I want to get pregnant—when do I stop birth control?
Clinically reviewed by Lisa Czanko MD, MPH
So you’ve decided you want to try to conceive, congratulations! You probably have a lot of questions, like "when should I stop taking birth control to get pregnant?" or "how long does it take to get pregnant after stopping birth control?" – and that’s okay! Big life decisions, such as adding to your family, should take some research and planning.
But before you go cold-turkey on your birth control regimen, we’ve got some research you might be interested in regarding how long it takes to get pregnant after stopping birth control.
We’ve rounded up some top-asked questions to help guide you through the beginning stages of your journey to pregnancy.
When should I stop taking birth control to get pregnant?
Don’t stop until you’re absolutely ready! Before you get pregnant, your body has to resume ovulation. So, when do you ovulate after stopping birth control? According to the NIH, if you’re taking oral contraceptives, ovulation can begin as soon as you stop taking the pill, which means it may be possible to become pregnant before your next menstrual cycle. However, although ovulation can start once you stop taking the pill, that doesn’t mean your cycle will instantly go back to normal. For some people, that takes around 1-2 months after stopping birth control.
Vaginal rings and contraceptive patches have similar effects when you stop using them. Once removed the delivery of hormones is stopped, so it's possible to become pregnant after their removal.
Wondering how long it takes to get pregnant after stopping birth control? That length of time will vary by person, so talk to your doctor for information that's specific to you.
How can I prepare my body for pregnancy?
Once you've decided when you should stop taking birth control to get pregnant, you can turn your attention to other ways to support your fertility. There are many ways that you can prepare your body for pregnancy before stopping your birth control. Certain dietary changes and behavioral habits can have a positive effect on your ability to conceive.
Stopping smoking, getting into a regular exercise routine, and limiting alcohol have all been proven to help boost conception.
Obesity can put you at risk for certain complications during pregnancy, so it's important to consult with your doctor about what a healthy weight might look like for you and your health.
We know, it all seems pretty basic, but just getting started on any of these things can help your body prepare for pregnancy. That way, once you're ready to stop taking birth control to try and get pregnant, you're in the best position possible for you and your family.
Are there any prenatal supplements I should be aware of?
Yep! The NIH strongly recommends that anyone who is trying to conceive should be taking prenatal vitamins containing 400 micrograms of folic acid to reduce the risks of abnormalities in your baby. Prenatal vitamins are packed with essential vitamins that you and your baby will need during the length of pregnancy. By getting a jumpstart on these vitamins, you are preparing your body to carry your baby.
Fun fact! You can also find folic acid in foods like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and chickpeas!
Try our new Prenatal Multivitamin!
What else do I need to know?
As important as it is to care for your physical body during this journey, it's also important to get mentally healthy. Making sure you feel as good as possible is important when considering a life change, such as adding to your family. Hormonal changes can also play a role in mental health, so make sure you’re talking to your doctor, sharing your reproductive plan, and asking questions like "when do you ovulate after stopping birth control?" as you prepare for pregnancy.
Whether now is the right time to try to conceive, 3 months from now, or 3 years from now, it's always helpful to have all the facts about when you should stop taking birth control to get pregnant. We’re here to help!
This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.
If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.
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“Other Contraception and Birth Control Faqs.” Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/contraception/more_information/other-faqs.
“Can You Promote a Healthy Pregnancy before Getting Pregnant?” Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preconceptioncare/conditioninfo/before-pregnancy.