Take The Placebo Pills
Combination pill packs typically contain three weeks of active pills that contain hormones and one week of inactive, or placebo, pills. Although it isnt medically necessary to take the placebo pills, doing so can help you stay in your routine.
If you choose to skip the placebo pills, theres a chance that you may be late in starting your next pill pack. This can interrupt your bodys expected level of hormones and cause you to ovulate. Ovulation increases your chances of being pregnant.
How Do Birth Control Pills Prevent Pregnancy
The birth control pill works by stopping sperm from joining with an egg. When sperm joins with an egg its called fertilization.
The hormones in the pill safelystop ovulation. No ovulation means theres no egg for sperm to fertilize, so pregnancy cant happen.
The pills hormones also thicken the mucus on the cervix. This thicker cervical mucus blocks sperm so it cant swim to an egg kind of like a sticky security guard.
Will Contraception Ruin My Fertility
First of all, lets get this out of the way birth control methods do not harm your long-term fertility. Some research used to suggest being on hormonal contraception for a long time increased your risk of infertility, miscarriage, and birth defects, but this has since been debunked.
Do you know what else coincides with being on contraception for a long time? Being older.
It has long been known that the further you are from ages 20 to 35 when you try to become pregnant, the higher your risk of infertility, miscarriage, and birth defects. The slightly higher risks are just the normal risks faced by women of that age. It has nothing to do with contraception!
Older forms of contraception also may have affected womens fertility, but what was true in 1970 or 1990 is not true in 2022. All these decades of research and new developments mean most contraception is very safe to use.
Studies have shown increased fertility with prolonged use of birth control. One study showed that women who had been on birth control for five years before attempting to get pregnant had a better chance of becoming pregnant than women who were not using birth control .
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Ready To Try For A Baby Heres What You Need To Do Next
Youve stopped birth control. Youve started to track your cycle. Now what?
In addition to these steps, we recommend that you get preconception counseling. Preconception counseling is like an annual physical, but also includes additional care and focus on family planning and pregnancy. You can also check out our robust pregnancy and parenting resources page, which includes all kinds of tips and information for every stage of pregnancy including planning.
It may take a few weeks to get an appointment, so schedule your preconception checkup early on. During your visit, youll also be able to talk about any specific questions or concerns you have.
Were ready if youre ready. Schedule a preconception checkup today.
How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control
Fertility depends on a few different factors, but many pregnancies happen immediately after stopping birth control. Here’s what to know.
Jessica is a Wellness News Writer who wants to help people stay informed about their health. She’s from the Midwest, studied investigative reporting at the Missouri School of Journalism and is now based in NYC.
If you’re considering stopping birth control for any reason, it’s important to understand your reproductive system so you aren’t shocked by a pregnancy or disappointed that it didn’t happen immediately.
“I tell my patients not to stop their birth control until they’re ready to get pregnant,” says Dr. Leena Nathan, an OB-GYN at University of California, Los Angeles Health. Whether it’s the IUD, the pill or another birth control method, most people return to their normal fertility “pretty much immediately.”
Some patients who stop birth control conceive before their first period off the pill, Nathan says. And while everyone’s body is different and not everyone will get pregnant the month they stop the pill or remove their IUD, there’s no fertility latency period for the majority of birth control methods out there.
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Are You On Medications That Might Interfere With Your Birth Control
Did you know certain medications that can make your birth control less effective? There are few specific antibiotics and antifungal drugs as well as herbs like St. Johns Wort that have been shown to interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraception.
Before taking any new medication, you may want to ask your provider if itll affect your birth control and when in doubt, use a backup method like condoms. Its always better to be safe.
Can I Use St Johns Wort
St. Johns wort is a popular over-the-counter herbal supplement. Many people use it for depression and other problems. Researchers are still trying to figure out if St. Johns wort causes contraceptive failure. Again, you may want to use backup contraception while taking St. Johns wort.
Asking the right questions about getting pregnant while on birth control can help you avoid unwanted pregnancies. For more information about getting the most out of your birth control method, talk to your health care provider.
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Getting Pregnant With The Patch Ring Or Shot
There are a few more options when it comes to birth control, and these include the patch, the vaginal ring and the Depo-Provera shot. Black says the failure rate for typical use of the patch and the ring is the same as the pill: eight percent. The Depo-Provera shot has a failure rate of just six percent with typical use.
