When do you ovulate on birth control
Last updated on August 13th, 2018
Birth control pills, more accurately known as the oral contraceptive (OC) pills, are one of the most popular forms of effective and reversible birth control methods. Over the years, birth control pills have been refined so as to optimize their benefits and to reduce their side effects at the same time.
How Do COCs Work?
The COCs being marketed today are synthetically prepared to mimic the action of two hormones that are naturally produced by the body-estrogen and progesterone. These pills release these hormones into the system, leading the body to think that it is pregnant. A negative feedback mechanism sets in that prevents the release of ovulation inducing hormones called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Leutinizing Hormone (LH).
Inhibition of release of FSH and LH prevents ovulation. This is the main mechanism by which contraceptive pills work. Other actions include thickening of the lining of the genital tract so that the sperms find it difficult to reach the uterus. Another way by which OCs prevent pregnancy is by inducing localized changes at the site of implantation of the fertilized egg, making it unreceptive to implantation.
Now comes the next main question.
When Do You Ovulate On Birth Control?
Ovulation usually occurs on the 14th day of the average menstrual cycle of 28 days, starting from the first day of the period. For example, if your period started on the 1st of a month, your ovulation time will be around the 14th of that month.
The normal ovulation process is, however, inhibited while you are on birth control pills as your ovaries do not release the egg. It is, however, possible that your ovaries do not stop ovulating altogether. In such cases, ovaries produce the eggs but they do not mature enough to cause pregnancy. Your ovaries might also experience another phenomenon called as “breakthrough ovulation”. It is more common with low dose birth control pills, in women taking certain other drugs and in the first few months after starting the pill.
This ovulation is not, however, limited strictly to the mid-cycle time period and can even occur late in the cycle. While taking contraceptive pills, in a minority of cases (up to 2%), women may ovulate on the 14th day, on the 20th day or even later in the cycle.
Once you stop taking the pill, the ovaries take about two weeks before the process of ovulation resumes. Normal menstrual cycle restarts after a window period of four to six weeks after you stop taking the pills.