Getting pregnant > Considerations before conception > Stopping contraception > Coming off contraception - what you need to know

Coming off contraception - what you need to know

What you need to know about coming off contraception to get pregnant whether you're taking the pill, depo provera or another form of contraceptive.
Once you and your partner decide to start trying for a baby it can be tempting to drop everything and simply start racing down the baby track all guns blazing. However, depending on the type of contraception you're currently using, sometimes a little patience can be necessary before you start trying to conceive. We explain more.....

The rhythm method

If you've been using natural fertility charting methods as contraception you'll simply need to reverse what you're doing, focusing on having sex around your most fertile time rather than abstaining. You're already likely to be very in tune with your body's natural rhythm so pinpointing ovulation is something you're going to be a dab hand at. However, there is always the option of simply having regular sex and seeing how things go rather than meticulously charting your cycle as this can help to take the pressure off.


As condoms don't have a direct impact on your fertility you simply have to stop using them when you decide to start trying for a baby. The same practice applies to other 'barrier methods' of contraception such as the diaphragm and cervical cap.

The combined pill

As the combined pill works by altering levels of the fertilty hormones in your body so as to suspend ovulation it can take a couple of months for your body to regain its natural rhythm. For this reason, if you're thinking about trying to conceive its recommended that you complete your current pill cycle and then use an alternate form of non-invasive contraception such as condoms until you begin to experience regular periods again. While it is possible to come off the pill and start trying to get pregnant straight away, waiting for a couple of months will help your body to flush the synthetic hormones and restart your menstrual cycle. Dating your pregnancy will also be easier this way.

The mini pill

As the mini pill only contains a synthetic form of progesterone (and not oestrogen like the combined pill) it is possible to stop taking it mid-way through a cycle and start trying to conceive straight away. However, it is generally recommended that you hold off getting started on the baby track until you experience one 'normal' period after coming off the mini pill as this makes dating your pregnancy a whole lot easier.

Depo Provera

The contraceptive effects of your last hormone injection will last up to 12 weeks, after this it can take between 3 and 6 months for your body to regain its natural equilibrium and your level of fertility to return to normal, however it can take longer than this for some women. For this reason it is recommended that you use an alternative form of contraception until you begin to experience regular periods again.


Neither the copper coil or progesterone IUS are thought to have a long term impact on your fertility as for most women they simply prevent fertilisation and implantation rather than ovulation. For this reason it is theoretically possible to become pregnant soon after you have the intrauterine device removed although this does vary from woman to woman. You will need to make a visit to your health care provider to have the IUD removed and they may advise you to wait for a month or so until you experience a 'normal' period before you start trying to conceive.

The contraceptive patch

As the contraceptive patch affects the balance of fertility hormones in your body it is recommended that you complete your current patch cycle and wait until you experience a normal period before starting to try for a baby. However, just as with the combined pill you may find that it takes a month or two for your menstrual cycle to settle back into its natural rhythm.

Whatever type of contraception you're currently on, or even if you've already started trying to conceive, it can be a good idea to visit your health care provider for a pre-natal check up before you fall pregnant so that you can be confident that your body is in the best shape possible.

It may reassure you to know that 80% of couples conceive within a year of starting to try for a baby. So, even if your cycle takes a little while to settle down after coming off a hormonal form of contraception, in all likelihood you'll be well on your way to parenthood by this time next year.

Whether you're simply thinking about life with a baby or have been trying to conceive why not visit the AskBaby forums to find advice, support and friendship from others in a similar situation.

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Forgot your

I had my implant removed in January (during a period) and haven't bled since, got a lot of early signs of pregnancy but getting negative test results. Done research and there are loads of similar stories but also some where pregnancy has occurred a few weeks after removal. Is anyone else experiencing this??
by tryin4baby 24th Mar 2011, 8:43am
Hi, i had my implant removed on the 18th of January 2011 and i must say i was terrified
As i dnt like needles and they had to give me one to numb the area. I was lay on the bed
with tears rolling down my face, the woman who was removing it was very reasurring and told me
It wouldnt hurt. The next minute i just felt abit off pressure and it was out. I couldnt believed id
Got so worked up for nothing. Straight after i had the depo provera injection and honestly that hurt more.

Hope your implant removal goes smooth

:-) x
by vikki050709 16th Mar 2011, 9:31am
I'm having my implant removed on the 18th of Feb. I've heard its traumatic and I'm such a whimp! I would love to hear stories (nice unpainful ones!) of anyone who has had an implant removed??
by sarahfossey86 10th Feb 2011, 8:48am
I came off my pill 7 weeks ago after being on it for nearly 8 years I bleed for a couple of days after coming off but have had nothing since. I have taken 2 tests but saying negative. I have been feeling really weird getting abdomnal pain and a sore head all the time and just exhausted. Not sure if its because im thinking to much about becoming pregnant or if this is normal when coming off the pill.
by haddow1980 17th Jan 2011, 2:43pm
i have had y implant out about a moth ago and i still havent had a period, the implant nerly stopped my periods altogether, my parnter and i are desparte to hae a baby, but with my periods not starting its just not working what do i do?
by loopyllou 12th Aug 2010, 10:27am
after i had my daughter on 5th april 20009 i got put on the depo i was on that for a few months but that didnt seem to be working as i kept bleeding all the and i went on to The contraceptive patch and i stopped using that 2 half months ago since then i had one normal period then a week after that i was bleeding none stop is this normal. me and my partner is trying for a baby, i have been putting on weight but i took 2 home pregnantce test both were neg.
by SamanthaManser 11th Jun 2010, 5:38pm
hello, I wonder if anyone knows what is a normal time between coming off the pill and your first normal period. came off pill 1st December had period and now nothing has happened since then (Jan, Feb) is this normal ??? (3 test all Neg)
by summerclaire 14th May 2010, 3:59pm
I finished my last pills on 28Th Sep ...all ok Period received on 01.09 ...but nothing since .. doctor confirmed all ok just need to wait ...starting to get very impatient as lam not sure when lam ovulation and when is the best time to try.

Found out last week l was expecting 7 weeks ...whoo hooo

Had some bad news ...started to bleed at en weeks after a ultra scan l found out l miscarriage ..still very hard to except ..looking forward to what the future will bring to us .
by Mel1983 14th May 2010, 3:47pm
i used Depo provera for the first time it did not stop my period it was in September 2008 so i did not go back for the injection in November and my period were normal until February 2009 until now i did not see my period what would be the cause ? i ve tried the pregnancy test at home and i tested negative
by nhlanhla 27th Mar 2009, 9:27am
i am due to come of the mirena coil on monday, if advised to wait a month so i experience a normal period, does that mean we have to use condoms? I would prefer to have the coil out and just let nature take its course not prevent any possible conception with a condom. Any advise?
by geministar 11th Jun 2008, 8:45am