Getting Pregnant After Birth Control
How soon can you get pregnant after stopping birth control?
Women tend to spend half their lives trying NOT to get pregnant and then
when they decide they are ready, they find out it's not always that easy to
conceive. In efforts to prevent pregnancy, women today use oral contraceptives, hormonal patches, condoms, and numerous
When it comes to hormonal contraceptives, your best bet is to complete your
current cycle and then attempt to get pregnant, says Frank A. Chervenak, MD,
professor and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Weill
Medical College of Cornell University in New York City.
"After the cycle, attempts can be made to start getting pregnant
although it may be advisable to wait for the first normal menstrual period
after you stop taking your pills," he says. But this precaution is not
essential. Some women conceive within a week or two after stopping birth
"I advise women to complete the cycle so they don't have irregular
bleeding," he says. In general, the middle of the month is when ovulation
and potentially conception are most likely to take place, so the
optimal fertile window is a couple of weeks after stopping contraception.
An important point to consider, however, is that "if there has been a
previous pregnancy or miscarriage, wait about three months to give the body a
chance to recover," he says. "This is where a waiting period makes
As far as other types of contraception, the intrauterine device (IUD) must
be removed before a woman starts attempting to conceive, he says. Couples can
just stop using condoms when they are ready to conceive, he adds.