What to expect when coming off the pill, and 5 things to do before you do

What may happen when you come off the pill

Regardless of how long you’ve been taking the pill, the synthetic hormones are cleared from the body within days of coming off it.

Your body returns to releasing different amounts of oestrogen and progesterone throughout the cycle – although what’s ‘normal’ for your body may have changed. Teenagers can have irregular periods for the first few years before a more regular rhythm establishes.

A lot might have changed since you first went on the pill – your body could have developed a medical condition, have a different lifestyle, changed size or shape, or had children. This can all impact how natural hormones in your body can impact you.

Here are some of the changes you might expect when coming off the pill:


For many women, periods come back within a month of stopping the pill, with almost all women getting their period within three months.

Your periods may start off irregular, but generally return to the natural menstrual cycle within three months. Women on the pill often have quite light periods, so coming off the pill you might experience heavier or longer periods.

The natural cycle can also be impacted by exercise, diet, stress and underlying medical conditions. It’s a good idea to see a doctor if you haven’t got your period back within three months.


Women can expect their fertility to return to their baselinenatural’ level about three cycles after coming off the pill. That being said, you can definitely get pregnant as soon as you come off the pill.

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Being on the pill does not impact long-term fertility, even if it was taken for many years, so there’s no medical need to take a ‘break’ from the pill to ‘normalise’ things for the body.