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Birth control and conception


At some point in their fertile lives, many women take birth control pills. They're very effective and reversible. But there are a lot of myths about "the pill."

Some women think that having taken birth control will even delay menopause because they have more eggs left. Not true. Even though you don't ovulate while taking the pill, the follicles still develop with eggs inside them. They just don't pop out an egg. The follicles regress and take the eggs with them. Think about this another way: if the pill did delay menopause, then the average age of menopause would have increased over the years since the pill was approved, but it hasn't. It's still around 51 years old.

Another idea out there is that, since women have regular periods while taking it, they're still fertile. I once met a woman who stopped taking the pill to try to get pregnant, but her periods never came back. She went to the doctor and found out she had prematurely experienced menopause at age 28! That is very rare, but if your periods don't come back within a few months after you stop taking the pill, see your doctor.

Some women think that it takes a few months for the pill to be reversed after they stop taking it. That is true for some women, but for some, there is no delay at all! They get pregnant the month after they stop, which is a good surprise. If you're going to stop taking the pill because you are planning to try to get pregnant, make sure you start taking a prenatal vitamin before you stop taking the pill, at least 3 months before. You want to make sure you have been taking adequate folate and other essential vitamins before you get pregnant.

Another idea is that you have to start the pill on Sundays. You actually don't, but it might make it easier to remember to take it if you do. Some pill packs come with labels you can put on that let you pick your start day. The key is to remain on the same schedule every month once you start in order to maximize the efficacy. It's the breaks in taking the pill that more often lead to a surprise pregnancy.


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Content copyright © 2014 by Stacy Wiegman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Stacy Wiegman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Stacy Wiegman for details.

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