What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Taking Birth Control

It may be called birth control, but women make use of this hormone treatment for many other medical reasons. For women who have irregular periods, birth control helps regulate their cycle and makes the blood flow lighter. It also helps control acne and breakouts, resulting in clearer skin. Best of all, birth control deals works to minimize pain from menstrual cramps, sometimes making them disappear altogether (via Insider). 

But what happens if you decide, whether for medical reasons or because you want to have children, that you'd like to stop taking birth control? Obstetrician and gynecologist Salena Zanotti explains that women should expect the unexpected: "Keep in mind that the pill is a type of hormonal medication. Every woman reacts differently to going on the pill and then coming off it. Some women may notice huge changes, while others notice very little difference." (via Cleveland Clinic)

Your body will take time to return to normal after you stop taking birth control

Once you stop taking birth control, the hormones that were introduced into your body to prevent pregnancy will get flushed out in a matter of days, which means you could become pregnant fairly quickly, per Cleveland Clinic. What's more, experts at the Mayo Clinic say most women will begin to ovulate about two weeks after they stop birth control — and if you get pregnant in this timeframe, you many not experience a period at all. Otherwise, expect your period to return in a matter of weeks, though it can take up to a couple of months before your periods become regular again.

Some women who stop taking birth control may also experience what is known as post-birth control syndrome (or post-pill amenorrhea), which is "a set of symptoms that arise four to six months following the discontinuation of oral contraceptives," Jolene Brighten, a functional medicine naturopathic physician, explained to Healthline. These include a delayed period, hair loss, acne, digestive issues, and fertility problems. However, there is some disagreement among medical experts as to whether this is a separate syndrome or simply the body returning to normal after birth control is halted. 

Fortunately, these symptoms can resolve themselves in a matter of months. To help you body get back on track, aim to have a healthy diet and exercise plan, plus make sure you're eating enough fiber, protein, and fat.