First things first. After all those years of using contraceptives to avoid getting pregnant, here you are… planning for your new baby! Whether you’ve been using long-acting hormonal contraceptives or barrier contraceptives, there is no need to worry.
All contraceptives are reversible. Hormonal methods contain either progestogen, or a combination of progestogen and oestrogen. Oestrogen-containing methods may take a while for ovulation to re-establish; whereas the progestogen causes changes in a woman’s cervical secretions, blocking the passage of sperm.
When you stop any hormonal method, it may take a while for your secretions to return to normal to provide an excellent sperm-friendly environment.
You may have to wait up to 12 months (or more) to conceive after the final injection due to its residual effects. If you are thinking about trying for a baby in the next year, it might be a good idea to switch to an alternative method of contraception to give your body plenty of time to adjust before conception.
The implant lasts for three years and – like other types of hormonal contraception – it affects the cervical mucus. This means it can take some time for your hormonal balance to return. On average, fertility returns approximately 3-12 months after the implant is removed.
Also known as the ‘Coil,’ the IUD is not a hormonal contraception. As there are no hormones involved, your ovulation is not affected and fertility normally returns to normal as soon as the device is removed.
The IUS is a small T-shaped device which contains progestogen. It thickens cervical mucus and may also prevent ovulation in some women. Many women can expect fertility to return in several months.
Barrier methods, such as condoms and female condoms do not have any effect on your future fertility as you can start the baby making immediately. Having said this, they protect your sexual health from sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia, which could impact upon your fertility.
www.fpa.org.uk - ‘Plan to get Pregnant’ by Zita West, pg 15, 2008