Coming off the pill

Taking the pill won’t harm your ability to conceive, but it may take a little while for your fertility to return to normal after you stop taking the pill.

When will I be fertile again?

Once you come off the pill, your periods could start anything from a couple of weeks to a few months later. It may take a while for them to become regular again. You will ovulate roughly two weeks before your first period.

You’ll probably get some light bleeding a few days after you stop taking the pill but this isn’t a proper period. It’s just the normal ‘withdrawal bleeding’ you get if you leave a gap between packets of pills each month.

How should I stop taking the pill?

If you are taking the combined pill it’s best to wait until the end of your current packet. That way you will get a withdrawal bleed as usual and your next bleed will be a proper period. If you stop in the middle of a packet, you may have some irregular bleeding for a while. If you are taking the mini (progesterone only) pill, you can stop whenever you like.

How long does it take to get pregnant?

Although some women get pregnant almost as soon as they come off the pill, most doctors recommend you have at least one proper period before you start trying for a baby. This is mainly because it allows them to calculate an accurate due date. Don’t forget to start taking folic acid as soon as you stop taking the pill. You may want to think about stopping smoking and cutting down on alcohol, too.

Don’t worry if you get pregnant soon after coming off the pill or mini pill it won’t harm your baby in any way.

Can the pill affect my fertility?

No – although it may take a month or two for you to start ovulating and having periods again, there’s no evidence that the pill will have any lasting effects on your fertility.