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The birth control pill is the most popular contraceptive format in the US, and for most people who take it, the pill works well and provides reliable contraception. It can also help treat certain other female conditions.
A big question many women who take the pill have is simple: When should I stop, and what can I expect when I do this? Here are some suggestions we can offer.
In most cases, women will be able to take the pill with consistent success, and without any side effects. In these cases, despite what you may have heard, there’s no reason to stop it. The body doesn’t “need a break” or anything like that. If you’re healthy and enjoying the results of taking the pill, you can continue to do so consistently all the way up until menopause.
On the other hand, there are a few specific situations where stopping the pill might be right:
Your doctor can inform you of other situations when you might consider stopping.
If you do choose to stop taking the pill, know that it can take about four to six weeks for your period to return to normal. If you still haven’t gotten back to normal after three months, contact your doctor. This might be a light adjustment period for some women.
Here are some of the bodily changes (or lack thereof) that may take place when you stop taking the pill:
Here are answers to a few other important questions in terms of the pill:
Your doctor can offer further recommendations on stopping birth control pills at your request.
“What to Expect When You Stop ‘The Pill.’” WebMD. https://blogs.webmd.com/womens-health/2017/09/what-to-expect-when-you-stop-the-pill.htm
“Birth control pill FAQ: Benefits, risks and choices.” The Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/birth-control/in-depth/birth-control-pill/art-20045136
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.