Tips on pregnancy after birth control

Planning for baby after birth control. What you should know.

By: Kristin Gray, MD .

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Many women have spent many years trying to prevent pregnancy with birth control. So when they are ready to start planning for a baby, it’s not surprising women wonder what effect their birth control may have on their plans.

First, use of most birth control does not affect the time it will take to get pregnant. Some women even think they need to wait a certain amount of time before trying to get pregnant. However, there is no need to wait after stopping birth control.

Some birth control options may last for a few weeks to months after stopping, making it difficult to get pregnant. A good example is Depo provera. If you are taking this form of birth control and want to get pregnant, talk to your provider about options to transition to another method six months to one year before you’d like to start to conceive.

Once you have stopped birth control, here are some additional tips that may help you conceive:

  • Start taking a prenatal vitamin when you decide you’d like to try to conceive. This will help make sure your body gets all the necessary nutrients and vitamins needed to nourish a healthy baby.
  • Stop smoking, as this can hinder your ability to get pregnant.
  • Eat well. Eating a balanced diet before and during pregnancy is good for your overall health. It is also needed for nourishing your unborn baby.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise. It is important to exercise regularly and maintain proper weight before and during pregnancy. If you are overweight, you may have medical problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes that can impact both you and your growing baby. For some women, being overweight may make it more difficult to conceive. Being underweight may put your baby at risk for having a low birth weight.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • If you have any chronic medical conditions, you should meet with your OB/GYN prior to becoming pregnant to discuss any testing or medication changes you may need to have a healthy pregnancy.