on the cycle changes and spotting would be greatly appreciated.
    1. Christina (OC Team): It could be stress or your cycles returning to normal after the IUD. If you're concerned, talk to your doctor. - (Sep 28, 2016)
    2. Sabrina: Rebecca please contact me. I also had an iud and I am not good with the internet. Please send me an email or I'd love for you to call me so we can talk. I'll give you my # if I hear back from you. - (Oct 19, 2016)
  16. Stephanie Oct 15, 2016
    I have been off Ortho Tri-cyclen for one month and we are actively trying to conceive. No luck the first month, as my period just started on Wednesday. Strange thing was it started after only 24 days. Before taking BCP, I had a very regular 26 day cycle and on BCP, I always started on the Thursday of the placebo pill week.
    1. Christina (OC Team): Keep tracking and you should start seeing patterns. Good luck! - (Oct 17, 2016)
  17. Melissa Oct 19, 2016
    I had mirena for about 5 months and got it removed last month during my cycle. I started ttc after my cycle ended and within my ovulation window. My period was due 3 days ago and has no signs of coming. I took a hpt a day before my cycle was due and it came out negative. Is there a window to wait for the hormones to cycle out of my body? I had normal periods the whole time I was on the mirena.
    1. Christina (OC Team): This is from the Mirena website: "If you decide you want to try to have another child, you can have Mirena removed by your healthcare provider. There’s no waiting period for you to go through, so you can try to become pregnant right away. In fact, approximately 8 out of 10 women succeed at becoming pregnant within a year of having Mirena removed." - (Oct 20, 2016)
  18. Luz Oct 21, 2016
    I was on mirena for 5 yrs. I just took it out on may 2016 and I haven't gotten pregnant yet. Hopefully, this is the month. My first day of bleeding was oct 2 and I BD on 13,15,17. Ovulation, according to this app, was on the 18th. How much of a chance do I have in conceiving this month ?
    1. Christina (OC Team): I can't give you a precise percentage (there are too many individual variables, but it sounds like you likely had sex in your fertile window, so there's a chance. Good luck! - (Oct 21, 2016)
    2. Luz: Thanks - (Oct 21, 2016)
  19. Luz Oct 25, 2016
    I'm at 7 dpo and feeling cramps like AF. It's just a little different. I started feeling tired and have a weird taste in my mouth. Do you think this is my month? My af is not due until Nov 1st.
    1. Christina (OC Team): It sounds like a possibility. Good luck! - (Oct 26, 2016)
  20. Jailee Nov 09, 2016
    I had the implanon for a year and a half and had it removed about three and a half months ago. Is that long enough for the horomones to wear off? Has anyone had complications of trying to conceive after?
    1. Eliz: I also had the implanon for a year and a half and I have been trying to conceive since August with no luck :/ I Had it removed in April but started ttc in August. Best of wishes! - (Dec 08, 2016)
    2. Kristin: I had the Implanon in for 9 months and had it removed at the end of November. I'm struggling with logging my ovulation days because the Implanon really messed up my cycle. I had spotting every day, aside from maybe 5 days, the whole 9 months that it was in. The spotting stopped on 12/2/16 after the implant was removed and I just now started spotting again on 01/3/17. Very little at first, but now it's gotten a little heavier. I'm not sure whether to log this as a period or simply spotting at this point. I have not had a consistent cycle since January 2016, which makes trying to predict ovulation dates very difficult. Anybody else have the same issue or have any thoughts? - (Jan 08, 2017)
    3. Christina (OC Team): If it's red blood, you can log it as a period. If it's just spotting, log it as spotting. Until your cycles return to normal, try using OPKs to predict ovulation. - (Jan 08, 2017)
  21. EMma Nov 10, 2016
    Hi, I had the Jadelle rods in and had them taken out last month about this time. I had my normal period, and I know when I ovulated. I am now 4 days late. I have done 4 pregnancy tests since. I thought I felt implantation last week. All negative, so I put it down to my period not coming from stopping birth control?! But today, my breasts are sore and heavy and getting worse as the day goes on.
    Has anyone else had this after Jadelle removal?
  22. Rebecca Nov 13, 2016
    I started the pill on Feb 15th for about 3 months then went on the depo til July 16th. I started taking the pill again on July 16 til sept 16. I spotted on the of 9th Oct but nothing since and have had two failed pregnancy tests.
  23. Chandelle Nov 16, 2016
    I used implanon. It took about 3 months and we got pregnant with our now 3 year old daughter. About six months after delivery, I got the implanon again and had removed it March of this year. We've been trying to conceive since. I downloaded the app a few months ago. Wish us luck :)
  24. Jackie Nov 30, 2016
    I was on depo for 3 years. I was scheduled to go back to get my depo shot in August, but I didn't go. It is now November. My cycle came on the 12th and then 2 days later it left. Can I get pregnant now? Hoping for a baby soon.
