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TTC after years on BC

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 4, 2010
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We've decided to try for a baby as soon as we're married, but I've been on BC for a few years now and I know that it takes a while for the cycle to go back to normal so as to be able to conceive. Does anybody have any experience with this? Do you think I should go off BC now so that by the time the wedding comes around (in 2 months) my cycle will be back to normal?
 

pancake

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 7, 2010
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Hi Mayerling! I have a couple of things to say about this -

Firstly, from a medical perspective, there is this phenomenon described called "post-pill amenorrhoea", but it's existence as a distinct entity is somewhat disputed. When you're on the Pill, your pituitary gland's secretion of gonadotrophins (the hormones that control the ovarian hormones) is completely suppressed by the oestradiol and progesterone analogues in the Pill. When you come off, it can take a little while for the pituitary to "wake up" again and get the cycles going. However, where women take a particularly long time to resume regular cycles, this is probably a reflection of their underlying natural regulation - ie. If your cycles were irregular before, it's unsurprising for this to happen again.

This brings me to my own experience; I was on the OCP for 12 years. Before that, I had had periods for 7 years and they were NEVER regular - prolonged cycles (up to 9 or so weeks), long and heavy AF, lots of pain. In hindsight I suspect that there were lots of cycles where I didn't ovulate. I therefore thought it would take me several months to resume AF after coming off the Pill, and worried that I would have anovulatory cycles.

I came off in late April, and discussed things with a family friend who is a fertility specialist. He agreed that it would likely take me quite a while to have a cycle after coming off, and Told me to call him if I didn't resume AF within6 weeks. 7 weeks passed, nothing. I rang him. We had a talk, and he told me to have some blood tests to see if I'd ovulated with a view to inducing ovulation with clomiphene with my next cycle.

I definitely ovulated - I was up the duff!

Which only goes to show that these things are never entirely predictable.

Obviously only you know what your timeline is, but 2 months is not very long in the scheme of TTC. I would do whatever feels right in the lead-up to your wedding!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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Two of my friends - both in their 30's came off the BCP a few months before they wanted to start TTC. Both got pregnant straight away (one was 9 weeks pregnant on her wedding day due to thinking it could take a few months for her cycle to come back). Ditto my SIL (4 weeks pregnant on her wedding day).

I was on BCP for about 15 years on and off and everytime I came off I went straight back to a 27 day cycle - never had any wonky ones at all.

Some people do need a lot of time for their body to get back into synch, but if you don't want to get KTFU straight away then do use other forms of BC!

Lots of us on PS charted to get pregnant which, if you have a very regular cycle and good fertility pointers is a good form of contraceptive (if an ooops isn't a total disaster) and is also very useful in timing to get the best shot of getting PG.
 

hawaiianorangetree

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 17, 2009
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I think you will find that a lot of people who are planning on TTC have been on HBC for many years, for me it was 10, and that everyone's experience is different.

You could take a few months to fall pregnant, or you could get KU straight away, just like pancake! and there's probably nothing that is going to predict which one you will be.

Personally, I would be thinking about the possibility of being pregnant on your wedding day and how would that affect your plans. Do you want to have some champagne on your wedding day, what if you are suffering morning sickness by that point, are you prone to breakouts when not on the pill, are you wearing an extremely tight, figure hugging dress on the day? I think you get the idea. ;))

I guess if nothing like that is going to bother you then consider going off the pill now, before your wedding. If any of those things could be worrying to you, then I would probably hold off until after the wedding day or at the very least (depending on where your cycle sits with your wedding) not starting a new pack of pills in the lead up to the big day.

Good luck with your decision! You have some exciting times ahead. :))
 

megumic

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
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I would wait until just after the wedding to stop BC. I experience(d) terrible acne for the 6 months when I first stopped BC and would have been bummed out to deal with it on my wedding day. I don't mean to sound vein, but for that reason I would wait.

I also wouldn't want to be pregnant on my wedding day if I didn't intend to, so if you do end up going off BC now, I'd definitely use condoms up until that point if you'd like to wait until after the big day.

For me, it took no time at all to get back to a perfect 28 day cycle. We are waiting to TTC until October, but I'm happy to have adjusted and gotten back to normal.
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 4, 2010
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hawaiianorangetree|1309867552|2961868 said:
I think you will find that a lot of people who are planning on TTC have been on HBC for many years, for me it was 10, and that everyone's experience is different.

You could take a few months to fall pregnant, or you could get KU straight away, just like pancake! and there's probably nothing that is going to predict which one you will be.

