Contraception: what to expect if you decide to stop it

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There are a number of reasons why you might consider this – whether to have a babyor because of any negative side effects you may experience (such as mood swings).

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But while there’s a lot of talk about what to expect when starting birth control, there’s less information about what to expect when you decide to quit.

One of the most important things to consider if you stop using your usual contraception is the possibility of becoming Pregnant. If you’re trying to avoid this, use a backup contraceptive the method is important.

But some women may also experience changes in their periodsskin or mood when they stop taking the pill and their natural cycle returns.

This is because most birth control methods contain hormones – usually estrogen and progesterone – which suppress the normal functioning of the body. hormonal changes.

This not only prevents pregnancy, but can also have other effects – such as reducing menstrual pain or affecting mood.

The pill

The most common method of birth control used by women in the UK is pill.

This includes both the combined pill (which contains both estrogen and progestins) and the progestin-only pill (often called the “mini-pill”).

If you decide to stop using the pill, it’s usually best to wait until a pack is finished.

This will reduce the risk become pregnant following sexual intercourse that took place just before stopping the pill.

When using a combination pill it is safe to have sex during the pill-free break, but only if you start the next strip on the correct day and take the pills for at least the next seven days. This is why stopping in the middle of a pack is risky in terms of pregnancy.

The biggest change you will experience when quitting is the return to your normal menstrual cycle.

Since the combined pill generally makes periods lighter, less painful and more predictable, you may find that your periods are heavier and more frequent. sore in comparison when you stop the pill.
Your periods will also return to their regular rhythm (which for some may have been irregular).

People who experienced mid-cycle pain (during ovulation) or PMS before starting the pill may also see them return.

If you were using the combination pill to improve acne or manage certain conditions (such as polycystic ovary disease), you’ll likely find that these benefits are lost once you stop.

But if you were someone who took the mini-pill, you might find that your experience is slightly different when you stop.

The progestogen-only pill does not provide the regularity of periods that the combined pill usually provides – with many women often experiencing irregular bleeding (usually light but unpredictable) while taking it.

The most common method of contraception used by women is the pill. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

So when you stop the mini-pill, your period will likely return to its natural rhythm, which may be more regular and predictable.

Since progestin has various side effects for some women – how to cause acne, mood swings or low libido – stopping both the combination pill and the mini-pill may improve all of these.

It is also important to note that your period and your fertility come back very quickly after stopping the pill and you could become pregnant within weeks or even days of stopping. So use a backup method immediately after stopping the pill if this is something you want to avoid.

Long acting contraceptives

longer action hormonal contraceptive methods – such as implant, hormonal intrauterine system (IUS) and injection – have similar effects on the menstrual cycle as the pill.

This can include lighter but more unpredictable periods, or even no periods at all.

If you have your implant or IUS removed, your menstrual cycle will return to its previous pattern within a few weeks. Your fertility will also return to normal within a few days or weeks.

But with the injection, you may not have a period for several months after stopping – and the return of fertility may also be delayed for a few months.

This is probably due to the high dose of hormone in the injectionand to what extent it suppresses the natural cycle.

However, most women usually get their periods again within a year of stopping the injection, and these periods are as regular and heavy (or light) as before.

If you use the copper intrauterine device (IUD), it does not contain any hormones. Although it has a long duration of action and is extremely effective against pregnancy, some women experience heavier and longer periods when using this method.

Fertility returns immediately after the IUD is removed, so it is important for women who do not want to get pregnant to use backup contraception.

Women with an IUD are also advised not to have unprotected sex for a week before removal because fertility returns so quickly.

You may be worried that birth control will have a long-term effect on your period or fertility, but luckily all the evidence indicates that this is not the case.

Some women may experience a slight delay in the return of their periods after stopping any form of hormonal birth control (although this is most common with injection).

This is because it can take a few weeks for the body’s natural hormonal cycle to re-establish itself. This is not a cause for concern unless it lasts several months.

The decision to stop using birth control is extremely personal and will be influenced by your desire to have a baby, your relationship, and many other factors.

Aside from sterilization, all modern contraceptive methods are designed to be fully reversible. Although you may notice some effects after stopping, these are usually due to the return of the natural rhythms of the menstrual cycle.

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