Many women today like to plan ahead for the children they want. This means that when you are on birth control, you will want to know what to expect when you come off of it. Each method has its own time frame where your fertility may wane and you are not as likely to become pregnant.
There are a few steps you can take right now; while still on birth control that can help you get ahead of the game. This will put you at an advantage when it comes time to actually try to conceive.
Menstrual Charting for Your Health
Menstrual charting offers you many healthy advantages, even on birth control. Tracking your cycles to see if they are normal is the key to learning about your fertility. MyCycleDiary is a chart that allows women to write down what happens during their cycle so that they can keep track and watch for subtle differences.
If you are on the pill, Nuva Ring, Patch, Depo Provera, or the Mirena IUD, you may not be having regular cycles or they may not be the same as you are when not on hormonal birth control. You can still track your cycle to be sure that it is normal for you when on the medication you are on. You should write down if you get break through bleeding or are on any medications that could lessen the effectiveness of your method of choice.
If you are using non-hormonal methods of birth control, you will be able to get a very clear picture to what is going on with your body. You not only will be able to see if there are changes that could mean something is going on, but you will also be able to detect ovulation. This will help you to get pregnant faster when you decide it is time.
Stopping Birth Control – The Waiting Game
Once you decide it is time to stop the birth control, you may find that your fertility does not come back immediately. This is where menstrual charting will really come in handy. Tracking your cycles will help you determine when and where in your cycle ovulation returns. This can vary depending on what type of birth control you were on. Pill, Patch, and Ring users can expect it to take 1-3 months on average, while Depo users can experience waits up to 18 months post last injection. Those who were not using any hormonal methods can expect no delay in ovulation.
Once off the birth control you will also want to see what your hormones are doing and be sure to time intercourse to your fertile window. Using an ovulation monitor such as Ovatel can help you know exactly when you are at your most fertile each cycle and help you get pregnant faster. Ovulation predictor strips are also useful to determine the time right before ovulation occurs. If you use these methods right after stopping your birth control, you will be able to get pregnant faster than those who have no idea when they are fertile or when their fertility returns.