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Before planning a pregnancy

If you are starting to think about having children in the near future, you will need to consider the contraception you are currently using.

Some types of contraception affect your fertility for some time even after you stop using them. Other types allow your fertility to return as soon as you stop using them.

Condoms

If you and your partner use condoms (female or male condoms) to prevent pregnancy, all you need to do is stop using them.

Using condoms, with or without a form of hormonal contraception, is a bonus as they protect you from STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. These can lead to infertility if left untreated.

The pill

Whether you use the combined or the progestogen-only pill, you can get pregnant as soon as you stop taking it.

To give yourself time to get to know your body and to monitor your cycle so that later you can time sex for when you are most fertile, you should wait a month after stopping your pill for your cycle to return to its normal pattern – use condoms in the meantime.  

IUD/Contraceptive implant

These methods of contraception are often referred to as LARCs (long-acting reversible contraception) and they aren’t called “reversible” for nothing - as soon as you have your IUD, Mirena, or contraceptive implant removed, you could get pregnant.

Depo Provera injection

If you’re using Depo Provera, you should stop getting your injections well before you want to get pregnant, and switch to another shorter acting method of contraception such as condoms or the pill.

Some women won’t ovulate (release an egg) for many months after they stop using Depo, some will begin to ovulate straight away, and others will start after just a few months.

Each woman is different, and you can’t predict how long it will take for your fertility to return, so if children are on your horizon, it’s a good idea to give yourself some time for your fertility to come back.  

Reversing vasectomy

Vasectomy should always be considered a permanent method of contraception.

While it is possible to have a vasectomy reversed, it is important to know that it is not always successful. Reversal can be expensive and will mean you need to see a specialist. The more time that has passed since the vasectomy, the more difficult a reversal will be.

Other tips:

When you are trying to start a family, we recommend that you:

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Start taking folic acid tablets before you conceive. Folic acid prevents your baby from developing spina bifida

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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