Hormonal Birth Control: How Long Does It Stay In Your System?
It's normal to wonder what it will be like to stop using birth control when you're thinking about changing your technique or thinking about getting pregnant. For example, how long does birth control stay in your system? The answer depends on the sort of birth control you are currently utilising, as specific birth control methods might last significantly longer than others.
Keep reading to learn more about the validity of birth control in detail.
How Does Hormonal Birth Control Work?
Before learning about the lasting duration of hormonal birth control in your system, let's see how birth control works to prevent conception.
Although various birth control techniques are available today, hormonal contraception is discussed here. These procedures use artificial hormones to cause your body to react in a way that prevents pregnancy, albeit the reactions differ slightly.
The birth control pill, also known as the combined oral contraceptive or the combination pill, functions by:
- Cervical mucus thickening
- Blocking ovulation
- Preventing the thickening of the uterine lining
Because the dosage of progestins in the mini pill (progestin-only pill) is insufficient, it does not inhibit ovulation in all users. Instead, it thickens cervical mucus and inhibits the uterine lining from thickening. Conversely, a fresh mini pill containing progestin (drospirenone) functions by suppressing ovulation.
In addition to thickening cervical mucus, the hormonal IUD stops the uterine lining from thickening. Similar to the mini pill, it may inhibit ovulation in a lesser proportion of users (up to 55%, depending on the progestin dose).
What is the Duration of Hormonal Birth Control in Your System?
The duration of hormonal birth control in a person's system varies based on the medicine. However, most birth control techniques don't stay in your body long after you stop using them.
In this regard, this ranges from 40 to 225 hours for an oral progesterone-estradiol tablet. In other words, you can anticipate that most drugs will be eliminated from your body in a day or two. Another way to look at it is that you might have problems if you accidentally skip a dose.
What Are the Different Hormonal Birth Control Techniques?
However, even if someone misses one pill while using an OCP to prevent conception, the medication still works. So, the effectiveness dramatically reduces, and backup methods of contraception are advised if they miss two or more pills.
- The Pill: It could take some time for your regular menstruation to start after the hormones have left your body. The combination pill suppresses ovulation; thus, if the pill is stopped, it can take some time for ovulation to return. For some women, the resumption of menstruation can take up to six months. On the other side, after discontinuing the pill, ovulation may resume right away. Also, it is not unusual for women to become pregnant without menstruating.
- IUD: Progesterone IUDs predominantly affect locally (affecting the uterus and cervix). Hence, most of its benefits are immediately lost when it is eliminated. So, use an alternative method of contraception if you are not attempting to get pregnant and have your IUD removed. In fact, especially with IUDs, women must refrain from coitus for 72 hours before removal because the effectiveness expires immediately.
- The Shot: One kind of birth control that can take a while, after the last injection, to leave the body is the Depo-Provera shot. The half-life of this Depo shot is around 200–250 days. So, as a result, if someone is deciding when to try to get pregnant, it could take those 7-9 months after their last injection before they ovulate. Keep this lengthier return time in mind if you're considering getting pregnant soon. After taking Depo-Provera, there are a few things to be aware of, and techniques like monitoring your ovulation might be helpful. However, it might require little time (and medical guidance) because it is reversible.
- The Implant:That is likely how long the hormones stay in the body because clinical trials for Nexplanon demonstrate that pregnancy can occur as fast as 7–14 days after it is removed. So after the implant is removed, you should be able to resume "regular" cycles in three months.
- The Ring: After the ring has been off for 48 hours, you are no longer protected against becoming pregnant. Also, ovulation and menstrual periods should return to normal within three months of the ring being removed.
- The Patch: After the patch has been removed for 48 hours, there is no protection against pregnancy. Also, ovulation and menstrual cycles should return to normal within three months of removing the patch.
Pregnancy and Half-life Period of Hormonal Birth Control Pills
- The time period for which the effect of a drug or a pill stays in the body system, is considered as its half-life period. Most of the time, a hormonal birth control pill will exit your body in less than 48 hours, which means that it has a half-life of approximately 48 hours. [However, this does not necessarily imply that 48 hours after stopping birth control, your body will be fully prepared for pregnancy.]
- All hormonal types of contraception modify your menstrual cycle, and there may be a 90-day "adjustment period" before your regular cycles resume. However, this is not brought on by residual hormones from birth control.
- An ovarian follicle (which grows and releases an egg) is thought to take 90 days to go from actively developing (medically referred to as preantral) to preparing for ovulation (preovulatory). So your body has 90 days to ovulate an egg that artificial hormones haven't impacted.
- If your menstruation doesn't come on 90 days after stopping birth control, there may be a problem that birth control was masking. If this occurs, see your healthcare professional for medical guidance so they can assist you in determining what's going on.
- In this regard, the sole exception to this 90-day advice is if you're stopping the Depo-Provera injection. This is the only method of birth control that has been proven to postpone ovulation for up to 18 months. No matter what kind of birth control you use, you don't need to take anything or do anything to "cleanse" your body of artificial hormones. They will leave your body independently.
Getting Pregnant After Stoppage of Birth Control
In order to determine how likely it was for people to become pregnant within a year of stopping hormonal contraceptives, researchers in 2018 carried out a systematic review.
They discovered that 87.04% of former oral contraceptive (pill) users, 84.75% of former hormonal IUDs, 77.4% of former shot users, and 74.7% of former implant users became pregnant within a year. So, although there is little information on former ring and patch users, you can anticipate a pregnancy at a comparable time as with oral contraceptives.