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Ask The Doctor: How Long Before I Get Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control?
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  • One of the reasons women are hesitant to take birth control is because they are worried that it will affect their ability to get pregnant when they finally decide to have a baby. But even if you’ve been on birth control for a long time, you can rest easy as long as you have no existing fertility issues, according to Dr. Mariel S. Nevado-Gammad, MD, an ob-gyne and a fellow at the Philippine Obstetrical Gynecological Society in a previous article for SmartParenting.com.ph.

    How long does it take to get pregnant?

    If you are taking birth control pills, most patients will get pregnant as soon as they stop using it, says Dr. Jennifer Co, MD, FPOGS, an ob-gyne and infectious disease specialist who holds clinic at the FEU-NRMF Medical Center. “But it depends din sa individual using it. ‘Di pare-pareho,” she says. “Some patients even get pregnant while taking pills, because they’ve missed taking it.”

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    Those taking a combination pill — pills that contain both estrogen and progestin — may get pregnant within one to three months after stopping, according to WebMD. But most women will be able to get pregnant within a year.

    For women on a progestin-only pill or the “minipill,” it’s possible to get pregnant days or weeks after quitting. Because it thins the lining of your uterus, you can get pregnant as soon as you stop and the lining starts to thicken again. Minipills do not stop ovulation like combination pills do, explains WebMD.

    If you’re using an IUD or intrauterine device, you might be able to get pregnant when you have it removed. Both types of IUD’s — hormonal and copper — pregnancy-preventing effects wear off quickly after removal. “With both hormonal and copper IUDs, women will go back to a normal state of fertility within a week or so of having them removed,” says Dr. Audrey Lance, M.D., an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital, in an interview with Parents.

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    What birth control delays pregnancy after stopping?

    There is one type of contraceptive that can make it harder to conceive even if you’ve decided to stop getting them. Injectables can delay pregnancy at least six to nine months or even a year, according to Dr. Co.

    Like birth control pills, injectables use hormones to prevent ovulation. But it contains a higher dose of the hormone progestin and women receive a shot every three months, “which means that the medication hangs out in the system longer that it does with the pill,” shares ob-gyn Glenmarie Matthews to Parents. Because of this, it might take some time before the effects wear off and for women to get pregnant.

    If you’re hiyang to implants, it might be a better alternative. Dr. Matthews tells Parents that “it’s also directly reversible after removal and most people ovulate within three months.”

    If you’ve stopped your birth control and it’s still taking a while for you to get pregnant, don’t panic. Have yourself checked and talk to a doctor for recommendations on how to maximize your chances of conceiving. “It’s normal for healthy couples who have no infertility issues to take up to a year to become pregnant,” says Dr. Lance.

    Ready to get pregnant? Click here for advice from real moms on what worked for them!

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