Getting pregnant AFTER the pill

So many of the young women I see at the clinic in their thirties have gone on the pill at fifteen, and don’t come off until they’re in their 30s and starting to try for a baby. It’s very easy for them to get quite panicked about their cycles and their fertility returning. So today, I want to answer the common questions that I get asked about coming off the pill.

As always, here is your cheat sheet so that you have all the information to hand

“I’m thinking about coming off the pill do I need to let it go out of my system for the next three months before I start trying for a baby?” The answer’s no. When you first come off the pill you should try for a baby as soon as you can, because some studies show that your fertility is better in the early months when you first come off the pill. Don’t waste time letting it go out of your system.

“How long will it take for my period and my cycle to return when I come off the pill?”  Although many women can get pregnant quite quickly, for others there are delays and it’s not unusual to have cycle disturbances for six to seven months, and cycle irregularities as well.

“Am I more likely to have polycystic ovaries when I come off the pill?” This is quite a difficult question to answer, because so many women have been on the pill for 10 to 15 years. When you’ve been on the pill that long, sometimes it can mask certain underlying factors that you don’t know that you’ve got. Some women may have polycystic ovaries when they come off the pill, because that would most likely be because they had it anyway but without realizing.

“If I’m trying to chart my fertility following the pill what can I expect?” When you’ve been on the pill for such a long time, a woman isn’t aware of what her nature cycles are. It does take time to get used to charting and noticing secretions and hormonal changes. Just get used to knowing your body and bear in mind it can take up to seven cycles for your ovulation to return to normal.

“When shall I come off the pill? I’m thinking of trying for a baby?”  If you’re in your mid-thirties and you’re thinking about baby, come off the pill straight-away and try, because on average, it can take eight to twelve months to conceive. A miscarriage isn’t uncommon. It’s really important that the minute you start thinking about having a baby you don’t put off coming off of the pill.

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