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About Stopping Contraception

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So you've decided to try for a baby. Great! Now what? If you've been using a certain type of contraception you might be wondering how to safely stop using it and how long it will take to get pregnant once you do. Some types of birth control, like condoms and diaphragms are easy to stop -- just stop using them and wait for a baby to happen! Others, particularly hormonal birth control, require a little more planning, forethought and patience.

How to Come Off the Pill

Most doctors recommend finishing up your current month's pill supply when you're ready to come off the pill. By finishing up your current pack, your body won't be too confused by the sudden change in hormones,  you'll have a normal withdrawal bleed followed by a normal period next month. If you are taking a progesterone-only pill, you can stop anytime you like.

birth control pills on top of a calendar 

Since the pill does not affect fertility, but only regulates hormones, you can get pregnant that first month after coming off the pill, although some women do find it takes a few months for their bodies to get used to and return to a natural rhythm. Your doctor may recommend going through at least one normal cycle before trying to conceive, but this is really just to make it easier for them to calculate your due date if you do get pregnant. Getting pregnant right after coming off the pill won't harm the baby at all.

How to Come Off an IUD

Coming off an IUD requires a trip to your doctor so it can be safely removed. Once you come off an IUD your fertility will return to normal almost immediately. This is particularly true if you have been using a non-hormonal IUD. IUDs can be removed at any point in your cycle but should be removed immediately if you do manage to become pregnant while still on the IUD.

Fertility After Implants Or Injections

Like birth control pills, these methods rely on hormones to regulate fertility. Upon stopping contraception of either method, fertility will return to normal levels, although it can take a bit longer than expected if you've been receiving injections.

Start Preparing Before Stopping Contraception

One thing you can do immediately upon deciding it's the right time to try for a baby, even before you stop using your contraception method, is to start taking folic acid supplements or a prenatal vitamin. It's a good idea to start the folic acid at least before you start trying in earnest. This ensures your body has a ready supply of this nutrient which is vital to the proper development of a baby and is particularly important in the first trimester.

 
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