How Stopping Birth Control Affects Your Menstrual Cycle

Birth control pills are important when trying to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. But, stopping your birth control pills can affect your cycle.

By Nancy Amon
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published November 30, 2021.

Your period is affected when stopping the pill. The first period after stopping birth control usually arrives about 3 weeks later. However, it may take months before your cycle goes back to normal if the pill was used to help regulate your period, especially in the case of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, known simply as PCOS.

Many women could also experience a late period after stopping birth control, or no period after stopping birth control.

How Long After Stopping Birth Control Before Your First Period?

Every woman is different, and for some, a period after stopping birth control could arrive around 3 weeks after the halt.

However, the nature of the cycle differs for each one. For example, the natural menstrual cycle will need time to go back to normal.

How Long Before You Can Get Pregnant After Stopping Birth Control?

Since every woman is different monitoring, the phases of the normal menstrual cycle (menstruation, follicular phase, ovulation phase, and luteal phase) play an essential role when keeping track of fertility.

Most women can take up to 12 months to get pregnant after stopping birth control.

It's also normal to experience irregular periods after the pill within the first year of trying to get pregnant.

Some women may also get pregnant within 1 or 3 months after stopping the pill.

Pregnancy chances after missing birth control pills are considerably higher depending on how many of the pills were missed and were in the pack you're at.

Missing 3 consecutive days when taking the combination pill means you're no longer safe and need additional protection during sex.

Mini pills or progesterone-only pills are trickier as they need to be taken at the same time each day, or else the hormone levels are lower and could increase the chances of getting pregnant.

How Are Future Periods Affected After Stopping the Pill?

Your period may adapt to its usual routine. For example, irregular or absent periods may continue to be irregular or absent when stopping the pill. Furthermore, you should give your body at least 3 months to get back to the normal cycle, period and fertility after getting off the pill.