Getting Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control

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Getting Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control

Getting Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control

Topic Overview

The amount
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, 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
    estrogen and
    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 Nexplanon),
    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.

Related Information


ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofFebruary 6, 2018