Having taught human sexuality classes for years and having worked in health clinics, I have been asked many times whether it’s harder to get pregnant after a woman stops taking the birth control pill.
The idea that it’s harder for a woman to get pregnant after stopping the birth control pill is a myth. The hormones that are in birth control pills leave a woman’s body soon after she stops taking them, and it is possible for her to become pregnant within the month after she stops taking hormonal birth control. A woman’s fertility is not affected be having taken the pill in the past.
That said, you may sometimes hear about doctors advising women to “wait a few months” to actively try to get pregnant after stopping the birth control pill. This is not because one cannot become pregnant after discontinuing pill use; rather, it is often because it can take a few months for a woman to become familiar with her post-pill menstrual cycle (i.e., how many days are in a cycle, when she is ovulating) and it can be easier and more relaxing to “try” to get pregnant when one is feeling more comfortable, confident and relaxed about one’s cycle and pregnancy attempts.
If you have questions about your birth control choices or your attempts to get pregnant, please check in with your healthcare provider.
Read about more birth control myths (and a few “can you get pregnant if…?”) questions in previous MSP blog posts by clicking here. You can also learn some basic facts about birth control pills from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
[Image via rent-a-moose, thanks to Flickr Creative Commons.]