How Your Body Changes When You Stop Taking Birth Control Pills

If you're taking birth control pills for any reason and you want to stop, you may have some questions. Luckily, science has shown that there is very little risk with stopping hormonal contraception, and the body adjusts very quickly. Still, there are some considerations, and with any health decision, it's best to talk with your doctor before making any changes.

One of the important things to address is what you're going to do for birth control if you don't want to get pregnant. The hormones that prevent pregnancy leave the body within one to two days after stopping the pill, according to Everyday Health, which it's possible you can get pregnant right away. Even if you do desire to get pregnant, there are tests that your doctor may want to run or questions you haven't considered about your specific health history. A doctor consultation will lead to the best likely outcome in either case.

If you've been taking the pill to stop your periods, you should resume menstruation within a couple of weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic. At the longest, regular periods usually return within three months. But some women's bodies fail to begin making the hormones that regulate ovulation after stopping birth control, so if it's been three months and your cycle hasn't started again, make an appointment to see your physician.

Conditions managed by the pill may return

While you were on birth control pills, you may have noticed a difference in pre-menstrual symptoms. The pill generally makes symptoms more manageable, according to the Cleveland Clinic, so when you stop taking it, you may see a return of bloating, nausea, breast tenderness, moodiness, and cramps. Other things the pill controls that could return include acne and hot flashes, according to Everyday Health. On the other hand, some people feel that they gain weight on the pill because it's been known to cause water retention. Once off the pill, that side effect could disappear, making you lose a few pounds.

The good news is that you don't have to wait to finish a pack if you decide you want to stop the pill. You can discontinue use at any point in the month without health considerations, according to the Mayo Clinic. You may notice some immediate bleeding, so be prepared for that possibility.

Though it's a tiny tablet, the birth control pill is chock-full of hormones that regulate your reproductive cycle. As with any medication, it's best to consult with a medical professional before making changes.