birth control pills

The birth control pill has been around for more than 40 years. The birth control pill commonly referred to as simply “The Pill,” supplies hormones to the body essentially tricking the body into thinking it’s pregnant. When the body reacts to the hormones in the pill, pregnancy is prevented over 99% of the time. When women are ready to conceive, they must stop taking the pill to resume normal ovulation and menstrual cycles.

Returning to a Normal Ovulation Cycle

Ovulation is the prime time for conception. When taking the pill, women do not ovulate. After women stop taking the pill, the body may take some time to return to normal ovulation and menstrual cycles. Sometimes that happens within 2 weeks, other times it may take 1-2 months. It is perfectly safe to start trying to get pregnant as soon as you stop the pill, though it may take time to actually get pregnant because of delay in ovulation and other factors involved in getting pregnant. 

Ovulation cycle is important for conception, but also for determining gestational age. Obstetricians will often ask women to estimate the first day of their last menstrual cycle. This date is used to determine the current age of the pregnancy in gestational weeks. Current age is then used to determine pregnancy due date. While estimating pregnancy due date based on ovulation is not perfect in all cases, it does give the obstetrician a baseline age with which to compare fetal growth. If ovulation does not occur at the common time during a menstrual cycle due to birth control use, gestational age and due date may be inaccurate.

So, how long do you have to wait after you stop taking the pill in order to get pregnant?

Women should wait at least one month before trying to get pregnant. The longer a woman waits, the more “regular” her menstrual cycle may become leading to more accurate ovulation cycles. Some women may find it difficult to get pregnant the first one to three months after stopping the pill due to irregular ovulation, which is another reason to give the female body some time to adjust without hormones present in birth control pills.

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