With all three types of contraception, adherence is the biggest risk factor. They need to be used as directed to work effectively. Costescu says with the patch, which you replace once a week , one issue is that it may accidentally fall off. With the ring, he explains that replacing it on time is key. And it can only be removed for short periods of time if you want it to remain effective. Some women choose to remove the NuvaRing when theyre sexually active, and we recommend that it only be removed for up to three hours so, it cant be taken out, for instance, for an overnight date, he says.
Black adds that the same medications that make the pill less effective would have a similar effect on the patch and ring.
With Depo-Provera shots, Costescu notes, you must visit a health-care provider every three months to get the shot. He also says that the shot may be a good option if youre on anti-seizure medication, as the high dose of hormones that come with this type of birth control means those medications may not interfere with its effectiveness.
How And When To Start The Pill
No hard-and-fast rule exists as to when to start the pill. The recommendations on when to start also depend upon what type of pill a woman is taking. There are two main types of birth control pill:
- The combination pill, which contains synthetic versions of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones prevent ovulation from occurring as well as reducing the likelihood of fertilization and implantation.
- The minipill, which contains a synthetic version of progesterone only. It is also known as the progestin-only pill. The minipill primarily prevents pregnancy by causing the cervical mucus to thicken and the womb lining to thin. This reduces the chances of fertilization and implantation of an egg.
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Did You Miss A Day
For the most effective protection against pregnancy, your birth control pills should be taken daily. Heres a helpful tip: taking your pills at the same time each day may help you to remember to take them regularly. If you accidentally miss a pill or two or start a new pack late, its possible your pills will not work as well. What should you do? First, take the missed pill as soon as you remember it, and then keep taking the rest of the pills as usual even if this means taking 2 pills in one day. If you miss more than 2 pills in a row, take the missed pill as soon as possible, leave any other missed pills in the pack, then finish the rest of the pack of pills. In this case, you should use another form of birth control, with your pills, like condoms, any time you have sex in the next seven days. Bedsider has a super helpful guide for protecting yourself from an accidental pregnancy if you miss a pill. They also have a free birth control reminder app if you want some help staying on top of your daily BC routine.
Most pill packs have reminder pills at the end of the pack. These pills have no active ingredients in them, so no need to worry if you miss any of them. Your doctor can confirm if your pills contain a week of reminder pills that do not impact pregnancy prevention if they are late or missed.
If you are worried about getting pregnant, remember you can always call us at SAY-CARA to discuss the best birth control options for you and your lifestyle.
When Should You Stop Using Birth Control
Donât stop until youâre ready to get pregnant. Your body doesnât need to time to âclearâ birth control hormones. In fact, itâs possible for you to conceive within a month or two of stopping most types. If you want to go off hormonal birth control but arenât ready to get pregnant, use another method, like condoms, until you are ready.
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Im Pregnant And I Dont Want To Be
First and foremost, take a deep breath and know were here for you. Many people face an unintended pregnancy at some point. You are not alone, and as many as 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in their reproductive lifetime. If think you want an abortion and arent sure which option is best for you, you can research abortion options here as well as learn more about the differences between the abortion pill and thein-office procedure. Call us anytime at SAY-CARA and well help you figure it out.
You Have Diarrhea Or Digestive Issues
Because the birth control pill is absorbed through the digestive tract, your body may not properly absorb the hormones in the pill if you have acute or chronic diarrhea. This means that you may not be adequately protected from becoming pregnant.
Certain digestive conditions may also affect your ability to properly absorb the hormones in the pill. For example, some reports indicate that people with Crohns disease have a higher risk of oral contraceptive failure due to the effects of this disease on nutrient absorption.
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What Are The Risks Of Continuing
Any hormonal drug that you take makes its way to the baby youre carrying. This includes the contraceptive pill. So while there dont seem to be any risks, its best to stop taking the pill once you learn of your pregnancy.
women with an IUD get pregnant each year, and the risk is highest within the first year after insertion. If youre the 1 in 100 women, youre probably wondering what happens if you keep your IUD.
The truth is that you may be facing . Theres no known increased risk of congenital abnormalities, but your risk of miscarriage and premature birth both go up.
