How long does it take to get pregnant after stopping a contraceptive method?

contraception
As more women in Kenya appreciate the need to plan pregnancy using modern family planning methods, more concerns by the same group has risen regarding long term effects of contraceptives.
Lots of women ask these questions: After using contraceptives, will I be able to fall pregnant as soon as I come off it? Will using birth control for a long period of time affect my fertility?
The answer to these questions lies in the type of contraceptive method or the family panning method one has decided to use.
It is adequately documented by experts that some contraceptive methods have no impact on your fertility once you come off them, and you can fall pregnant as soon as you stop using the method.
With others, especially those that introduces hormones in your body, it takes slightly longer time to return to fertility which means that even when you stop using them, it could take some time to fall pregnant.
The common methods that women use in Kenya are the 3-month injection known as Depo Provera; the contraceptive implants that are inserted on the upper arm; daily oral pills and intra-uterine device (IUD) commonly known as the coil.
All the methods mentioned above use hormones to prevent pregnancy from occurring except the IUD.
According to Dr. Stephen Gwer a medical doctor and a lecturer of Obstetrics and gynaecology at Maseno University School of medicine, hormonal contraceptives (the pill, implant and injection) all contain a small amount of man-made hormones that are released into the bloodstream at a slow and steady rates.
The hormone thickens the cervical mucus and thins the womb lining. This makes it harder for sperm to move through your cervix, and less likely for your womb to accept a fertilised egg.
While the injection or Depo as its commonly known, is the more popular and relatively convenient to use method (you only need one injection every three months), experts say the method presents the worst side effects of most contraceptive methods.
Moses Ojwang Suna West Sub County Reproductive Health Coordinator qualifies this assertion saying the method introduces a larger amount of hormones into your body therefore it may take a longer time as compared to other methods to get out of your body. It can take up to 9 months after stopping use to get pregnant.
“We wouldn’t recommend this method for you if you want a method that is less hormonal and has a faster return to fertility especially if you have never given birth before” he adds.
The implant, which is inserted under your skin is effective for up to three or five years depending on the type used; has a relatively faster return to fertility rate.
Once the small rods are removed from the upper arm the ability to give birth should return to normal immediately according to manufacturers. There have however been few cases where women have had to wait for up to three months, according to Oscar Okoth a reproductive health quality assurance officer working for the USAID Health Communication and Marketing Program in Kisumu County.
The daily oral birth control pill also introduces hormones to your body and it may take anything up to 9 months to return to fertility.
This leaves you with only one method that assures you of an immediate return to fertility which is the IUD or coil. Despite the fact that it offers protection up to ten years, one can get pregnant immediately after removing the IUD.
So when you are thinking about birth control ask yourself these questions: how long do I want to be protected against unwanted pregnancy and how long am I willing to wait until I can fall pregnant after stopping a contraceptive method?

How long does it take to get pregnant after stopping a contraceptive method?
As more women in Kenya appreciate the need to plan pregnancy using modern family planning methods, more concerns by the same group has risen regarding long term effects of contraceptives.
Lots of women ask these questions: After using contraceptives, will I be able to fall pregnant as soon as I come off it? Will using birth control for a long period of time affect my fertility?
The answer to these questions lies in the type of contraceptive method or the family panning method one has decided to use.
It is adequately documented by experts that some contraceptive methods have no impact on your fertility once you come off them, and you can fall pregnant as soon as you stop using the method.
With others, especially those that introduces hormones in your body, it takes slightly longer time to return to fertility which means that even when you stop using them, it could take some time to fall pregnant.
The common methods that women use in Kenya are the 3-month injection known as Depo Provera; the contraceptive implants that are inserted on the upper arm; daily oral pills and intra-uterine device (IUD) commonly known as the coil.
All the methods mentioned above use hormones to prevent pregnancy from occurring except the IUD.
According to Dr. Stephen Gwer a medical doctor and a lecturer of Obstetrics and gynaecology at Maseno University School of medicine, hormonal contraceptives (the pill, implant and injection) all contain a small amount of man-made hormones that are released into the bloodstream at a slow and steady rates.
The hormone thickens the cervical mucus and thins the womb lining. This makes it harder for sperm to move through your cervix, and less likely for your womb to accept a fertilised egg.
While the injection or Depo as its commonly known, is the more popular and relatively convenient to use method (you only need one injection every three months), experts say the method presents the worst side effects of most contraceptive methods.
Moses Ojwang Suna West Sub County Reproductive Health Coordinator qualifies this assertion saying the method introduces a larger amount of hormones into your body therefore it may take a longer time as compared to other methods to get out of your body. It can take up to 9 months after stopping use to get pregnant.
“We wouldn’t recommend this method for you if you want a method that is less hormonal and has a faster return to fertility especially if you have never given birth before” he adds.
The implant, which is inserted under your skin is effective for up to three or five years depending on the type used; has a relatively faster return to fertility rate.
Once the small rods are removed from the upper arm the ability to give birth should return to normal immediately according to manufacturers. There have however been few cases where women have had to wait for up to three months, according to Oscar Okoth a reproductive health quality assurance officer working for the USAID Health Communication and Marketing Program in Kisumu County.
The daily oral birth control pill also introduces hormones to your body and it may take anything up to 9 months to return to fertility.
This leaves you with only one method that assures you of an immediate return to fertility which is the IUD or coil. Despite the fact that it offers protection up to ten years, one can get pregnant immediately after removing the IUD.
So when you are thinking about birth control ask yourself these questions: how long do I want to be protected against unwanted pregnancy and how long am I willing to wait until I can fall pregnant after stopping a contraceptive method?

By Oyier Emmanuel

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