Planning A Pregnancy


Prepare for your successful pregnancy

You’ve been on birth control or preventing pregnancy and now you’re thinking about trying to get pregnant. Congratulations! While this is an exciting time, it is important to know that birth control can affect the way your cycle functions. By being in tune with your body, you can successfully plan your pregnancy.

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THE IMPACT OF BIRTH CONTROL ON YOUR SYSTEMBecause some types of birth control alter your hormones, it can take time to adjust after coming off birth control.

You may react in one of two ways when you stop taking birth control:

  • Pill/patch, ring, Nexplanon or hormonal IUD (Mirena): You will have a withdrawal bleed caused by those hormones leaving your body. It is not considered a period until after you’ve produced an egg – ovulated. After your withdrawal bleed, you will ovulate before you have a period.
  • Nonhormonal IUD (Paragard): Your cycles will be the same as they were when you were using the IUD. The difference is that the intrauterine environment will now be friendly to conceiving and implanting a pregnancy.

If you weren’t having a period while on birth control, it may take a few months for your uterus to have a thick, pregnancy-ready lining. Often an ultrasound will help date a pregnancy in the first few months.


Ovulation is critical to conception – if you don’t ovulate, it is impossible to get pregnant. Therefore, it helps to know when you are ovulating and what signs to look for throughout the month. Ovulation takes place consistently 14 days prior to your period. So if you consistently have 32 day cycles (beginning to beginning), you will ovulate 18 days after the first day of your period. If you have a 26 day cycle, your ovulation will be on the 12th day after your period started.

Your mucus discharge from your vagina is one of the most telling signs of fertility. This discharge will become more abundant and slippery around the time of ovulation. Fertile mucus is very different than non-fertile mucus; namely, it will make a long, stringy line if you touch it with your index finger and thumb. Picture the sperm swimming through something – clear and slippery is a much friendlier environment.

Each month, you have about a three day window in which you are fertile. While ovulation predictor tests can be useful if you have unpredictable cycles or very little changes in your mucus, they are also pricey. If, without them, you can identify fertile mucus, 85 percent of you will conceive within the first six months.


When planning to conceive a pregnancy, you can be thought of as ‘the habitat’.  Preparing the habitat for your eventual offspring involves some thoughtfulness and care.  What your lifestyle is like can be your first step to creating a healthy environment physiologically.  A supportive emotional environment helps your long term parenting skills and promotes your ability to be a strong family.

Tips as you begin your preparations:

Consider updating immunizations to protect yourself and your fetus from infectious disease

Eat protein foods daily including foods high in iron

Maintain a healthy weight by leading an active lifestyle and walking 30 minutes daily

Your unique situation allows us an opportunity to individualize your care and our recommendations specific to your needs.  A preconception appointment allows you to share your health history, your goals and challenges and we are here to help.

For questions about your cycle, help with insemination, or removal of an IUD, MAKE AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE