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Birth control pills, which are still among the most popular contraceptive options around, work in several ways. Thickening your cervical mucus, birth control pills create an "inhospitable environment" that makes it much harder for sperm cells to get past your vagina — and that means egg and sperm probably wouldn't meet if there was an egg. The pill also, however, does another thing. It inhibits ovulation, and that means there's no egg for stubborn swimmers to meet. When used perfectly (meaning the user takes the pill exactly as instructed), it's no surprise that the pill is pretty darn effective! 

Pill users who come off the pill often do so because they want to start trying to conceive, and they might wonder how long it will take for their ovulation — and their fertility — to return. 

When Will I Start Ovulating After Coming Off The Pill?

Your first post-pill period isn't really a period at all but rather a withdrawal bleeding, and the period that comes after will be your first true post-pill menstruation. While your periods can certainly be irregular for a while after you quit birth control pills, you're likely to ovulate within two to four weeks of taking your last pill, depending on the exact moment at which you ditched your pills. 

Because menstrual cycles can be confused after being on the pill, many doctors will advise you to use condoms until your first real period shows up. This will allow greater accuracy in the dating of your pregnancy if you do conceive. 

How Likely Am I To Conceive Quickly After Stopping The Pill?

The pill being so popular, quite a few studies have been conducted on this topic. A 2009 study suggested that 72 to 94 percent of women who come off the combined oral contraceptive pill in the aim of conceiving are pregnant within a year, while the same holds true for 70 to 95 percent of those who stopped using the progestin-only pill.

This one-year conception rate is similar to that of women who stopped using other contraceptive methods as varied as condoms, natural family planning, and intrauterine devices. 

Even women who have been on the pill for a really long time don't have to worry that their contraceptive use might have affected their fertility. Another study prolonged pill use actually made rapid conception statistically more likely, with 74 percent of study subjects being pregnant within six months!

I'm Still Not Pregnant: What Now?

A history of using the birth control pill will not make you infertile and it certainly won't do that to your male partner either, but it is, of course, possible to discover that you are facing fertility struggles after coming off the pill. 

Couples under 35 who still have not conceived after 12 months of trying can see a fertility specialist, and same is true for those over 35 who have not had a positive pregnancy test after six months. We know you're hoping for good news right away, but try to remember that it's not unusual to take a while to conceive. In short, don't worry before you have cause to.

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