What to Expect After Being on Birth Control for 5 Years.


Dear Midwife,
I have been on BC for about five years. My husband and I are newly weds, I went off the pill on November 6th the start of my cycle. I was approximately 9 days late for my period in December once I did start, it has been really light and bright red. This is not normal for me I usually flow at a steady medium pace for five days. I started on Friday and it is Sunday and I am not bleeding at all.

I guess I was wondering if this is normal after ending BC? Also what else can I expect after ending BC, I was on Ortho-Cyclen? How long will it take for my cycles to go back to normal or to become normal? I always ran a 28 day cycle even before I started the BC should I go back to that or will it change? When can I expect to start ovulating? Sorry this is a lot I am the first person I know to be trying to get pregnant and I'm not sure exactly what to expect. Thank you for your help.


First, I would suggest you take a pregnancy test.

If it is positive, congratulations!

If it is negative, then your body is just adjusting to the hormonal change.

Unfortunately, I can't say how long that will take, as it varies tremendously from woman to woman. You can try taking your temperatures or using an ovulation predictor kit to assess when you start ovulating again. That will help you sort out what is going on. Good luck!

-- Cynthia, CNM

Send Page To a Friend

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.