Pregnancy & Parenting

Stop Taking Birth Control Pills

birth control pills

You’re thinking about going off the pill. Whether it’s the cost, the inconvenience of having to take a birth control pill every day, or the desire to have a baby, this decision requires some planning — not just tossing away the pack. Getting off a birth control pill is easier than taking one. However, you have to clearly identify the reasons for discontinuing the birth control pill. This is very true if you are keen on starting a family as some prudent advice from the doctor can help you achieve conception fast.

Side effects of birth control pills include the following:

  1. Headache
  2. Dizziness
  3. Spotting, breakthrough bleeding
  4. Breast tenderness
  5. Weight gain
  6. Decreased sex drive (the irony)
  7. Nausea
  8. Mood swings, depression, irritability
  9. Yeast infections
  10. Blood clots
  11. Migraines
  12. Decreased lubrication, painful intercourse
  13. Altered levels of gut bacteria
  14. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  15. Increased risk of cervical cancer

Simple Steps To Stop Taking Birth Control Pills

Ovulation May Take Time

Since your body has been bombarded with hormones all these months, it will take time for your ovulation to resume. It could take anywhere between 4-6 weeks or even earlier. So you may not conceive immediately. On an average, women take at least 3 months to conceive after discontinuing with the pill.

Schedule An Appointment

It is very important to schedule an appointment with your doctor so that you can discuss you reasons and options for discontinuing the birth control pill. If you plan to switch over to another brand, your doctor is the best person to advice you. If you plan to have a baby, then again you will need all the advice for good prenatal health.

Finish Your Cycle

If your doctor has given you a prescription of 3 months, finish the quota of pills for 3 months before you decide to discontinue. It is more prudent and cost efficient. It is also not wise to discontinue pills in the middle of the cycle as this can lead to some unpleasant side effects.

Plans For A Pregnancy

If you plan to get pregnant, then try to have active sexual intercourse at least on every alternate day to maximize your chances. Some doctors recommend that you give yourself another 4-6 weeks before you try to get pregnant. This time period will help to get rid of the residual hormones in the body.

In the meantime, it makes sense to use a barrier form of birth control. The reason behind this is that the hormones are said to harm the foetus if still present in the body. With the above steps, you can easily get off your birth control and plan ahead.


As soon as you stop taking the pill, your periods will resume within a week or so. The bleeding may be mild or slightly heavy but you should not be overly concerned as this is normal. The bleeding will subside in a few days.

Prevention of a Pregnancy

If you do not plan to get pregnant but wish to stop the pill, make sure that you immediately switch over to another reliable form of birth control, as you can easily get pregnant within two weeks of discontinuing the pill. Staying off the pill for too long without another reliable form of birth control is not safe.

Expect That Menstruation Will Be Irregular

Your menstrual cycle will also be a little irregular after discontinuing with the pill. You may experience light or heavy bleeding. This of course will take time to normalize.

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