Off the Patch. Pregnant?


Dear Midwife,
Hi, Cynthia! I went off the birth control patch on the 13th of October. I got my period on the 20th which was normal. If I ovulate like normal, I would have been ovulating around the beginning of November, right? As soon as my period was gone my husband and I started trying to conceive. On the 6th I started spotting but it was a brown spotting. I think that is really weird. I have never had that before. Is it because I went off my birth control? Is there a chance I could be pregnant? When is the earliest I could test with a home pregnancy test to find out?


It is possible that you got pregnant as soon as October 20th (7 days after your last patch) and that the November 6th spotting was an implantation bleed. If it was, you might even have made enough hcg already to test positive.

However, cycles can be very irregular when you are changing hormones, and there is no telling when you actually ovulated (without an opk) or when your next menses will be.Good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.