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Birth Control: Getting Started and Best Practices

If I want to stop taking birth control, what do I do? How soon after stopping does pregnancy prevention end?

Last updated on September 1, 2020

You can stop taking your birth control pills or remove your patch or ring at any time, though we recommend consulting with a doctor first. Expect to have a period or some spotting after you stop taking your birth control. Some people prefer to stop their birth control at the end of their birth control cycle, so they don't have a period in the middle of their cycle.

As soon as you stop taking your pills or remove your patch or ring, it will be possible for you to get pregnant. However, some women experience a prolonged return to ovulatory cycles after long-term pill use. If your period does not return within 3 months of discontinuing the pill, and you are trying to conceive, make an appointment with your gynecologist or a fertility specialist.

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