Stopping contraception

You might be keen to get on with it, but you need to think about how best to stop contraception, and how it will affect your plans.

Find your current contraception method in the list below to find out more. You might also want to talk to your family planning clinic or doctor to find out what’s best for you.

Hormonal contraceptives

The Pill (combined oral contraceptive)

  • Finish the packet you are on.
  • Many doctors advise that you should delay trying to conceive until you have had one normal period, not the withdrawal bleed, so that a pregnancy can be dated more accurately.
  • Use other forms of contraception such as condoms until after your first normal period.
  • Don’t worry if you do become pregnant sooner as it is unlikely that this will have harmed your baby.

Progestogen-only pill (also known as the mini-pill)

  • You can stop taking this at any time.
  • You do not need to finish the packet you are on.
  • Many doctors advise that you should wait for one period before trying to conceive.
  • Don’t worry if you do become pregnant sooner as it is unlikely that this will have harmed your baby.

Contraceptive injections (such as Depo-provera)

  • Do not renew your injections.
  • Your periods and normal fertility will often take longer to return than it does with other contraception, but it is possible to become pregnant before your first period.
  • Many doctors advise that you should wait for one period before trying to conceive.
  • Don’t worry if you do become pregnant sooner as it is unlikely that this will have harmed your baby.

Progesterone implants (such as Implanon)

  • This is usually a long-term contraception but can be reversed.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor to have the implant removed. This is a quick procedure done with a local anaesthetic. Fertility levels usually return quite quickly.
  • Many doctors advise that you should wait for one period before trying to conceive.
  • Don’t worry if you do become pregnant sooner as it is unlikely that this will have harmed your baby.

Intrauterine device

An Intrauterine contraceptive device, or IUD, is sometimes known as the coil, or Intrauterine system (IUS), which contains the hormone progestogen).

  • Make an appointment with your doctor or family planning clinic to have it removed.
  • You might be advised to wait until your next period before starting to conceive.
  • Fertility levels should not be affected with the copper-containing IUD.
  • Fertility may take longer to return with the hormonal IUS.

Barrier methods

Condoms (male and female)

  • Stop using them when you are ready to try for a baby. These don’t affect your fertility levels.

Diaphragms and caps

  • Stop using them when you are ready to try for a baby. These don’t affect your fertility levels.

Other methods

Natural family planning (also known as the rhythm method)

  • This method does not affect your fertility levels. Your fertility awareness knowledge should help you to maximise your chances of conception.
  • Aim now to have sex during the times when you were previously abstaining (or using a barrier method) when you didn’t want to become pregnant.

Withdrawal

  • This method does not affect your fertility levels. While, in theory, you could have become pregnant using withdrawal method alone, increase your chances now by not withdrawing.

Spermicide

  • This method does not affect your fertility levels. Stop using spermicide, although consider in future that this method alone may not prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
Find out more in our FAQs on getting pregnant

Sources

  1. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J (2012) Mayes’ midwifery, fourteenth edition, Edinburgh Bailliere Tindall Elsevier, 2012
  2. RCOG (2011) Quick starting contraception, London Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 2011. Also available at: http://www.fsrh.org/pdfs/CEUGuidanceQuickStartingContraception.pdf
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Last reviewed on April 1st, 2014. Next review date April 1st, 2017.

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