How Long Do Hormonal Contraceptives Last In Your Body?

How Long Do Hormonal Contraceptives Last In Your Body?

How Long Do Hormonal Contraceptives Last In Your Body?


Pills, rings, IUDs, condoms, and finally sterilization;  each hold their own unique set of advantages and downsides, cessation of which does not necessarily happen immediately (or easily) after stopping the ingestion of that type of contraceptive.


Chronicling her journey, Brandy Dishaw of notes:


“When my husband and I decided to have a child, I finished my final pack of pills and awaited my period. It took two full months for my period to return. It took two additional months before I fell pregnant.”


With perfect use, the combined contraceptive pill is 99 percent effective, according to Planned Parenthood. This means fewer than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant in a given year when using the pill as instructed.


Not only is it one of the most effective types of birth control out there, it’s also fast-acting, taking an average of seven days to start working.

While going on the pill requires little preparation, going off the pill isn’t as simple. Birth control hormones are out of your system within 24 to 48 hours after taking your final pill. However, it can take several weeks or even months for your hormone levels to return to normal.


The Body After the Pill

Many women worry that stopping the birth control pill after long-term use will negatively affect their body. It’s important to know that it doesn’t matter if you were on the pill for three weeks or three years, the hormones from the pill will leave your system in a matter of days regardless.


After the artificial hormones are out of your system, the body will start to produce natural hormones to jumpstart your menstrual cycles. This process can occur the very next month or may take several months, depending on your individual body chemistry.


If the body does what it’s supposed to do, you’ll be back to having normal periods within two to three months after stopping the pill. If you experienced irregular periods before starting the pill, you may continue to experience irregular periods after you stop taking birth control.

Some women who had regular periods before starting the pill may suddenly have irregular periods. Everyone’s response to stopping the pill is different.


Some women may experience a condition known as post-pill amenorrhea, also known as lack of menstruation.


The absence of a period could have several causes, such as pregnancy. In many instances, amenorrhea occurs when the body takes longer than normal to produce the hormones necessary for ovulation and menstruation.


“Consult your doctor if you’ve missed at least three menstrual periods in a row, or if you’ve never had a menstrual period and you’re age 15 or older,” says the Mayo Clinic.


What about other types of hormonal contraceptives though? How long do they stay behind in your body after you stop taking them?

The pill isn’t the only type of hormonal birth control. Other birth control methods can stay in your system for extended periods of time depending on the dose of hormones and where in the body they’re delivered.


For example, the hormonal IUD delivers hormones directly to the ovaries. After the removal of the IUD, it can three to six months for normal periods to return.


It can take even longer to return to regular periods after stopping birth control shots. These injections are generally administered every three months and are more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. However, it can take six to 18 months after you stop getting the shots to get your menstrual period back, according to the Center for Young Women’s Health.


For non-hormonal solutions such as the CopperPearls IUD, fertility is regained almost immediately (to the state it was prior to the insertion of the IUD) from when it is removed. This is the only LARC that allows for the regaining of fertility in such a short time frame.

The idea of getting pregnant after stopping birth control isn’t always a simple one. It may take time for your body to adjust to life without artificial hormones which can delay your period and make it difficult to conceive. Before stopping hormonal birth control, talk to your doctor about the side effects that can occur once the hormones leave your system.


Read more about the effects of contraceptives on your body:

1)      Case study: Taking Depo Provera

2)      Symptoms of all Hormonal Contraceptives



For any information, guidance or general advice on the CopperPearls non-hormonal contraceptive, click here to get in touch with us today