How long does birth control stay in your system?

In 2017, the CDC released a report that showed more than half of all people with ovaries in the US between the ages of 15 and 49 were actively using some shape of parentage control. Of that group, 22.9 % were using a hormonal contraceptive. therefore, it ‘s apprehensible that many people might want to know how these synthetic hormones affect the body and how long they linger. hera ‘s your answer in a nutshell : “ Give things three months to return to normal, ” explains OB-GYN and Modern Fertility checkup adviser Dr. Eva Luo, MD, MBA, FACOG. “ long-acting reversible contraceptives ( like the hormonal intrauterine device, or the IUD ) broadly promise a rejoinder of birthrate right away, estrogen-containing contraceptives ( like the pill ) can take about three months, and Depo-Provera ( the shoot ) can take angstrom long as 18 months. ” In this article, we ’ ll go deeper into how long different forms of hormonal birth see stay in the consistency so you can make inform decisions about your generative health.

How does hormonal birth control work?

Before we dive into how long hormonal birth control stays in your system, let ’ s take a step bet on and get a refresher course on how birth command works to prevent pregnancy. Today ’ south options for give birth restraint come in many different shapes and sizes, but for the purposes of this article, we ‘re going to stick with hormonal contraception ( as opposed to barrier methods, like condoms, or the non-hormonal IUD ). These methods use synthetic hormones to trigger a reaction in your body that prevents pregnancy — though the responses they trigger vary slightly. The birth control pill ( besides called the combination pill or combined oral contraceptive ), ring, patch, implant, and shot ( besides called the injection ) all make by :

  • Suppressing ovulation
  • Thickening cervical mucus
  • Preventing the uterine lining (endometrium) from thickening

The minipill (aka progestin-only pill) that contains norethindrone ( a progestin ) does n’t suppress ovulation for all users because the acid of progestins is n’t senior high school enough — alternatively, it works by thickening the cervical mucus and preventing the uterine lining from thickening. A newer minipill choice that contains another progestin, drospirenone, does workplace by suppressing ovulation. The hormonal IUD chiefly works by thickening the cervical mucus, but besides prevents the uterine line from thickening. Like the minipill, it may suppress ovulation in a smaller percentage ( up to 55 % depending on the drug of progestins ) of people .

So, how long does hormonal birth control stay in your system?

In order to answer this interrogate vitamin a precisely as possible, let ‘s walk through each form of hormonal contraception individually :

  • The hormonal IUD: As soon as a hormonal IUD is removed from your body, the hormones are no longer in your system. Expect menstrual cycles and ovulation to normalize within two months after the removal of an IUD.
  • The pill and minipill: The hormones from the pill or minipill will leave your system 48 hours after the last pill was taken. Expect your menstrual cycles and ovulation to return to your “normal” within three months after stopping the pill.
  • The implant: Clinical trials for Nexplanon, the only birth control implant available in the US, show that pregnancy can happen as quickly as 7-14 days after removing it — so that’s likely how long the hormones remain in the body. Expect to resume “normal” cycles within three months of removing the implant.
  • The ring: You’re no longer protected against pregnancy after the ring has been removed from the body for 48 hours. Expect menstrual cycles and ovulation to normalize within three months after removing the ring.
  • The patch: There’s no protection against pregnancy 48 hours after the patch has been removed. Expect menstrual cycles and ovulation to normalize within three months of removing the patch.
  • The shot: The Depo-Provera shot is a single injection designed to protect you against pregnancy for three months (meaning the hormones are likely out of your system after that). This form of birth control can suppress ovulation for up to 18 months (people with lower body-fat percentage might see ovulation return on the earlier side).
Birth control type How long it stays in the system Time before “normal” cycles return
The hormonal IUD Until removal up to two months
The pill and minipill Protective for 48 hours after taking up to three months
The ring Protective for 48 hours after removal up to three months

The while Protective for 48 hours after removal up to three months
The implant protective for 7-14 days after removal up to three months
The nip protective for three months after injection up to 18 months

Does hormonal birth control have to be cleared from your system before you can get pregnant?

so you ’ re ready to pursue pregnancy after stopping contraceptives. We know that, in many cases, the medication will leave your body within 48 hours. But that doesn ’ thymine inevitably mean that your body will be quite ready for pregnancy 48 hours after you stop using parturition command. All forms of contraception that contain hormones employment by altering your menstrual cycle — and there may be an “ adjustment period ” of around 90 days as your typical cycles return. But this is not caused by lingering birth control hormones. 90 days is the estimate amount of time it takes for an ovarian follicle ( which develops and releases an egg ) to go from actively developing ( preantral in medical-speak ) to ready for ovulation ( preovulatory ). 90 days gives your torso enough fourth dimension to ovulate an egg that has n’t been affected by celluloid hormones ( discriminative stimulus “ normal ” ovulation ). But, adds Dr. Luo, “ there are batch of patients who stop taking oral contraceptive pills or early forms of hormonal contraception and get fraught immediately, ” she says. That 90 days is the average adjustment period before “ normal ” menstrual cycles return — you wo n’t necessarily have that same experience. If your motorbike doesn ’ t originate 90 days after stopping birth control, this could be a sign of an underlie issue that birth control was managing ( like polycystic ovary syndrome or thyroid gland conditions ). If this happens, seek out aesculapian advice from your healthcare supplier so they can help you investigate what ‘s going on. The only outlier for this 90-day guidance is if you ‘re transitioning off of the Depo-Provera photograph. This is the merely type of parturition control that ‘s known to cause a delay, up to 18 months, in the return of ovulation. Regardless of your method of birth see, no — you do n’t need to do or take anything to “ cleanse ” your body of the synthetic hormones from parturition control. They ‘ll leave on their own .

How long does it typically take to get pregnant after stopping hormonal birth control?

In 2018, researchers conducted a taxonomic review to understand how likely people were to conceive within 12 months after going off hormonal contraceptives. They found that :

  • Ex-oral contraceptive (pills) users: 87.04% pregnant within 12 months
  • Ex-hormonal IUD users: 84.75% pregnant within 12 months
  • Ex-shot users: 77.4% pregnant within 12 months
  • Ex-implant users: 74.7% pregnant within 12 months

While there ‘s fiddling data on ex-ring and patch users, you can expect a alike time to pregnancy as oral contraceptives.

The bottom line

Whether you ’ ra think of changing or discontinuing your give birth command method, remember that for most forms of hormonal parturition control, the medicine will leave your organization after about two days. If your body takes longer than three months to get back to its pre-birth restraint self, check in with your healthcare provider to see if there could be an fundamental condition impacting your cycles. The only mannequin of hormonal contraception that may cause your body to take longer than three months to return to your “ normal ” is the Depo-Provera stroke. No matter the rationality you decide to stop taking birth command, know that Modern Fertility is here to help you get reacquainted with your menstrual cycle as your body adjusts to life without synthetic hormones. Our at-home tests and digital tools will ensure you understand your body ’ sulfur post-birth control journey :

  • The Modern Fertility Ovulation Test lets you track your luteinizing hormone (LH) levels (the hormone that surges 24-48 hours before ovulation) to help you get in sync with your cycle. Use the Modern Fertility App to log your results and dive deeper into your body’s patterns.
  • The Modern Fertility Hormone Test measures the same fertility hormones that a doctor would test in a fertility clinic (for a fraction of the price) and helps you understand how your fertility is changing over time.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Eva Marie Luo, MD, MBA, FACOG, an OB-GYN at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Clinical Lead for Value at the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center .

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