8 Surprising Fertility Facts

Birth control choices have fertility implications.

It sounds like a cruel joke, but it's true, says Dr. Holmes. The method of contraception that a woman has used may also impact conception. Women who used progesterone injections of Depo-Provera may have to wait for normal fertility to resume after they've stopped using the drug. It may take women who use Lunelle, another injectable form of birth control, six months to a year to have a normal menstrual and ovulation cycle.

And while many women believe that the effects of the pill linger long after they stop using it, that's yet another myth. Furthermore, it's not necessary to wait several cycles to "wash out" oral contraceptives before getting started. In fact, immediately after the pill is stopped, there can be an ovulatory rebound effect, resulting in a super-fertile period. Despite the increased chances of conceiving right after stopping the pill, Dr. Holmes still recommends most of her patients go off it two or three months prior to trying to conceive. That way, you can more predictably determine the length of your cycle, identify your fertile days, and be able to better date when you conceived once you actually do get pregnant.

Oral contraceptives also help to preserve fertility — pill users have a decreased risk of illnesses that harm fertility, such as endometriosis. The bottom line? Take stock of your birth control choices before you decide you want to get pregnant.