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When will my periods come back after I stop taking the pill? - Your contraception guide

It can take a while for your periods to come back after you stop taking the pill.

Period usually start again within 4 weeks after stopping the pill, but this depends on what your cycle is normally like.

Weight, health, stress, exercise and conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can all influence your cycle.

Your periods may be irregular when you first come off the pill, and you should allow up to 3 months for your natural menstrual cycle to fully re-establish itself.

This is because the pill contains the hormones that stop the release of an egg (ovulation) each month.

The first period after stopping the pill is known as a "withdrawal bleed". The next one after this is your first natural period.

It's unlikely that the time you've been on the pill will cause infertility. You might be able to conceive immediately after you stop taking it.

However, while the pill does not cause fertility problems, it can mask underlying problems you may already have, such as irregular periods.

You can get pregnant as soon as you come off the pill, so it's important to use another form of contraception, such as condoms, straight away.

If you want to get pregnant, it's a good idea to plan for pregnancy before you stop taking the pill. This gives you time to make sure you're in the best physical health for pregnancy – for example, by taking folic acid supplements, giving up smoking and giving up alcohol.

Find out more about planning your pregnancy.

Page last reviewed: 1 March 2022
Next review due: 1 March 2025