Personally, I would be thinking about the possibility of being pregnant on your wedding day and how would that affect your plans. Do you want to have some champagne on your wedding day, what if you are suffering morning sickness by that point, are you prone to breakouts when not on the pill, are you wearing an extremely tight, figure hugging dress on the day? I think you get the idea. ;))

I guess if nothing like that is going to bother you then consider going off the pill now, before your wedding. If any of those things could be worrying to you, then I would probably hold off until after the wedding day or at the very least (depending on where your cycle sits with your wedding) not starting a new pack of pills in the lead up to the big day.

Good luck with your decision! You have some exciting times ahead. :))
I don't drink, and it's only two months to the wedding (half-way through my BC cycle now so I doubt I'd get pregnant for another few weeks), which means I'd be at most a month pregnant on my wedding day - so a figure-hugging dress wouldn't be an issue. Out of these, my only concern would be morning sickness.

@megumic: I went off BC before and didn't have any hormonal break outs. Unfortunately, I don't remember how long it took for my cycle to get back to normal - I was on it from 19 to 22, off it from 22-26, and now on it for the last four years. Anyway, even if I did remember, I can't bank on the fact that it would be the same this time as well.

To be honest, what I'm more concerned with is not being pregnant on my wedding day but, rather, being on my period on or just before my wedding day.
 

hawaiianorangetree

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 17, 2009
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mayerling|1309868350|2961872 said:
To be honest, what I'm more concerned with is not being pregnant on my wedding day but, rather, being on my period on or just before my wedding day.
That right there would be enough of a reason (for me) to stay on BCP until after the wedding ;-)
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 3, 2006
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9,613
Just wanted to add... the friend who was 9 weeks pregnant had a nightmare on her wedding-day...

All dressed and ready to leave the house to go to the church in a very figure-hugging silk sheath wedding-dress. Decides to pop to the loo just before going and discovers that she has started bleeding. No-one has any tampons or ST's in the house so they have to make do with a DIY one from her SIL's baby's diapers!

Fortunately everything resolved and her little boy will be 2 in December!
 

MustangGal

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 18, 2004
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2,029
Everyone is different, it took me 10 months after going off the pill to get KU, and the same for my SIL and a friend that just got preggo. But I've also known people that did way sooner than they expected! You may also have off cycles right after going off, so I'd wait until after the wedding. It's also a good idea to start pre-natal vitamins a few months before TTC to get all that stuff in your system.
 

NewEnglandLady

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 27, 2007
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I agree with Mustang--I'd probably hold off on stopping the BC, but start taking pre-natals. Like other posters have said, your body can do odd things off of BC (I broke out and I swear my boobs shrunk). I was also a little bit hormonal...or at least that's what DH tells me! :) In any case, I wouldn't want to rock the boat before the wedding.

My personal experience was similar to Pancake's. Before going on BC, I had irregular cycles, often heavy and in hindsight I suspect they may have been anovulatory. For that reason, I wanted to go off of BC long before DH and I planned to get pregnant. The first few cycles I had off of BC were actually great. They were around 30 days. I was ovulating. I even had EWCM. As time went on, my cycles did get longer (40+ days), but at least I was ovulating. So I really don't think I had as much to worry about as I thought and probably would have had good luck getting pregnant right off of BC had we had been trying.
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 4, 2010
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Thanks for the responses, ladies. Which prenatal vitamins would you recommend? I should mention that I have a severe aversion to most kinds of medicine, vitamins, etc., so something without much of a taste would be best.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 18, 2010
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mayerling|1309894550|2962141 said:
Thanks for the responses, ladies. Which prenatal vitamins would you recommend? I should mention that I have a severe aversion to most kinds of medicine, vitamins, etc., so something without much of a taste would be best.
I plan on taking the gummies without iron, since anything with iron makes me barf.
 

Lanie

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 20, 2008
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1,793
Yes. Get off of it right now if you're okay with being pregnant ASAP. I was on BC for, I don't know...10 years? 12 years? I was on it for irregular periods. When I went off, I didn't have a period for a very v e r y long time. So I had to induce my period with medication. If you had regular cycles before going on the pill, chances are that you'll have them when you come off. Not always the case, but it usually is according to my OB.

Also, I didn't check your math, but remember that pregnancy starts with the start of your cycle. So if you get your period and then you do a pregnancy test 4 weeks later, you are 4 weeks pregnant. You probably know this, but just in case you don't, I wouldn't want to be 6 weeks or more on my wedding day. That's when you can see morning sickness, and that's no fun.
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Hi,
Yeah, for sure start taking prenatals right away! I took Twinlab and started them about 6 months before I went off the pill to be sure folic acid was built up in my system.

