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Fertility and contraception

Some people worry about the effect of contraception on their future fertility. However, studies show that fertility can return as soon as you stop taking most types of contraception. Here we discuss the different types of contraception and when you might need to visit your GP. 

 

Does contraception impact future fertility? 

The short answer is no. Studies have shown that using contraception does not affect future fertility rates. However, some types of contraception can mask underlying problems you already have, like irregular periods. 

 

When does fertility return after stopping contraception?

  • Combined pill and progesterone-only pill
    There is no evidence to suggest a delay in fertility returning after stopping the pill, hence women should be aware they could get pregnant immediately on stopping. 
  • Hormonal coil
    There is no delay in return to fertility after removing a hormonal coil (Mirena). However, it needs to be removed by a specially trained doctor or nurse and the waiting times can vary, so be sure to check what this might be in your area. 
  • Copper coil
    It is possible to get pregnant straight away after the copper coil is removed. However, it needs to be removed by a specially trained doctor or nurse and the waiting times can vary, so be sure to check what this might be in your area.
  • Injection
    It can take up to 1 year for your fertility to return to normal after you stop taking Depo-Provera or Sayana Press, so it may not be suitable if you want to have a baby in the near future.
  • Implant
    Women can have the progestogen-only implant removed at any time, and their natural fertility can return very quickly. 

 

When will my period return after stopping contraception?

While fertility returns quickly after stopping most forms of contraception – it can take a while for your periods to come back. Most women will have a period around 2 to 4 weeks after stopping, but this depends on what your cycle is normally like. Your periods may be irregular when you first come off contraception, and you should allow up to 3 months for your natural menstrual cycle to fully re-establish itself. If they don’t return to normal within the first few months, you should visit your GP.

What contraception should I use if planning to conceive in the near future?

If you are planning to get pregnant in the near future, you may want to consider non-hormonal forms of contraception (like condoms). Speak with your doctor about what type is most suitable for you. 

 

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