How soon can I get pregnant after stopping birth control?
By Heather Frame, BSN, RN | November 7, 2022
Are you ready to take the next step in family planning but birth control has been a constant in your life for months or even years? It can be overwhelming to transition from preventing pregnancy to trying to conceive your first child!
Like with most things related to our bodies, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how soon pregnancy can occur after stopping birth control. The biggest factor that may influence your body’s return of fertility is what method of birth control you were using.
7 Different birth control methods and their estimated return of fertility
1. Barrier methods
2. Oral contraceptives
3. Progestin-only pills
4. Contraceptive skin patches and vaginal rings
5. Intrauterine devices
8. A vasectomy
Importance of tracking your cycle after stopping birth control
As you can see, the return of fertility widely varies for the many methods of birth control. By starting ovulation testing immediately after stopping birth control, you will increase the likelihood of finding your first LH peak. You can assume ovulation will follow your LH peak within 24-36 hours.
To put it simply, you will ovulate before starting your first period after stopping birth control. If you begin tracking correctly right away – there’s a chance that you could catch that first egg and never even have a period before getting pregnant! If you miss your first ovulation, it could take a while before you ovulate again due to hormonal regulation.
Take the guesswork out of ovulation testing by using Premom’s in-app camera to take a picture of your ovulation test – it will interpret your results and tell you exactly which days each month you are most fertile. This can ease some stress of the unknown and put you in the driver's seat of your fertility!
If you have been tracking consistently and are not quite understanding what your body is doing, please feel free to reach out to us in Ask An Expert!
Other factors to consider after stopping birth control
Contrary to popular belief, previous use of birth control does not increase the likelihood of miscarriage or birth defects after conception. Rest assured in knowing your birth control did not hinder a potential healthy pregnancy!
According to recent research, 83% of couples have successfully conceived within the first year after stopping birth control.
Though some methods of birth control have a quicker return to fertility than others, every woman is different in terms of age, anatomy, health status, fertility challenges etc. Give yourself some grace while your body transitions back to its natural cycle. If it has been 3 months since you stopped taking birth control and you still have not had a period, it may be time to reach out to your doctor for a discussion.
Good luck and baby dust to you!
Heather Frame is a compassionate Women's Health nurse. She specializes in obstetrics, postpartum, newborn care, and lactation counseling. She is committed to providing women the support they need to achieve pregnancy and thereafter. As a personal user of Premom, she can attest to how important charting your cycles is in conjunction with achieving pregnancy. She would love to help you navigate your fertility journey. Schedule a consultation with Nurse Heather right through your Premom app!
Getting Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control - Overview (cham.org)
How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control? | University of Utah Health
When Does Fertility Return After Stopping Contraceptive Use? | SPH (bu.edu)
Birth control methods | Office on Women's Health (womenshealth.gov)
Pregravid contraceptive use and fecundability: prospective cohort study (bmj.com)