All our cycles are different...mine went back to normal the first month. The fifth month I took a preg test on the day my period was suppose to start and it came back positive. Then a few days later my period came :( Then I got pregnant with my first son the following month. Not sure if the fifth month situation was a chemical pregnancy or not since I got preg the following month.

ETA - I had been on the pill for about 10ish years.
 

Mannequin

Brilliant_Rock
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Mar 16, 2006
Messages
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If you are concerned about ANY preggo symptoms (nausea, bloating, spotting, sore boobs, etc.) or having a period on the big day, you may want to wait until after the wedding to go off your BC. I went off my BCP in February, and used alternative BC for three months while taking prenatals. I used a small calendar and kept track of cycle information, and then plugged everything into Fertility Friend for analysis last month when we decided to start TTC. I had longer irregular cycles (including one with 7 days of heavy bleeding, ugh) after stopping BCP and FF was helpful in determining approximate O dates for conception. Between FF and the OPK strips I used last month, I got a BFP last week.
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
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Mar 4, 2010
Messages
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Lanie|1309906836|2962294 said:
Yes. Get off of it right now if you're okay with being pregnant ASAP. I was on BC for, I don't know...10 years? 12 years? I was on it for irregular periods. When I went off, I didn't have a period for a very v e r y long time. So I had to induce my period with medication. If you had regular cycles before going on the pill, chances are that you'll have them when you come off. Not always the case, but it usually is according to my OB.

Also, I didn't check your math, but remember that pregnancy starts with the start of your cycle. So if you get your period and then you do a pregnancy test 4 weeks later, you are 4 weeks pregnant. You probably know this, but just in case you don't, I wouldn't want to be 6 weeks or more on my wedding day. That's when you can see morning sickness, and that's no fun.
Isn't the start of your cycle the day when you start bleeding? Don't you have to wait until the middle of the cycle when ovulation happens for a pregnancy to occur?
 

pancake

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 7, 2010
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You are correct, but pregnancies are actually calculated from 2 weeks prior to ovulation as that is when most women have their last period.
 

Lanie

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Yes, you get your period, which is CD1, and then you ovulate, which is say, CD15, and then you take a pregnancy test say CD29, then you are 29 days pregnant. I mention this because one of my closest friends told me she was pregnant last fall. I asked her how far along she was, thinking she had waited for several weeks to tell me, and she said she was three weeks pregnant. I had to pull her aside and give her a crash course. She thought the "pregnancy clock" started at conception, which it doesn't. ANYWAY, what I'm getting at is that if you were to get pregnant, first off, congrats! (haha) and then secondly, you can feel out of sorts, but not until about 5-6 weeks. The way I was feeling at 6 weeks pregnant was NOT the way I would want to feel on my wedding day. I was miserable. I can't imagine being on my honeymoon feeling sick. But then again, some lucky lucky ladies don't feel a thing at all!

Best of luck to you on your upcoming wedding and TTCing!!! That's so exciting! :appl:
 

MustangGal

Ideal_Rock
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I don't remember which pre-natals I took, but I picked ones that you took two of, since the single ones were so big I had a hard time swallowing them. They also made me slightly quesy, so I would take them right before bed so as not to feel the side effects.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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It took my body three months after coming off the pill to regulate and (I believe) become fertile -- I was charting and monitoring my signs, and it was not until the third month that it became a clear fertile pattern. I found this period of time very frustrating. So going off the pill sooner rather than later benefits TTC in my opinion.

BUT you might consider abstaining completely from sex until your wedding ;)) I too would not want to be 6 weeks pregnant at my wedding, and abstaining is the only realy way to avoid that outcome 100%. And it makes the wedding night pretty fun too, so it is not all bad.
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
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Thanks for all the responses, ladies.

I think I've kind of - reluctantly - decided not to off BC before the wedding. Like I said, this has nothing to do with worrying about being pregnant at the wedding - as you ladies have explained I'd be at most 3 weeks pregnant by then - but primarily because I really don't want to deal with my period at that time.

So here's hoping that it won't take my body too long to go back to normal after that. :rolleyes:
 

Pandora II

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IIRC you are in the UK.

If so then they recommend taking folic acid here. At least 400 micrograms (Boots have them) although some doctors recommend higher doses. I was on 5mg as I take a medication that is also an anti-folate so if you are on any meds then check for that as it isn't always clear and your doctor won't always know.

