Becoming pregnant

Written by    Last updated: September 12, 2007

Having used contraception does not normally affect your chances of conceiving, although it is generally recommended that you allow at least three cycles to pass before you start trying in earnest…

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Find out how you can improve your chances of becoming pregnant once you come off your chosen contraceptive method…

Having used contraception does not normally affect your chances of conceiving, although it is generally recommended that you allow at least three cycles to pass before you start trying in earnest. However, if timing is all‐important there are ways to calculate the best time to try and conceive although, none of these are 100% reliable.

Contraceptive pill

Research has shown that 80% of all women who have never had a baby and 90% of those who have will conceive within one year of stopping the pill. Also, the length of time you are on the pill has no effect on your fertility. A mere 1% of women do not restart periods after coming off the pill and have difficulty in conceiving. This percentage is the same as in women who have not taken the pill.

For some women ovulation occurs immediately after stopping the pill whereas for others several weeks may go by before the normal menstrual cycle restarts. If you are one of the rare percentage of women (1%) whose periods do not return within three months it is necessary to visit your doctor. Treatment is usually very simple, requiring a ‘fertility pill’. Fewer women still, may require stronger drugs to stimulate their ovaries.

However, some women seem to be more fertile after stopping the pill and can fall pregnant straight away, but it is normally recommended that you wait at least three clear months before trying to conceive. It seems that the only reason for this is that it makes it easier to calculate the expected delivery date, but with the very precise ways of measuring the early progress of pregnancy using ultrasound, it doesn’t really matter.

The coil (IUD)

There is no reason why you should not start trying for a baby as soon as the coil is removed. The number of women getting pregnant afterwards is no different to those who have never used this form of contraception.

Injectable hormones

This method of contraception is considered to be very safe and convenient, in that it only has to be repeated once every three months. However, whilst it is being used there is the possibility of weight gain and irregular periods. Some women even stop menstruating altogether while it is being used. Also, it can take anything up to a year to return to normal fertility after stopping the injections.

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