Stopping Contraception

You have decided to try for a baby and the next step is to stop your current method of contraception. It is important to think about the type of contraception that you using and stopping it correctly. Some methods of contraception can also have an impact on how easy it may be to conceive. Below, we have listed some of the many types of contraception methods available and given advice on the how you should stop contraception.  However, if you would like further information or more in-depth information, you should visit your doctor or local Family Planning Clinic.

Barrier Contraception

  • Condoms, both male and female: These do not affect your fertility levels and you can simply stop using when you are ready to try to conceive.
  • Diaphragms and Caps: these also do not affect your fertility and you simply stop using them when you are ready to try for a baby.

Hormonal Contraceptives

  • The Pill (combined oral contraceptive): it is very important that you do not immediately stop taking the pill and instead finish the packet that you are on. Many doctors recommend that you do not start trying for a baby immediately and that you wait until you have had had at least one normal period. During this time, you should use an alternative method of contraception such as condoms. However, if you were to conceive before your first period, there is no need for concern for you or your baby.
  • Progesterone Pill: If you are taking the progesterone only pill, there is no need to finish the pack you are on and you can stop at any time. Again, many doctors suggest that you should wait for at least one normal period before actively trying for a baby and that you use an alternative method such as condoms during this time. However, if you were to fall pregnant immediately, there is no need to worry for you or your baby.
  • Contraceptive injections: If you are using the injection method for contraception, just do not renew your injection when it is due. It is normal for your periods and fertility to take longer to return than it would with other contraception methods and again doctors advise waiting until your first normal period before actively trying.
  • Progesterone Implants: Although this method of contraception is often thought of as being long-term – it is possible to have it reversed. You will need to make an appointment with your doctor who will arrange for the implant to be removed. This is usually done using local anaesthetic and is a simple and quick procedure. Fertility levels usually return quite quickly and your doctor will give you advice about trying to conceive once the implant has been removed.

Intrauterine Devices

  • Intrauterine Device (IUD / the coil) or Intrauterine System (IUS) which contains the hormone progesterone: You will need to see you doctor and make an appointment to have the device removed which is a simple procedure.  Your doctor will then offer you advice on how and when to start actively trying for a baby.  Your fertility levels should not be affected by an IUD although will take a little longer to return if you have used an IUS.

Other Methods
Methods including the rhythm method, withdrawal and spermicide do not affect your fertility levels and you can start trying to conceive immediately. If using the rhythm method, you should now aim to have sex during the times when you were previously abstaining. If using spermicide, you can just stop using it. If you were using the withdrawal method, you simply no longer withdraw.

If you need any more advice regarding stopping your contraception and starting to actively try for a baby, you should see your doctor or visit your local Family Planning Clinic.

by Jenny, mum to William and James

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