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Should I tell my doctor I’m switching birth control?

can I switch birth control

We all know circumstances change, and with your birth control, it's no different. If you're looking to make a switch with your birth control, here's our guide to changing your birth control method and what to consider when doing so.

Changing your birth control if you’re not trying to get pregnant

You may want to change birth control methods without having any intention of getting pregnant. I get it — I’ve tried the calendar method, pills, and the ring, and I have finally landed on the IUD.

It really is all about fit, and with the plethora of birth control options out there you should find a birth control method that aligns with your body, needs, and lifestyle. If you want to stop your birth control method and avoid pregnancy, it’s best to make sure you have another plan in place. This is especially true if you're planning to use a natural method.

Stix Ovulation Tests can help you know when you are ovulating so you can either abstain from sexual intercourse during your fertile period or use a barrier method. We also recommend having some Stix Pregnancy Tests so you can always quickly, discreetly, and confidently check your own pregnancy status.

Changing your birth control if you’re trying to get pregnant

You could want to change your birth control method for a variety of reasons. This one may seem obvious — you’re changing your methods because you’re ready to get pregnant. The best way to stop using birth control depends on your method, and the timeframe for becoming pregnant depends on which method you’re using.


Barrier birth control

For barrier birth control methods, such as condoms, diaphragms, or spermicides, you’re able to conceive once the barrier is removed. Once you stop, pregnancy is possible.


Progestin-only pills

Some birth controls have progestin and estrogen. Progestin-only birth control pills don’t stop ovulation, but instead, thin the uterine lining to prevent fertilization. As soon as you stop progestin-only pills your uterine lining begins to thicken, meaning your uterus will be able to house a fertilized embryo. This can happen as quickly as within 24 hours of taking your last pill. It’s recommended to finish your pack of birth control pills instead of stopping midway through a pack.pregnancy-ovulation-test-combo


Combination birth control pills

Since combination birth control pills contain estrogen, it can take anywhere from 1-3 months to become pregnant. Pending no other issues impacting your fertility, most people on birth control pills become pregnant within 1 year of stopping them.

For many people, the hormones leave their bodies quickly, but for some, it may take a few months to ovulate and menstruate normally. It is recommended to finish your birth control pack and stop at the end of a pack instead of stopping the pill in the middle of a pack.

Implant

After removing your implant conception is possible right away.


Copper or hormonal intrauterine device (IUD)

You are able to get pregnant as soon as you have a normal menstrual cycle, which may be a few months after removing your IUD. For most women, this is within 3 months.


Injection (e.g. the depo shot)

You may have a more difficult time getting pregnant for a few years after injection birth control such as the Depo-Provera shot.


What to keep in mind

Some of these birth controls you can stop without the involvement of a doctor or medical provider, such as barrier methods or pills, while others require an office visit, such as an IUD or implant removal.pregnancy-tests

While stopping or switching birth control methods before trying to conceive is your decision, it could be useful to schedule a preconception visit with your doctor. This can help you best prepare for pregnancy and the transition away from birth control.

As always, consult your primary care physician

Whether you're looking to change birth control methods because you're trying to to conceive or you just want something new, we recommend working with your health care provider to make sure you don’t have any gaps in your preventive methods. Your provider can support you to help find the right fit for your needs.

If you’re unhappy with your birth control method, talk to your provider, or search the web for other options. Let your birth control method work for you, not the other way around.

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