2nd Jul 2024

A woman sitting on a bed holds birth control pills in one hand and a smartphone with a medication reminder app in the other.

For many women, taking birth control is an important part of the family planning process. However, if you’ve been taking birth control for a long time, you might wonder how it will affect your chances of conception. Luckily, taking birth control doesn’t affect long-term fertility.1

You will need to stop taking birth control prior to trying to conceive in order to get pregnant. Getting pregnant after birth control can look different for everyone and depends on factors like the type of birth control you are using and your individual hormones. 

Let's explore how long it typically takes to regain fertility after discontinuing various forms of birth control, so you can plan your journey effectively.

How Long After Birth Control Can You Get Pregnant?

There are many myths that circulate about pregnancy after contraception use. One of the most common misconceptions is that it takes several months for your hormones to readjust after taking birth control. However, this isn’t usually the case — it’s possible to get pregnant just one month2 after stopping birth control. If you’re not ready to get pregnant right after stopping birth control, it’s important to use another method of contraception in the meantime, such as condoms. 

The exact timeline of ovulation and pregnancy after taking birth control varies depending on your birth control method. For example, it takes much longer to start ovulating again after the Depo-Provera shot compared to other methods. 

When to Stop Birth Control to Get Pregnant

As highlighted above, the right time to stop taking birth control will depend largely on what method you’re using. Be sure to consult with your doctor before stopping birth control and trying to conceive. Your healthcare provider can offer more specific, personalized advice and help you plan for the future. 

Understanding the specifics of how different birth control methods impact your fertility timeline is crucial. Here's what you need to know about each method:

Birth Control Pills

Many women opt to use birth control pills for their accessibility and ease of use. Your menstrual cycle typically goes back to normal quickly after stopping birth control pills. Most women start ovulating again within one to three months,3 which means that it’s possible to get pregnant quickly. The majority of women get pregnant within a year of stopping birth control pills. 

If you’re taking a progestin-only pill, often called the minipill, you can get pregnant even faster. This is because the minipill does not stop you from ovulating. Instead, these pills make the lining of your uterus thinner so it cannot support a fertilized egg. Because this pill doesn’t stop you from ovulating,4 it’s possible to conceive just weeks after stopping birth control. In rare cases, you may even be able to conceive just a few days later. 


While birth control pills offer a quicker path to fertility restoration, the scenario changes when considering long-term methods like the IUD. 

It’s possible to get pregnant quickly after having an IUD removed. Most women start ovulating again within a month of having the IUD taken out. On average, women get pregnant 4.4 months5 after removal. The timeline for pregnancy is also similar for implants, which are hormonal birth control devices inserted into the upper arm. 

Patches and Rings

Patches and rings are both hormonal birth control devices that regulate your hormones through your skin. The patch is small, looks like a bandage, and can be worn on many different parts of the body, including your arms, legs, or stomach. The ring is a small, flexible device that is inserted vaginally. 

In terms of fertility after birth control, the process is very similar for both devices. Most women start ovulating again within one to three months,2 making it possible to get pregnant relatively quickly. 


Transitioning from the general predictability of birth control pills and IUDs, the injectable Depo-Provera introduces a more complex timeline for fertility restoration. 

Depo-Provera is an injectable form of birth control consisting of progestin, which helps prevent you from ovulating. Shots are given approximately every 12 weeks, which makes it a very low-maintenance birth control option. Getting pregnant after taking Depo-Provera is very different from other birth control methods. Because this shot is designed to last longer than other forms of birth control, it can take anywhere from 10 to 18 months for your menstrual cycle to return to normal. This means you may not start ovulating and get pregnant for nearly a year6 after stopping Depo-Provera. 

Because it takes so long to get pregnant after stopping Depo-Provera, it’s not right for everyone. Your doctor will talk to you about this process before you start taking the shot so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Getting Pregnant After Birth Control: FAQs

With the basics covered, you might still have questions about the nuances of conceiving after stopping birth control. Let’s address some frequently asked questions:

Do I need to get my period to get pregnant?

It’s possible to get pregnant even if your period hasn’t started yet after taking birth control. While getting a period is a sign that your menstrual cycle has returned to normal, it’s not necessary7 to get pregnant. 

This is because ovulation happens before your period in the menstrual cycle. Also, many women with irregular periods still experience ovulation. Ovulation can happen independently of your uterus shedding its lining. 

What are some tips on getting pregnant after Depo-Provera?