Prenatal vitamins aren't recommended as so many of them can make you feel really sick - especially ones with iron in (you need to watch your iron levels in the 3rd trimester as they can make a post-partum haemorrhage much, much more severe - as I found out the hard way).

Regarding avoiding AF - when I was on the BCP I used to run 6 packs together back to back, then have the week break and then another 6 packs back to back. It's totally safe to do this - the only reason for having the break at all is to check you're not pregnant and because some women seem to like to mimic a natural cycle for some bizarre reason.

Ditto everyone else on pregnancy being dated from LMP (first day of last menstrual period) - if you have very long cycles it can give you a ridiculous date. For example if you have a 60 day cycle then you probably got KU on day 58 or so and yet you would officially be 8.5 weeks pregnant rather than the actual 12 days pregnant! They adjust with dating scans to fix this problem.
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
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Pandora|1310038546|2963621 said:
IIRC you are in the UK.

If so then they recommend taking folic acid here. At least 400 micrograms (Boots have them) although some doctors recommend higher doses. I was on 5mg as I take a medication that is also an anti-folate so if you are on any meds then check for that as it isn't always clear and your doctor won't always know.

Prenatal vitamins aren't recommended as so many of them can make you feel really sick - especially ones with iron in (you need to watch your iron levels in the 3rd trimester as they can make a post-partum haemorrhage much, much more severe - as I found out the hard way).

Regarding avoiding AF - when I was on the BCP I used to run 6 packs together back to back, then have the week break and then another 6 packs back to back. It's totally safe to do this - the only reason for having the break at all is to check you're not pregnant and because some women seem to like to mimic a natural cycle for some bizarre reason.

Ditto everyone else on pregnancy being dated from LMP (first day of last menstrual period) - if you have very long cycles it can give you a ridiculous date. For example if you have a 60 day cycle then you probably got KU on day 58 or so and yet you would officially be 8.5 weeks pregnant rather than the actual 12 days pregnant! They adjust with dating scans to fix this problem.
What's AF?
 

Pandora II

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Sorry, I forget that not everyone in this part of the forum hasn't spent months in the TTC thread and are therefore able to conduct entire sentences in fluent acronym. For example:

Once AF goes I'll be on CD7 and will have to get DH in the mood to DTD in order to get KTFU, obviously taking BBT and checking CF and CP will help with the timing of all that BDing aka a GOF - not to mention using the trusty OPKs, charting it all on FF and reading TCOYF when I can't remember things - and with any luck a FRER will show a BFP rather than a BFN about 12 days after O. That said I do have a 40 pack of ICs so I can definitely POAS multiple times a day in the hope of being a jerkstore...

Have I lost you yet? :bigsmile:

Translation below:

Once my period goes I'll be on cycle day 7 and will have to get darling husband in the mood to do the deed in order to get knocked the f*** up, obviously taking basal body temperature and checking ervical fluid and cervix position will help with the timing of all that baby dancing aka a goal oriented f*** - not to mention using the trusty ovulation predictor kit, charting it all on Fertility Friend and reading 'Taking Control Of Your Fertility' when I can't remember things - and with any luck a First Response Early Response will show a Big Fat Positive rather than a Big Fat No about 12 days after ovulation. That said I do have a 40 pack of Internet Cheapies so I can definitely pee on a stick multiple times a day in the hope of being a jerkstore (term invented early on in the TTC thread for someone who gets KTFU in the first or second month of trying)...
 

mayerling

Ideal_Rock
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I see what you mean by AF now. But I'm not worried about avoiding it. If I continue my BC, as things stand, I won't have my period until a few days after the wedding - I'm extremely regular. I was just worried about getting it in the event where I stop the BC.
 

DivaDiamond007

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I got pregnant my second cycle off of BCP's with my son. I had been on the pill since highschool - so like more than 10 years.

I would be more concerned about being pregnant or dealing with other side effects of being off the pill for your wedding. I had morning sickness with both pregnancies and wouldn't have made it through a wedding ceremony! I also break out horribly when not on BCP's so that would be a definite consideration for me.
 

noelwr

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like DivaDiamond, I also got pregnant 2nd cycle after stopping BCP after 11 years. I was even taking them like 12 weeks with no break just so I wouldn't get my period. ah... the good ol' days. anyway, before going onto BCP I had regular cycles of about 26 days and this came back when I stopped.

good luck to you!
 

tammy77

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Jun 23, 2011
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Nothing to add, I just wanted to say that Noel the pic of your baby in your avatar is PRICELESS! Now I'm going to get the heck out of here before I start begging DH to have another baby. :tongue:
 
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