It is an exciting but strange feeling the moment you toss out your birth control pills and jump on the baby making train. You spend your youth trying NOT to get pregnant and then in a blink of an eye all that diligence is thrown out the window. Then you start to wonder…. how long will it be before I see those double lines on a pregnancy test?
Although the following information is definitely not true for everyone, these are the general rules given by the professionals. It at least gives you a basic timeline for starting your TTC journey.
If you have been taking oral contraceptives:
In the past, doctors have suggested that you wait 3 months after discontinuing oral contraceptives before trying to become pregnant. However, new studies are showing that your body is actually very fertile immediately after stopping birth control pills. The belief is that there is a surge of hormones released as the body begins to adjust to the new hormone levels. This actually makes it the perfect time to try to become pregnant. After this surge of hormones ends, it is not uncommon for it to take between 3 and 18 months for a women's cycle to regulate itself. Fortunately there are products like FertilAid that can help speed up this process a bit. You will also want to watch for the return of your cervical mucus; if you were taking oral contraceptives that contained both estrogen and progesterone, it may take awhile for your CM to look/feel back to normal as well.
If you have been using condoms:
No worries here, you are good to go!
If you have been using an IUD or coil:
After getting your Mirena coil removed, it will probably take a few months for your cycle to return to normal. After that, you will want to watch that your cervical mucus returns as well. The side effects from and IUD/coil are similar to those of oral contraceptives because they work in a similar manner.
If you have been using contraception injections:
When stopping an injectable contraceptive such as Depo Provera, your doctor will probably tell you it could take up to a year to become pregnant. This is because the side effects such as an altered cervical mucus pattern often continue long after you discontinue the birth control injections. Also, you need to make sure that it is completely out of your body before trying to conceive. Since it is given every three months, you may need to use other birth control until it is out of your system.
If you have been using a contraceptive implant:
Many women opt for the contraceptive patch because of its ease. After getting it removed, you will just need to wait for your cycle and mucus to return to normal. As with many of the previously listed contraceptive options, this usually takes a few months.
My fingers and toes will be crossed for you that your cycles return to normal quickly after stopping your birth control! If it seems to be taking more than a few months for your cycle and cervical mucus to return to fertility friendly form, I would check in with your doctor.