A Few Reasons To Visit The Doctor
When youre choosing a form of birth control, a visit to the doctor for a checkup and evaluation can be very helpful for determining which birth control is right for you.
If you experience any unusual feelings or symptoms after you stop birth control, you may need to go back to the doctor for professional help. Signs to watch out for include dizziness, headaches, or nausea. Some people can stop taking contraceptives with no problems, but its also normal to experience some symptoms or effects when you stop.
A womans ovulation cycle after birth control should return to normal immediately after stopping birth control unless it was a shot. You can also ask your obstetrician about how to get pregnant after birth control, and they can provide you with information on expectations, useful tips, and even an evaluation.
Although its possible to immediately get pregnant after birth control, most couples dont conceive right away. However, 85% of couples conceive after a year of trying. After the year, you may want to visit your obstetrician, who can give you guidance or possibly refer you to a fertility specialist.
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What Are The Types Of Birth Control Pills
There are two different types of birth control pills. Both types contain hormones that prevent pregnancy.
- Combination pills contain estrogen and progestin.
- Progestin-only pills are also called the minipill. Theyre better for some women, such as those who are breastfeeding or have a history of blood clots and strokes and shouldnt take estrogen.
The pill comes in different dosing packets from 21-day pill packs to 90-day pill packs, to even 365 days of active pills. Traditionally, depending on the brand and dose, you take at least three weeks of active pills followed by two to seven days of hormone-free pills. This is called cyclical dosing. Most women have a menstrual period during the inactive pills. Some brands do not provide any inactive pills at all in the pack . With the 21-day packs a woman does not take any pills for a week. During this time, youll have your period, similar to what happens when taking the inactive, hormone-free pills.
Some formulations offer continuous dosing, which means you do not have any inactive pills, and a woman takes an active pill daily. Alternatively, extended cycle dosing is when inactive pills or breaks in the active pill regimen only occur three to four times per year. Skipping the inactive pills prevents menstruation. Your healthcare provider can discuss the best option for you.
Getting Pregnant With An Iud
IUDs are a very effective method of birth control, says Costescu. The copper IUDs failure rate is a mere 0.8 percent, while a hormonal IUD has a failure rate of just 0.2 percent. A copper IUD is immediately effective when placed, and the hormonal type is effective within five days after being placed, he explains. And, since you dont have to do anything after its in place, and youve had a follow-up to make sure it was inserted properly, theres no chance for user error.
The one risk is that over the five-year life of your IUD, there is a three to five percent chance it may be expelled by your body. If someone does notice they suddenly have heavy bleeding with clots with an IUD inside, that could be a sign that the IUDs been expelled, Black explains. If this happens, do a string check to make sure the IUD is still in place if you cant find the string, make an appointment with your health-care provider so they can make sure everything is where it should be and, in the meantime, use backup birth control, such as condoms.
If you suspect youre pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. If its positive, its important to see a health-care provider as soon as possible to get an ultrasound. Its an urgent matter because if you get pregnant with an IUD there is a higher chance that it will be an ectopic pregnancy, which means the embryo has implanted in one of your fallopian tubes rather than in your uterus, which can be dangerous, and needs to be treated right away.
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How Soon Can You Get Pregnant
This is a different question just because your fertility has returned doesnt mean pregnancy will happen right away.
This can be a really odd experience for someone who has spent years preventing pregnancy. You might assume that without birth control, you would have conceived immediatelybut thats not entirely accurate.
Once you stop contraceptives, you may conceive the very first fertile month, or you may need to try for up to a year. This is the same as for those who have not used any birth control.
What To Do If Youre Trying To Conceive
The way you come off your birth control pill can also vary if youre trying to conceive. Suddenly stopping the pill in the middle of the pack isnt a good idea, because it can alter your cycle. Instead, its best to finish the pack and let your body run through a normal menstrual cycle first.
One common misconception is that the pill adversely affects your fertility. The pill has no impact on your fertility it just might take a couple of months for your cycle to get back to normal. You may or may not get pregnant during the first cycle after you stop the pill. In fact, women who were recently on the pill have the same chances of getting pregnant as women who havent taken oral contraceptives.
Your doctor is your best source for advice for ensuring a healthy conception. They can advise on how to best come off the pill and talk to you about starting a prenatal vitamin before you try to conceive. They may also make recommendations about healthy eating, abstaining from alcohol, exercise, and more.
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