By Dr Rita Bakshi
An increased career orientation among young couples has often led to a compromise in family planning. During their prime fertile years, the libido is also generally higher and women generally use birth control to avoid conception. However, after prolonged use of birth control, a woman might not be able conceive immediately.
It can take a few months or even years for the prospective mother to regain her fertility levels. Using birth control doesn’t make the woman infertile, but the experience of repossessing fertility would vary from person to person and the method of contraceptive used.
For fertility levels to be recouped, it is essential that a woman start ovulating regularly, along with the return of embryo friendly uterine lining and productive cervical mucus.
In cases where couples use protection like condoms, diaphragms or sponges, they can stop using these when trying to conceive. However, contributing factors like increasing age, hormonal imbalances, sedentary lifestyles and insufficient diet might have an effect and can delay the process of fertilisation.
Birth Control Patches and Vaginal Rings:
For women who take birth control patches and vaginal rings, their fertility is generally recovered after one to three months. This can fluctuate because of several other factors. For some women, the potency levels return as soon as they stop using these methods, but for others, it may take a month or so for ovulation to begin again.
Birth Control Pills:
These oral contraceptives pills generally prevent the egg being fertilised and thickening of the cervical mucus since they usually contain estrogen and progestin together. One can get pregnant right after stopping the consumption of these birth control pills.
Intra Uterine Devices (IUD):
This T-shaped device is put into the uterus of the woman to prevent pregnancy. This device releases the hormone progestin in the body of the woman which hampers the process of fertilisation. After the removal of IUD, it might take some time for the hormones to leave the body and for ovulation to occur. It might take several months for the cycle to regulate and become normal.
The effects of an injection or shot for birth control stay in the body for a certain period. Until these effects injection leave the body, one cannot get pregnant. After the last injection, it can take three months or up to even 20 months for a woman to become a mother.
There no specific time for a woman to get pregnant after she ditches birth control. However, the interval between a women getting pregnant from the time she stops contraceptives, depends on various parameters and the method she had previously adopted. Birth control measures generally infect a woman with certain hormones that hamper their fertility.
(The writer is Senior Gynaecologist and IVF Expert, International Fertility Centre.)