When Should I Quit Taking Birth Control Pills?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
My husband and I want to start trying to get pregnant in December. I'm currently on birth control pills and have been on them for almost 4 years.

When do you recommend that I stop taking the birth control pill in order to conceive in December?

ANSWER

The usual recommendation is to stop three months in advance and use condoms for that period. Your other choice is to stop in December.

If you start your pill pack on Sunday, be sure to have intercourse that Sunday (that you don't start your next pack), Monday and Tuesday, even if you are not finished with your menses.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

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.