Getting Pregnant After Birth Control

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1. Pregnancy After Birth Control

We are lucky to live in a day and age where we have access to so many different types of birth control. Women can delay pregnancy for as long as they want or need to, with a simple daily pill, a shot 4 times a year, or a small device implanted in their body.

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It’s crazy to think about how far medicine has come and the great options that we have available. However, what happens if you are ready to go off of your birth control method and get pregnant? Will there be problems from your birth control method that make it more difficult to get pregnant? Read on to find out.

2. Getting Pregnant After The Pill

The way that the birth control pill works is by preventing ovulation. When you decide that you are ready to conceive and stop taking the birth control pill, your body will usually quickly expel the hormones from the birth control pills within a few days. After that, your body will work to get “back on track” naturally. Your body will begin to produce follicles again and soon, you will ovulate.

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Some women’s bodies go back to their natural ovulation cycle quickly, and some take a little longer. Some women get pregnant within a few weeks of stopping the pill, and for some women, it might take a few months. If you are going off the pill, and don’t get pregnant within 6 to 9 months, it might be a good idea to see your doctor to make sure there is not an underlying problem.

3. Getting Pregnant After Depo

The Depo Provera shot is known to stay in your body longer than other birth control methods. While the birth control pill’s hormones only last a few days, the hormones from the Depo Provera shot are continuously administered by the shot. One injection of Depo Provera can leave hormones in a woman’s body for three months and sometimes longer.

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If you decide you want to get pregnant while on Depo Provera, it is important to try to plan ahead and stop your injections as soon as possible. Otherwise, it could be 9-12 months or even longer before the hormones are out of your system, and even longer before your ovulation cycles return to normal.

4. Getting Pregnant After IUD and Other Methods

Getting pregnant after IUD is different than getting pregnant after the Depo Provera shot or the birth control pill. Once the IUD device is removed from your body, all of the hormones are also removed.

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Your ovulation should return to normal shortly after the device has been removed.  If you use condoms as your birth control method, you are lucky because condoms contain no hormones at all. Simply stop using them and then you should be able to get pregnant right away.

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Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.