How Long Does Birth Control Stay in Your System? Understanding the Duration

Amisha Jain
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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how long does birth control stay in your system

Birth control is a widely used method for preventing unwanted pregnancies, offering individuals the freedom to plan their families and manage their reproductive health. 

No matter the type of birth control used, a few common questions typically surround the topic.

One common question that arises among users is, “How long does birth control stay in your system?” 

Knowing this information is important because it helps one identify how protected they are or how long after stopping birth control their fertility is restored.

Read along as we discuss the duration for which different birth controls stay in the body.

How long does birth control stay in your system after you stop taking it

The length of time for which birth control stays in your system might vary depending on the type of birth control you are using.

The most commonly used birth control methods have been discussed here.

Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)

Woman holding birth control pillsSource: Signature_images
Woman holding birth control pills

Oral contraceptives are taken daily, and their effects depend on the specific type of pill.

Generally, it takes about one to two days for the hormones from birth control pills to leave the system after the last dose.

However, some Progestin-only pills may have a shorter duration, with effects vanishing within 24 hours.

Scientists isolated a compound, later known as Progestin, from the yam’s roots. This compound became a key ingredient in the first oral contraceptive.

Birth control patch

The contraceptive patch is applied to the skin, releasing hormones gradually.

After stopping the use of the patch, hormonal effects may stay for a few days up to a week before it leaves the system.

However, you can get pregnant right away if you don’t use any other form of contraceptive after you stop using the patch.

Vaginal ring

The vaginal ring is inserted into the vagina and releases hormones over a three-week period.

The effectiveness in preventing pregnancy declines after 48 hours of removing the contraceptive ring from the body.

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

Hormonal IUDs release hormones locally in the uterus and have a long-lasting effect.

After removal, fertility typically returns in some time as the hormones are not systemic.

However, in the case of copper IUDs, no hormones are released in the body, and the birth control effects are reversed as soon as the IUD is removed.

Improper insertion of IUDs can lead to an increased risk of pelvic infection. Ensure that your IUD is correctly and professionally placed by a trained healthcare provider.

Injectable contraceptives

Injectable contraceptives, such as Depo-Provera, are administered every three months.

The effects may persist for about 10 months, and fertility may take some time to return after discontinuation.


The birth control implant is a small, flexible rod that is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. 

It releases a Progestin hormone and can be effective for up to 3 years.

However, it can be removed at any time before that if a person wishes to stop using it or if they experience side effects. 

Once the implant is removed, its contraceptive effects wear off relatively quickly, and fertility usually returns shortly afterward.

Factors affecting how long birth control stays in your body

Several factors can influence how long birth control remains in a person’s system apart from the type of contraceptive method used. 

Your metabolism can impact the rate at which the contraceptive hormones are eliminated. 

This happens because your metabolism slows down with age, and a slower metabolism would mean more time to process the hormones.

Personal health conditions and medications can also influence how the body metabolizes and responds to birth control hormones. 

As such, it is advisable for individuals to consult with healthcare professionals to determine the most suitable birth control method based on their unique circumstances and health status.


Understanding how long birth control stays in your system is crucial for individuals planning pregnancies or considering a switch in contraceptive methods. 

The duration varies depending on the type of birth control, individual factors, and overall health. 

Contraceptives like pills and vaginal rings stay in the system for up to 48 hours after the last use.

On the other hand, patches may take up to a few weeks.

Injectable contraceptives, which are administered every 3 months, stay in the body for several months after the last shot.

Considering such differences in the durations for which each contraceptive stays in the body, consultation with a healthcare provider is essential.

They can provide personalized advice and guidance when making decisions about birth control and family planning.

Looking for a reliable and convenient solution for confident family planning?

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do birth control pills stay in your system after you stop taking them?

The duration of birth control stays in your system after discontinuation depends on the type. Generally, for oral contraceptives, it takes one to two days. However, individual factors like metabolism can influence clearance times. It’s essential to consult a healthcare provider for personalized information based on the specific birth control method used.

How long does birth control stay in your system to get pregnant?

After stopping birth control, the timeline for returning to fertility varies among individuals. While some may conceive shortly after discontinuation, for others, it might take a few weeks to months. The return to fertility depends on factors such as the type of birth control used and individual physiological differences.

How long do birth control pills stay effective?

Birth control pills remain effective as long as they are taken consistently and as prescribed. Missing doses or not following the prescribed schedule may decrease their efficacy in preventing pregnancy. It’s crucial to adhere to the recommended usage guidelines provided by a healthcare provider to ensure the continued effectiveness of birth control pills.

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