Are you ready to have a baby? The first step is to stop taking contraceptives (birth control).
For women using hormonal contraceptives, conception may take a little longer than expected.
Women using oral contraceptives (birth control pills) will ovulate and have their menstrual period within four to six weeks after they stop taking the pills. Some women can get pregnant immediately, but it can take others months before they successfully conceive. It just depends on when your body begins to ovulate again. (Oral contraception work by preventing ovulation; thickening your cervical mucus, so that sperm has a harder time reaching the uterus; and thinning out the lining of your uterus, so that a fertilized egg cannot attach.)
Doctors recommend that women on the pill finish one complete cycle of pills before stopping. This will prevent any irregular bleeding that may occur. To help date your pregnancy, it’s best if you wait until you’ve had one normal period before you try to conceive.
If you happen to get pregnant immediately after stopping the birth control pill, don’t freak out. This won’t hurt your baby or your pregnancy. The same holds true if you happen to get pregnant while on the pill.
Birth Control Vaginal Ring
The birth control vaginal ring (NuvaRing is the brand name) is a hormonal contraceptive that releases the same hormones (estrogen and progestin) that are present in the birth control pill. It prevents ovulation, thickens your cervical mucus, and thins the lining of your uterus.
After you stop using the vaginal ring, you may ovulate within a few days, or it may take a few months before you ovulate. For most women, their menstrual cycles return to normal within one or two months after they stop using the vaginal ring. Sometimes, women may have no periods or irregular periods for up to six months. In this case, pregnancy is possible but it may be more difficult to figure out when you ovulated.
The Depo-Provera shot is a birth control method that releases the hormone progestin into your body. Like the other hormonal birth control methods, it prevents ovulation from occurring. You are protected against pregnancy for up to 14 weeks, but you must get the shot every 12 weeks to protect against pregnancy. When you get these birth control shots, you may have irregular periods or no periods at all. After a year of Depo-Provera shots, half of all women stop having periods.
Because the Depo-Provera protects against pregnancy for 14 weeks, you will not get pregnant during this length of time. When you stop receiving the injections, it will take three to four months before you have the possibility of conceiving. For some women, they cannot conceive until one or two years after they stop getting the injections. (This long time period seems unrelated to how long you’ve been receiving the injections).
Intrauterine Device (IUD) for Birth Control
An intrauterine device (IUD) is another hormonal birth control method that a doctor inserts into your uterus. It works by damaging or killing off sperm; thickening the mucus in your cervix; and thinning the lining of your uterus so that a fertilized egg cannot properly attach. Your normal fertility will return to normal once you have the IUD removed.
Unfortunately, if you happen to conceive while the IUD is in place, you have a very high risk of miscarriage or preterm birth. (IUDs do not cause birth defects, thankfully).
Contraceptive Patch (Ortho Evra)
Ortho Evra is an FDA approved contraceptive patch that releases estrogen and progestin into your bloodstream to prevent ovulation from taking place. Like other hormonal contraceptives, the patch thickens your cervical mucus so that sperm cannot reach your egg.
After you stop using the contraceptive patch, it may take several months before you begin to ovulate and your menstrual cycle returns to normal.