When to Stop Birth Control Before Getting Pregnant?

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Ellen Fetters by Ellen Fetters | Last Updated: April 22nd, 2021

You may have been using birth control for years, but now you’re trying for a baby, you might be wondering when to stop birth control before getting pregnant?

In this post, we take a look at when you should stop, how long it takes to conceive once you stop and discuss factors that limit your chances, even when you’ve stopped birth control.

When to Stop Birth Control Before Getting Pregnant? 1

When To Stop Birth Control Before Getting Pregnant

It might sound obvious but as soon as you plan on trying for a baby you should stop your birth control.

Yet, while it’s true that it’s possible to fall pregnant within weeks of stopping your birth control, this isn’t always the case.

This is where you need to understand a little bit more about how birth control works.

A Quick Overview on Birth Control

Birth control works to stop your body from ovulating, the process of your body releasing an egg.

With no egg available for the sperm to fertilize, it’s impossible for conception to occur.

Different Birth Control Methods Affects How Long It Takes To Get Pregnant

Once you stop birth control, your body will begin to release eggs again meaning fertility can take place.

In reality though, this isn’t always the case and will depend on the type of birth control you’ve been using.

Let’s take a look at them now…

Sidenote: If you’re looking for a great book to read before getting pregnant, checkout “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler, MPH.

Studies into Fertility Once Birth Control is Stopped

There have been many well documented studies into the pregnancy within one year after stopping birth control based on the different contraceptive methods.

Below, the data shows how fertility return rates..

Method % Pregnant Within 1 Year
Birth Control Pill 72%-94%
Condom / Barrier 91%
Progestin 70%-95%
Natural Family Planning 92%
IUD 71%-92%

The Bottom Line

Once you start to plan for a baby, don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins as it’s never too early to start them.

As you’ve seen above, most methods will see your fertility return within a month but it can then take another few months for you to conceive.

This means the best time when to stop birth control before getting pregnant is as soon as you decide to try for a baby.

Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice and Health Visitor. In 2017 she left nursing to launch Parenting Click with the aim of helping parents level up their skills and build better families.