It takes time to get pregnant after taking Depo-Provera. If you’re interested in starting a family, it’s important to stop taking the shot at least a year in advance. 

In the meantime, you can focus on your overall health and wellness to boost your fertility. Factors like eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and keeping your stress levels down can all have a positive effect on your future fertility. 

How soon after taking out NuvaRing can I get pregnant?

It’s possible to get pregnant fairly quickly after taking your Nuvaring out. In most cases, women start ovulating within one to three months. 

Is getting pregnant after IUD hard?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not inherently difficult to get pregnant after having your IUD removed. Most women start ovulating within the first few months of removal and can get pregnant successfully within a year. 

What are the chances of getting pregnant the first month off of the birth control pill?

It’s highly possible that you could get pregnant within a month of stopping the birth control pill, and 65 to 85% of women8 are able to get pregnant within a year of stopping. Because of this, it’s important to use an alternate form of birth control if you’ve stopped taking the pill and aren’t ready for pregnancy yet. 

How long should you be off birth control before trying for a baby?

With most birth control methods, it’s possible to get pregnant within just a few months of stopping. You should be prepared for the possibility that you could conceive quickly, although it doesn’t happen for everyone. It’s also important to note that everyone’s body reacts differently to birth control, so your timeline for conception could look very different from your friends or family members. 

What to Do If You’re Struggling with Fertility After Birth Control

As highlighted earlier, it can take up to a year to get pregnant after stopping birth control, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t conceive right away. If it’s been more than a year and you are still struggling to get pregnant, you may want to consult with your doctor. They can help you identify potential causes of your fertility struggles and find solutions. Focusing on your overall health can also enhance your fertility, with actions like taking supplements, exercising, and improving your sleep all contributing positively.

Boost Your Fertility with FertilitySmart

As you navigate the transition from birth control to conception, remember that each journey is unique. Patience and proactive health management remain your best strategies. Facing challenges? Don't hesitate to seek personalized advice from your healthcare provider. Additionally, for support that’s tailored to enhance reproductive health, consider incorporating fertility supplements for women and male fertility supplements from FertilitySmart into your daily routine. Our supplements are designed with essential nutrients to boost your chances of conception. Embrace this new phase with confidence and support — explore FertilitySmart today and take a decisive step towards expanding your family.


1 Mikkelsen, E. M., et al. “Pre-Gravid Oral Contraceptive Use and Time to Pregnancy: A Danish Prospective Cohort Study.” Human Reproduction, vol. 28, no. 5, (20 Feb. 2013), pp. 1398–1405, https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/28/5/1398/940795

2 Girum, Tadele, and Abebaw Wasie. “Return of Fertility after Discontinuation of Contraception: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Contraception and Reproductive Medicine, vol. 3, no. 1, (23 July 2018), www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6055351/

3 Nall, Rachel. “Getting Pregnant Right after Stopping the Pill: All You Need to Know.” www.medicalnewstoday.com, (21 Nov. 2017), www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320097#considerations-when-stopping-the-pill

4 Mayo Clinic. “Minipill (Progestin-Only Birth Control Pill) - Mayo Clinic.” Mayoclinic.org, (13 Jan. 2023), www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/minipill/about/pac-20388306

5 Gupta, B. K., et al. “Return of Fertility in Various Types of IUD Users.” International Journal of Fertility, vol. 34, no. 2, (1 Mar. 1989), pp. 123–125, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2565315/

6 Pardthaisong, Tieng, et al. “RETURN of FERTILITY after DISCONTINUATION of DEPOT MEDROXYPROGESTERONE ACETATE and INTRA-UTERINE DEVICES in NORTHERN THAILAND.” The Lancet, vol. 315, no. 8167, (Mar. 1980), pp. 509–512, https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(80)92765-8

7 Pisacreta, Emily. “Can a Female Who Has Never Had a Menstrual Cycle Get Pregnant?” Plannedparenthood.org, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, (7 Sept. 2011), www.plannedparenthood.org/blog/can-a-female-who-has-never-had-a-menstrual-cycle-get-pregnant

8 Gayatri, Maria, et al. “Pregnancy Resumption Following Contraceptive Discontinuation: Hazard Survival Analysis of the Indonesia Demographic and Health Survey Data 2007, 2012 and 2017.” PLOS ONE, vol. 17, no. 2, (23 Feb. 2022), p. e0264318, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264318.