You made the choice to come off hormonal birth control – for a lot of women, they look forward to seeing their periods settle back into their previous rhythm.  You wait for the first signs and then… hmm, it seems to take longer than you expect for your period to return. Alas, this is normal in most cases and you should read up a little on what to expect when you come off the hormonal birth control method. Luckily, we’ve done the leg work for you. Here’s the lowdown. (As always, we recommend you talk to a doctor or your gyno about any concerns or additional questions you may have about switching birth control).

Birth control type What they say about your period returning
Implant ?
Pill Your periods may come back, but be irregular, when you first come off the pill. Generally, you should expect your cycle to return to normal after about 3 months from coming off the pill.

A lot of women have a period about 2-4 weeks after stopping the pill (but there are also many who don’t). This first period is what they call a ‘withdrawal bleed’ and then the one after that is considered a ‘normal period.’

For some women, it is possible to conceive immediately after you stop taking the pill.

NuvaRing Most women see their period return to how it was before they were using it, within 1 to 2 months after removing the NuvaRing.

Some women experience a lack of periods for as long as 6 months after removing the NuvaRing (this may be the case if you had irregular periods before using the NuvaRing).

Patch ?
Mirena (IUD) On the Mirena US website, they claim ‘about 8 out of 10 women who try to become pregnant after removal of Mirena will become pregnant within one year’

It appears that depending on your cycle pre-IUD, it is possible that it returns as soon as you’ve had the IUD removed.

We checked a few forums and there are just as many women whose period didn’t return after a year also. We recommend that you check with your doctor if you’re still waiting for your cycles to return to normal, or if you experience any difference in your cycle.

What’s important to know too, is that what’s ‘normal’ doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what will happen to you! There are other things that can affect when your period comes back too, including your age, your stress levels, weight, your general health and so on. Bottom line – ask your doctor if you’re worried!

Dr X word: (guest doctor to add comment to each post?)