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Getting Off Long Contraceptives

How Will Your Fertility Be Affected?


If you’ve been using contraceptive implants or injections as birth control and are now ready to come off of them and try to get pregnant, you are probably wondering how your fertility will be affected and for how long. Getting off long contraceptives like implants and injections does have an impact on your fertility and it’s worth knowing about so you’re aware of the possibility that you may not get pregnant right away.

Your Fertility Is Fine

One of the biggest questions women have about getting pregnant after contraceptive implants or injections is, “How has my fertility been affected?” The good news is, it shouldn’t have been affected too much at all! Your fertility should return to normal soon after the implant is removed. If you’ve been relying on the injection for birth control, it will take longer to return to normal, but it will return.

Since fertility can come back immediately, don’t be surprised if you get pregnant right away. In some cases, you could get pregnant before your next menstrual cycle. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to start taking folic acid or prenatal vitamins and make any other healthy changes to your life, like cutting out alcohol and ceasing to smoke, that you’ve been meaning to before getting off long contraceptives.

Removing the Implant

If you’ve been using a contraceptive implant, you’ll need to have it removed by a physician specially trained in doing so. You’ll receive a local anesthetic, the doctor will make a tiny cut and the implant will be taken out. Expect some bruising afterwards, but that’s it! If the doctor has a hard time finding the implant, he or she may need to conduct a scan to find it before attempting to remove it, but the entire process should be very quick and simple.

What If I’m Pregnant?

If you find out that you’re pregnant before the device has been removed, don’t worry. Your baby won’t be harmed by the implant, but you’ll be advised to have it removed anyway. After the birth, you can receive a new implant.

Why Does It Take Longer to Get Pregnant After a Contraceptive Injection?

Contraceptive injections work by releasing hormones into your body that prevent you from ovulating. Those hormones need to leave the body before you can start ovulating again and have your fertility return to normal. It’s possible that this can take a year or longer, which means that planning to get pregnant after a contraceptive injection can start years before you’re actually ready to have a baby. Keep this time-frame in mind while using contraceptive injections so you don’t wait too long to stop them and risk missing your preferred time to have a baby.

As a general recommendation, women who want to get pregnant after contraceptive injection usage should stop receiving injections sooner rather than later and use an alternative form of birth control until they are ready to conceive. This will give your body time to return to a regular ovulation cycle and prepare to handle conception. Over the long term your fertility won’t be affected and you can expect it to return to normal once your body adjusts to not having the hormones.

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