Nearly 62% of women of reproductive age use some form of contraception to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancy, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
But when a woman who’s on hormonal birth control decides that she’s ready to start trying for a baby, she often isn’t sure how long it will take for the hormones to work their way out of her system.
According to Dr. Shruti Malik of Shady Grove Fertility in Virginia, most women should expect to bounce back and experience normal cycles again a month or two after going off of birth control.
“Most of the time, women go back to having regular cycles pretty quickly after stopping a birth control pill,” Malik told INSIDER. “In some instances, it may take a couple of months to get back.”
However, certain women may take a bit longer to go back to having regular cycles. That’s because women who have been on birth control for a while can develop thinner uterine lining.
“So a woman may take a few months to build up that lining before she has her period again,” Malik said.
And after a woman is back to having regular cycles, she should generally expect to get pregnant within six months if she’s actively trying. That’s because there is a 15% to 20% likelihood of conception per cycle for most couples.
Therefore, the doctor says a woman shouldn’t go off birth control before she’s actually ready to start trying for a baby. The body generally doesn’t need much time to bounce back, and she could end up getting pregnant right off the bat, Malik said.
“In most cases, a month or two months is not going to make a significant difference,” the doctor added.
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