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Trying To Conceive After Stopping The Birth Control Pill

Hello Dr. Ramirez,

I’m a 30-year-old active, healthy female from Texas trying to conceive my first child.  I have been on the birth control pill for 15 years and just stopped taking it two cycles ago in late June

Based off charting my last two, I have a standard 28-day cycle with a 4-day period.  So, I should be ovulating on day 14, which is August 5th (today).  Since I haven’t noticed much (if any) cervical mucus, I bought a Clear Blue ovulation predictor kit.  It showed “low” or not ovulating.

Could it be that I’m not ovulating?  Or did I just miss it?  I know being on birth control can affect your cycle, so I’m trying not to become overly concerned, but I desperately want to conceive.

You should also know that I actually became pregnant in June of last year while on the same birth control.  Because my husband and I were only engaged at the time and planning the wedding, we didn’t keep the pregnancy.  I was 5-weeks along.  Obviously, this was a troublesome decision that I now regret, and I’m worried that it has affected my fertility.

Since I have become pregnant before while on the pill, I was hoping that I would begin to ovulate immediately after I stopped taking it.  I just don’t know if I’m even ovulating now – or if something is wrong.

Thanks in advance for any insight. M. from Texas

Answer:

Hello M. from the U.S. (Texas),

The birth control pill does not affect fertility, so you don’t have to worry about that.

I can’t vouch for an ovulation predictor kit.  That question you will have to direct to the company, but I can say that if your cycles are regular and predictable, then you are ovulating.  Also keep in mind that, despite the fact that you got pregnant on the birth control previously, getting pregnant is not that easy.  It takes the average woman under 30 years of age, 8-12 months to get pregnant.  So be patient and it will come to you.

In terms of timing, if you have a 28 day cycle, then I would recommend the following:  Stop intercourse on cycle day #10.  Then from cycle day #13-16, have intercourse daily, only once per day and only one ejaculation per day.  After cycle day #15 you can resume your normal frequency.  Give yourself at least 12 months of trying before worrying.  For now, as a newlywed, just enjoy the company and the trying.

Good Luck,

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG

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