The Pill and Fertility: Becoming Pregnant After The Pill
The advent of the birth control pill ushered in the sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s - and to this day, the pill is a leading method in keeping fertility "in check" until the time is right to conceive a baby.
The pill functions by affecting female hormonal balance - inhibiting ovulation (the release of the ovum or egg by the ovarian follicle. By suppressing ovulation, no ovum or egg is available for fertilization.
There are three primary hormones responsible for regulating fertility and either supporting or hindering conception (luteinizing hormone, estrogen and progesterone). These female hormones facilitate ovulation - or they can contribute to the contraceptive aspect of the pill in suppressing ovulation. In taking the pill daily, you are providing your body with constant flow of estrogen and progesterone and your body is "tricked" into believing you are pregnant. In effect, when you take the pill, your hormone levels suggest a condition of pregnancy. The result: Your body decreases the production of hormones like LH that are necessary to the maturation of the egg and ovulation. Without LH, ovulation will not occur. (You may recognize LH as the hormone detected by ovulation tests).
The following are some key questions that women who are looking to conceive in the future may ask.
First, does taking the pill impact fertility in the future?
The good news is that the pill has not be shown to decrease fertility (though it may take some time after you discontinue the pill for hormones levels to regulate). This can be a source of frustration for women who want to become pregnant immediatley after they stop taking the pill!
How long does it take for fertility to return after I go off of the pill?
If you are planning a pregnancy, it is not unusual for the body to take 3 months to get "synchronized" after going off the pill. In rare instances, it may take as long as 6 months. FertilAid for Women is a product commonly used by women coming off the pill to help restore optimal reproductive hormonal balance quickly.
How will I know if I don't ovulate after I go off of the pill?
If you do not get regular periods after 6 months of being off the pill, you are probably not ovulating normally and should see a doctor. Other easy ways to determine if you are ovulating include ovulation predictor testing, basal body temperature monitoring, and checking various body signs.
What can I do to become fertile after taking the pill?
The key is good health, a sound, sensible diet, exercise and reading up on fertility charting and how to predict ovulation, your most fertile time of the month. Some fertility supplements like FertilAid can also assist.