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Abandon Your Birth Control


The first step in trying to conceive is ditching your diaphragm (or pills, patches, IUD…etc.). Here’s how.

Are you Ready to take the plunge into unprotected sex? Will it be as easy as tossing the pills, pulling off the patch, or letting the condoms gather dust? Well, sort of. Follow these method-by-method guidelines for maximizing your odds of conceiving (plus safeguarding your own health — and your baby’s).

Pills, patches, and rings: If you want to time it right, stop a few months before you want to conceive to allow your cycle to get back on track. For some women, fertility returns as soon as they stop using these methods, but for others, it may take a month or so to resume ovulation. If you do get pregnant before your period becomes regular again, don’t worry — there’s no harm to the baby (and a sonogram can help pin down your due date). And as much of a hurry as you might be in, it’s best to finish your pill pack to avoid mid-cycle bleeding. Remember, too, to use a barrier method (such as a condom) while you’re waiting for your cycles to regulate.

Barrier methods (diaphragms, condoms): This one’s as easyas it gets — stop anytime you’re ready to get busy. And don’t worry if you accidentally conceive while using a spermicide — it won’t hurt your baby.

Depo-Provera (a quarterly progesterone shot): There’s plenty of advance planning required here, since it can take six months to a year for ovulation to resume after you stop getting the shots. Talk to your practitioner about the best timing. And plan on using another method of birth control while you wait for your fertility to return.

IUD: Stop anytime by having your doctor remove the device. Once it’s out, you can start your baby-making efforts right away (though you’ll probably want to wait until you get home from the doctor’s office!). Typically, your fertility will be the same as it was before the device was put in.

Natural family planning: As a practitioner of this method, you’re ahead of the game — you’re probably well-informed of your own fertility. Just reverse your efforts. Instead of avoiding sex during fertile times, bring it on!

Published: What to Expect
Copyright © 2015 What to Expect

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