How long after stopping the pill can I try to conceive?
Question: My eldest son is now four years old. My husband and I are planning to add another sibling by next year. I am on a pill for four straight years now. Is it ok to just stop taking the pill and try to concieve? Should I wait for one month after taking the pill before trying to conceive?
Answer By Dr Dana:
When used appropriately, most types of birth control pills are considered more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Yet, sometimes women get pregnant while taking the pill -- such as if they frequently forget to take the pill or if they are using medications that decrease the effectiveness of the pill.
If you are in this situation and plan to keep your baby, you should stop taking the pill immediately -- but there shouldn't be an increased risk of miscarriage or any other problems with the pregnancy due to the accidental exposure.
A study published in Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology in 2008 examined 92,719 women were recruited to The Danish National Birth Cohort and interviewed about exposures during pregnancy.
In total, 1102 (1.2%) women took oral contraceptives during pregnancy.
Use of combined oestrogen and progesterone oral contraceptives (COC) or progesterone-only oral contraceptives (POC) during pregnancy was not associated with increased hazard ratios of fetal death compared with non-users.
Stratification by maternal age and smoking showed elevated risks of fetal death for women <30 years and smokers using oral contraception during pregnancy, but the interactions were not significant.
In conclusion, there was no evidence that oral contraceptive use before or during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of fetal death.