Birth control is an essential part of reproductive healthcare for many people, providing a range of benefits beyond contraception. Whether it’s oral contraceptives, patches, injections, or other methods, it’s important to understand what happens when one stops and restarts birth control. This article aims to examine the effects and potential considerations for individuals undergoing this process, with input from diverse perspectives.

Effects of Stopping Birth Control:

1.Menstrual Changes:

When stopping hormonal birth control, particularly oral contraceptives, one may experience changes in their menstrual cycle. It may take a few months for periods to return to their natural rhythm, during which time irregular bleeding and fluctuations in flow may occur. According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, most women resumed regular menstrual cycles within three months after discontinuation .

Effects of Stopping Birth Control

2.Fertility Restoration:

Some individuals may choose to stop birth control to actively pursue pregnancy. The duration of time for fertility to return can vary depending on the type of contraception used and individual factors. Following discontinuation, it is recommended to allow one full menstrual cycle before attempting to conceive .

3.Hormonal Imbalance:

Discontinuing hormonal birth control can result in a temporary hormonal imbalance. This may lead to symptoms such as mood swings, acne breakouts, changes in libido, and weight fluctuations. However, these effects are typically short-lived and subside as the body adjusts to its natural hormonal state .

Effects of Restarting Birth Control:

1.Restored Contraceptive Effectiveness:

Restarting birth control after a period of discontinuation reinstates its contraceptive effectiveness. However, it is advised to use backup contraception methods (such as condoms) during the first seven days of restarting hormonal birth control to ensure adequate protection .

2.Regulated Menstrual Cycle:

Restarting birth control methods can help regulate menstrual cycles, providing predictability and potentially reducing symptoms like cramps and heavy bleeding. Consistent use of hormonal birth control can also provide relief from conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis .

Regulated Menstrual Cycle

3.Improved Non-contraceptive Benefits:

Beyond contraception, birth control methods offer other health benefits. For example, hormonal birth control has been shown to lower the risk of ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancer, as well as reduce the prevalence of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) [6]. Restarting birth control ensures the continued benefits of these health advantages.

Considering Diverse Perspectives:

It is crucial to acknowledge that the effects of stopping and restarting birth control will differ among individuals based on their unique biological factors and personal experiences. Consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended to understand the potential effects and make informed decisions.


Stopping and restarting birth control can result in various effects on menstrual cycles, fertility, hormones, and overall health. While some changes may be temporary, others provide long-term benefits. Understanding these effects helps individuals make informed decisions about their reproductive healthcare. It is advisable to consult a healthcare provider to receive tailored guidance and support throughout this process.


  1. Planned Parenthood, Birth Control Pill
  2. Mayo Clinic, What to do if You Miss a Pil
  3. WebMD, Birth Control
  4. Healthline, birth control pills