Q&A: When could I conceive after stopping birth control pills?
When could I conceive after stopping birth control pills?
The resumption of ovulation after going off the Pill (or the ring or the patch) isn’t totally predictable, but usually occurs within a month or two. So as soon as you don’t start your next pack, you are taking a chance of getting pregnant.
But are you also asking: When is it advisable to become pregnant after coming off the Pill? While we used to say you should wait several months, that wasn’t based on any proven risk to the pregnancy. In the days before widespread use of early ultrasound, we relied on the last menstrual period and regular ovulations to tell us how far along someone was. Since the first ovulation coming off of the Pill isn’t known precisely, it can be hard to identify exactly when you become pregnant. We relied on the last period to determine the due date, which led to inaccuracies.
This ambiguity can also be frustrating for those who want to get pregnant right away. Is your period late because you conceived, or because you haven’t yet resumed ovulating? If you know you are going to be obsessive, it may be better to use a barrier method of birth control for a few months so you can see how your cycles have resumed, rather than wondering every day if you are pregnant yet. But if you conceive immediately after coming off the Pill, you can take heart that it doesn’t cause a problem for the pregnancy. You will just need an ultrasound to determine the dating.
Remember, as you go through this change in your reproductive focus, to take folic acid, 400 micrograms each day, and to avoid medications and other substances that could put an embryo at risk. Many moms-to-be are not aware they are pregnant until the fetal organs have formed, and the opportunity to prevent birth defects has passed. For more information, check out www.marchofdimes.com.