Planning Pregnancy and Discontinuing Birth Control Pills
Q: My husband and I are planning on getting pregnant in
the future, but I'm currently taking birth control pills. Prior to trying to
conceive, when should I stop taking the pills?
Dr. Donnica: Good luck with your new project! There is no data to
support any specific optimum time to stop taking the Pill prior to conceiving. Some
doctors recommend 3 months, but we don't have any scientific basis or current
reason for that. Many doctors, myself included, simply recommend one month just
so that you can have your first normal menstrual period before conceiving. This
gives us a fairly reliable basis on which to estimate your due date, without
having to do an ultrasound. Rest assured that birth control pills are
cleared from your system fairly quickly, which is why women can get pregnant
if they miss even 1 or 2 pills. I do recommend that women planning to conceive
in the near future, whether they are on the Pill or not, begin taking folic
acid (400 micrograms per day) in order to reduce the risk of certain birth defects.
For more information on preparing for pregnancy, click here.
Donnica L. Moore, MD
Created: 8/8/2002  - Donnica Moore, M.D.