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Getting pregnant after coming off the pill

Ready to have a baby? Stop taking the pill is the first step you take if you want to get pregnant. But when exactly should you stop taking the pill and when will you be ready to conceive again?

Coming off the pill

You can stop taking the pill for various reasons. You may suffer from side effects, you may have heard that the pill is unhealthy, or you are maybe switching to another form of contraception. Another important reason to stop taking the pill is, of course, to get pregnant. Taking the pill, a contraceptive injection, coil or a contraceptive implant will stop your cycle. You no longer ovulate and the sperm can no longer reach the uterus. In your pill-free week you do get your period, but this is not a real menstruation, but a withdrawal bleeding. As soon as you stop taking the pill (or other contraception) your cycle will slowly start up again and you will get a normal, natural period again. It takes about a month for the artificial hormones to disappear from your body, but it usually takes a lot longer until your body has started its own hormone production and cycle again. It can take eight weeks or more for your period to resume and your cycle often remains very irregular. Regular menstruation usually returns after about six months. However, it can also easily take a year. Unfortunately you cannot control this. This also might be related to depression or stress.

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When do I need to stop taking the pill?

Having an irregular menstruation does not make it easy to get pregnant. You can hardly take into account your ovulation and your most fertile days. It is therefore a good idea to stop taking the pill and use a condom several months before you actually start trying to get pregnant. Give your body time to restore your normal hormonal balance. You will also get more insight into your normal period. It doesn't matter much whether you stop taking the pill in the middle or at the end of a strip. Many women choose to finish the strip so that they can plan their withdrawal bleeding one last time.

Getting pregnant after taking the pill

Technically, it is possible to become pregnant immediately after the first ovulation. You don't feel much it, but you will certainly notice your first period. This is actually the sign that you are fertile again. However, the chance that you will get pregnant immediately is quite small. Your body is still full of artificial hormones. For the majority of women, it takes several months or even years before they get pregnant. It can also take a long time before you menstruate again, which means that you have not yet ovulated (unless you are pregnant) and are therefore not yet fertile. If you haven't had your period for a year after coming off the pill, you should see your doctor. Even if your period is very irregular, you can see a doctor. You may be given medication to stimulate ovulation.

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Folic acid

If you are trying to get pregnant, it is wise to take folic acid. This contributes to the early development of the baby and reduces the risk of birth defects. Therefore, start taking folic acid tablets (available at drugstores) about a month before you stop taking the pill. It takes about a month before your body absorbs them sufficiently.

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