What to Expect After 15 Years on Pill?

Question

I was on the pill (Desogestrel 0.15mg and Ethinyl Estradiol 0.03 mg) for 15 years and stopped taking it at the end of March this year.
I am now in my mid 30’s and am wondering what I should expect. I am three days late for my period and have had some mucus discharge twice (over a three day period) at the beginning of the week and pain on my right side, which now seems to have gone away.

Is it possible that I will just not get my period for a while? Should I go see a doctor? I had my yearly PAP test at the begining of March and it was clear.

Thanks,

Claire

Answer

Dear Claire,

After discontinuing hormonal birth control, cycle length may be prolonged and irregular for the first few cycles. Some women establish regular cycling after a month or two, while others can experience irregularity for many months more.

The fertility signs you recognized (mucus discharge and pain) may have been associated with ovulation. If so, you can expect a period within about 9 to 16 days after the last day of mucus, however, these signs can also occur without ovulation (and multiple times during a cycle) as your body rids itself of artificial hormones. Your own hormones fluctuate as your body readjusts to its natural state.

Learning and charting your fertility signs is the surest way to understand when you are in a fertile or infertile phase of your cycle, when you are ovulating, and knowing when to expect your next menses.

Ron and Andrea Gronsky

Answered By:

Andrea and Ron Gronsky
Andrea and Ron Gronsky, PhD, Professional Members of CANFP,now retired, taught the Sympto Thermal Method through the Couple to Couple League, in the Oakland Region.

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