    1. Daisy: Hi Jackie, Unfortunately depo can be a tricky thing. I've been on/off depo for past 16years. EG: 2 yrs on shot, 6-12 month break, repeat. I have only ever been pregnant once (17 years ago).. On the depo shot, my periods only visited once every three months, if that!! Recently, I got engaged and my partner wants kids. I've been off the shot for 5 months ...and nothing, zip nada, Everybody's body if different. Fingers crossed for both of us! Keep trying sweetie. Good luck. - (Dec 27, 2016)
    2. Jackie: I actually got my cycle on the 23rd of this month and it's still on now (the 28th). Am I able to get pregnant when it goes off? - (Dec 28, 2016)
    3. Daisy: Maybe, it's always 'give and take a day'. Also, the depo might still be in your system. If, so cycle or no cycle, it would be hard to conceive as the shot makes the living environment for the eggs to...'hang on' impossible. Also, was your cycle regular before depo?? Irregular cycles / long periods or very short actually make it hard to decipher fertility windows. I've read that it is possible to get pregnant without menstruation, so getting ovulation right is a must.... I think the depo might still be in your system. It's still in mine... Hope I helped :) - (Dec 30, 2016)
  25. Susan Dec 26, 2016
    I stopped taking my Ortho on Sept 23rd 2016, 1 month before my wedding to detox from it and prepare to start trying to get pregnant. I've been off it for about 3 months now and just had my first full period. Going into my green zone today, crossing my fingers that everything is working so we can get pregnant this month!
    1. Jackie: You should be able to get pregnant because once you stop taking the pill, then that's it. Its not like taking depo where it still remains in your system for a while. Good Luck - (Jan 01, 2017)
  26. Jackie Jan 01, 2017
    Yes, my cycle was regular before depo. I've been told that I can get pregnant now that I'm not on it anymore and my last shot was actually in May, but I didn't go back in August to get the other shot.
  27. Jackie Jan 02, 2017
    I was told I could get pregnant because I've been off of BC for a while now and it only lasts for three months. I had unprotected sex with my fiance last night and started spotting light pink this morning. What does that mean?
    1. Daisy: Hey Jackie, Hows it all going? Any news.....? - (Jan 22, 2017)
  28. Lisa Jan 09, 2017
    I had implanon for 6 years straight, 2 separate ones, and had it removed on 13th of DEC, 2016. I was on my period when I had it removed. I had a normal 5 day period as I always have done while on implanon. I've been TTC ever since it was removed and having regular special time with the hubby (lol), especially when I thought my fertile window was due from using the calculator. I am due for my period today!! But could the fact I had the implant removed recently mess up my normally regular cycle? Should I do a test or wait? Really want to be pregnant!
    1. Christina (OC Team): It can take a few cycles for your body to regulate after birth control, but pregnancy is a possibility. I'd suggest waiting until after your next cycle is due, but you can test on the day before if you'd like. Good luck! - (Jan 11, 2017)
  29. Amirah Jan 15, 2017
    I stopped taking the depo shot in November, 2016, at the end of the 3-month period. Around that time, I also had very tender breasts and cramps, so I assumed that was the medication leaving my system. That next month, December, I had my period - it came back really quick! After my period, however, during my next ovulation phase, I did have sex. But here's where the confusion comes: in January (this month), I had all the PMS symptoms, even slightly mild nausea, but my next period never came. I assumed I was pregnant, which I'm hoping for, but after 2 HPT, it still showed negative. I'm a week late and still no answers and no period. I would have assumed the depo was still in my system causing the interruption in my cycle, but then why would I have had my period last month? And PMS symptoms and no period this month?
    1. Daisy: Hi Amirah, The experts forget to mention that the depo shot lasts in the system for 14-16 weeks. Not 12 as they lead us to believe. That's an extra month of protection. My last shot was over 8 months ago. No period, no preggo, but on/off nausea, bloating, cramping, and just plain being unwell. Sometimes on depo, it felt like I was having a miscarrage around the 10-week mark, then I would go get a depo shot (12 weeks). I felt nothing for about 3 months, then the same thing would happen. Think it's still in your system. Good Luck :) - (Jan 22, 2017)
  30. Lucy Jan 20, 2017
    I stopped taking the pill at the end of December. I had my period for 4 days, starting the 4th Jan. I was ovulating on the 13th, and since then, I had cramping in my stomach and around my ovaries, lower back pain and headaches. Today started with a horrendous sickness. Food would make me feel sick and I had very slight spotting. I took a test today and it was negative, but it has only been a week since I ovulated, so I'm thinking it's too early to tell.

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