What happens when you stop taking oral contraceptive pills

What happens when you stop taking oral contraceptive pills

Oral contraceptive pills have a lot of side benefits besides preventing pregnancy. They help clear up your skin, regulate your period, and relieve PMS symptoms, just to name a few. But what happens to all these benefits when you stop taking pills?

You could get pregnant soon

No, you don’t have to have your uterus cleaned or wait for your system to flush out the pills.

For most women, they already ovulate within 1-2 months. And that means that you can get pregnant immediately after stopping the pills.

That may be good news for those trying to get pregnant. But if you don’t have plans of getting pregnant, use condoms or another form of contraception immediately after stopping the pills.

Your cycle could become irregular

Being able to regulate menstrual cycles is one of the biggest benefits of using pills.

It’s common to experience irregular cycles and unpredictable periods when you stop the pills, especially if you’ve always had irregular cycles even before.

Your period could be heavier and more painful

Pills typically make periods lighter and less painful. If you were experiencing heavy flow and excruciating pain during your periods, expect them to return when you stop taking pills.

And, yes, that includes premenstrual syndrome too. Pills help balance out the hormonal chaos throughout your menstrual cycle. Without it, you’ll experience the dreaded PMS symptoms again.

Your weight isn’t likely to go down

If you’re ditching the pills just to shed some pounds, it’s not going to be effective. According to studies, pills do not have a significant impact on weight gain. You’re more likely to lose weight if you eat a healthier diet and engage in physical activity.

Acne and unwanted hair may start appearing again

Pills help regulate hormonal imbalance that cause acne breakouts and hair growth in unwanted places. Once you’re off the pills, you may notice unwanted hair growing again and pimples appearing here and there, especially around your period.


WebMD Editorial Contributors. (March 9, 2023). Stopping the Pill? 10 Ways Your Body May Change. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/stopping-pill-10-ways-body-changes 

Villines, Z. (November 26, 2019). What happens if you stop taking birth control pills mid pack?. MedicalNewsToday. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327130 

Felton, K. (August 21, 2022). 9 Things That Might Happen to Your Body When You Quit Birth Control Pills. Health. https://www.health.com/condition/birth-control/stopping-birth-control 

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