We get asked this question all the time: Is it true that it takes several months for birth control hormones to leave your body before you can get pregnant?

The answer is quite simply, no. Birth control pills are metabolized very quickly and are out of your system just a couple days after you take your last pill.

When you start to ovulate varies, but it is possible you may start the very first month that you’re off of birth control. Additionally, there is a misconception that getting pregnant during the first cycle off pills is dangerous. It’s not. In fact, we’ve had patients who have missed pills, conceived unknowingly, and continued to take their pills for months before realizing they were pregnant. There is no increased incidence of birth defects in these babies.

When women get pregnant while taking birth control, there is usually some degree of human error involved, with the typical failure rate close to 7 percent, where as women who faithfully take their pill every day have a failure rate of  less than one percent.  Women who forget to pick up their pills from the pharmacy on time for whatever reason and miss a dose within the first five days of the new pack, are at the greatest risk for unplanned conception. We recommend that you continue taking the pill or use another form of contraception unless you are truly ready to go the distance, because many women resume ovulation right away.  For others, particularly those who have been taking oral contraception for many years, it may take one to three months to conceive, but there’s no way to make an exact prediction.