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What happens when I stop the pill?

Dr Louisa Draper

"You become fertile very soon after stopping the pill. It is important to use a different contraceptive straight away if you do not want to get pregnant."

Dr Louisa Draper

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There are many reasons why you may want to stop the pill. Whether you are planning to switch to a different type of contraception or would like to start a family, you will find it helpful to know which effects quitting the pill can have on your body.

Mythbuster

Myth: You won’t be fertile for a while after stopping the pill.

Truth:
The hormones will leave your body within a few days after you have taken the last pill. You need to use contraception immediately after stopping the pill if you don’t want to get pregnant.

Myth: You need to stop taking the pill after a few years.

Truth: If your pill is working well for you and you aren’t experiencing any unpleasant side effects you can continue taking it up until the menopause (provided you don’t want to have children).

Myth: Stopping the pill will make my skin worse.

Truth: This is not true for everyone. However, if you suffered from acne before you started taking the pill it is possible that your skin problem returns after you stop taking the pill. However, this does not have to be the case.

Myth: You need to stop taking the pill when you reach 35.

Truth: Women over the age of 35 who smoke, are very overweight or have an increased risk of thrombosis are advised to stop taking the combined pill. They can still opt for a oestrogen-free minipill.