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Stopping contraception

When you decide you want to get pregnant you can stop barrier methods, such as the diaphragm and sheath, at once. But if you're on the pill or you're using an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD), a little more advance planning is needed.

The pill

Stopping contraception
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The usual advice is to stop taking the pill a month before trying to conceive, so that you have at least one normal menstrual period before becoming pregnant. But there's evidence to suggest that some women are more fertile immediately after stopping the pill, so this could be the ideal time to try if you've had fertility problems or you have had a miscarriage.

If you suspect that you're pregnant but you're still on the pill, stop taking it. Conceiving on the pill rarely causes any problems, but go to your doctor as soon as you can.

The intrauterine contraceptive device

Known as an IUD, or coil, this works by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg, or by causing changes in the uterus that prevent fertilized eggs from implanting. A very small number of women do become pregnant while using an IUD. Even though removing it during pregnancy does increase the risk of miscarriage, it's still generally recommended if at all possible in order to lower the risk of miscarriage and infection later in the pregnancy.

Posted 30.06.2010


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