Are you planning to stop taking birth control and try for a baby? Here are some tips for the best way to stop taking birth control and some symptoms you may experience when you do.

Hormonal birth control methods like the pill, patch, ring or hormonal IUD work by switching off the hormones to prevent he body from ovulating. Once you decide to stop taking birth control, the signals are turned back on and your body is able to naturally ovulate within 1-3 months.

It takes 5 days for the hormones from your contraceptive to leave your body and you might experience some symptoms that may surprise you even ones that mimic pregnancy.  But saying this, it’s nothing to worry about as it’s your body’s way of going back into its natural cycle.

Birth control pill – You can stop taking them any time, including in the middle of the pack or cycle but finishing your current pack before quitting makes it easier to predict when your next cycle will be

IUD – Your Doctor will have to remove this for you but once it’s been removed, your body will start ovulating naturally within 1-3 months.

Hormone Injections –These injections work similarly to other hormonal birth control methods, but because a dose lasts for 3 months, it will take at least that long after stopping before your body starts to ovulate naturally.  Some women find it can take up to a year or two after stopping receiving their shots to conceive.  So if you currently are taking the injection and hoping to try for a baby in the very near future, talk to your Doctor about when to stop or switch to another method of birth control.

If you are using a copper IUD, you’ll have to have it removed by your Doctor.  Once the IUD has been removed, you can try for a baby with your next cycle.

Methods like condoms or barriers since they only work to block sperm while you’re using them, so it’s possible to get pregnant anytime they’re not used.

Here are a few symptoms you might experience when you stop taking hormonal birth control.


Pimple problems are common after coming off hormonal birth control as the body is no longer pumping your body with oestrogen

  • Stopping birth control boosts your level of testosterone which causes breakouts
  • Your hormones are constantly fluctuating and your skin responds by producing spots
  • The best way to combat this is to do a detox how long for is entirely up to you. It will help support the changes that are taking place. Drink plenty of water to eliminate toxins from within the body and continue to eat organic healthy foods after the detox to help continue with healing process from the inside out.
  • Using a concealer is a good way to cover up those annoying zits.

Mood Swings

Mood swings may be the result of eliminating the steady flow of hormones your birth control provided, which kept your emotions balanced (well, at least for 3 weeks every month).  Research has found that birth control can make moods worse, while other research found no link between birth control and women’s moods.   Now you are ovulating naturally your hormones will fluctuate and vary from day to day the best way to deal with this is to ensure you eat a balanced, organic diet that will help support your health and well-being.

Tender Breasts

Your boobs can become extra sensitive and could make you wonder if you’re already expecting, since breast tenderness is an early symptom of pregnancy.  This is a side effect of your ovaries making oestrogen and building an egg.  Let your partner know your boobs are sensitive so they can be extra gentle during love making.

Back Pains and Cramping

As your body prepares to ovulate every month, the follicle on your ovary holding the very egg that could become your baby begins to grow.  When the follicle ruptures and releases the egg and surrounding fluid, it can be irritating causing cramping and lower back pain.  You might even feel a quick pinch on one side of your lower abdomen when the egg matures and releases from an ovary.  While pain is no fun, it’s actually a clue to when you ovulate so you know when to start baby-making sessions.

If you find the pain is getting worse, consult your Doctor since the painful symptoms of some conditions like endometriosis can be masked by hormonal contraception.

Increased Libido

Don’t be surprised if your sex drive goes into overdrive once you ditch your birth control.  Research found the impact is likely minimal, hormonal contraception can suppress the libido.  Your sex urge may surge during ovulation, when you’re most fertile.

Heavier Flow or Spotting

If your contraceptive worked well and your periods were regular with a medium flow and no or minimal spotting at other times of the month, you’ll find that once you stop taking contraception you may spot a bit when you ovulate (a fertility red flag) and just before you period officially arrives and your flow may be heavier post pill, patch or ring since hormonal contraception may help keep your menstruation more regular, lighter and shorter.  Just be prepared with super tampons or pads – at least till you conceive.

Heightened Sense of Smell

Ovulating women’s noses are more perceptive than those of women in other parts of their cycle (as well as postmenopausal women, men and children) This could be because of oestrogen and progesterone affect your sense of smell, so as those hormone levels fluctuate throughout the month, your sensitivity to scents may differ.

Your cycle might become a little longer, shorter or less predictable

Birth control makes your period come like clockwork, but stopping can mess up predictability.  It can take your body a few months to settle back into a natural ovulation cycle after stopping taking the pill.  For Birth control injections, it can take at least 3 months or up to 2 years and when it does, chances are it will look a lot like it did before you started taking birth control.  If your cycles are extremely irregular after two months, contact your Doctor.

How to manage side effects

It’s normal to feel a little off when you stop taking birth control.  The good news is that your body will adjust quickly within a matter of a few weeks.  Take care of yourself and try not to get stressed which can affect your cycle and make any unpleasant symptoms worse. So relax and make self-care a priority whilst your body recovers from the changes.

Be open with your partner about what you’re feeling too, so they can help support you as best they can – whether that’s a foot rub, a back rub, running you a bath or just giving you some space if you’re feeling you need some alone time.

Reflexology & Hormones

Reflexology is an amazing way to relax and soothe and clear nerve pathways and improve the flow of energy or Qi within the body, it not only supports recovery but helps the body to maintain health and is great for rebalancing hormones after having stopped taking contraception as it reduces stress, reduces cortisol levels by flushing out excess cortisol and restore the body to it’s natural healthy state.  It also eliminates toxins from the body, boosts the immune system, improves circulation and stimulates the reproductive system and rebalances the endocrine system which benefits are connected to the restoration of the hormones whilst encouraging the body’s natural healing process. Regular monthly treatments is perfect for Women’s’ overall health.

When to call the Doctor about side effects

It’s normal to feel not quite yourself in the first few weeks after stopping taking birth control, but you should ley or doctor know if you haven’t had a period after three months, since that could be a sign that your body isn’t ovulating the way it should.

You should talk to your Doctor if your post pill period is getting in the way of your everyday life.  Let your Doctor know if you are experiencing any of the following:-

  • Very heavy bleeding, where you soak through one or more pads or tampons for several hours in a row or you need to double up on pads.
  • Bleeding and passing clots that are bigger than a 10p piece
  • Bleeding that lasts for more than seven days
  • Severe or constant abdominal cramping
  • Fatigue or shortness of breath
  • Extremely irregular cycle

Stopping your birth control pills or hormonal birth control can be an adjustment.  While the temporary side effects can sometimes isn’t easy, they’re all signs that your body is getting ready for your next bit step:  Trying for a little bundle of joy!

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