Are you ovulating on birth control pills?

If you’re using birth control pills, especially combination birth control pills that contain estrogen and a progestin, you usually won’t ovulate on the pill.

The hormones in birth control pills stop you from ovulating, which is what makes them effective birth control methods. Without the release of the egg, the sperm cannot fertilize, and therefore no pregnancy.

The key to using birth control pills to stop ovulation is correct use. Knowing how each pill works can help you better understand your fertility.

This article discusses how different types of birth control pills affect ovulation.

How birth control affects ovulation

Ovulation occurs when one of your ovaries releases an egg. When ovulation occurs, the egg can be fertilized by sperm and become pregnant.

If you don’t use hormonal birth control, ovulation usually occurs in the middle of your cycle, or about 14 days before your period.

Sperm can live in a woman’s reproductive organs for three to five days, while eggs only survive 12 to 24 hours after ovulation. Therefore, you are most likely to get pregnant if you have sex two or three days before or on the day of ovulation.

READ ALSO:  Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

If you Yes Use hormonal contraception, which changes things. Generally, hormonal birth control sends a message to your brain that you have ovulated. This prevents ovulation from occurring. How it works depends on the birth control method you use.


Hormonal contraception sends your brain the message that you have ovulated. This stops your body from releasing the egg, which prevents pregnancy.

Combination birth control pills and ovulation

Combination birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone, which is a synthetic form of progesterone. They prevent ovulation by tricking your brain into thinking you’ve already ovulated.

During a natural menstrual cycle, levels of estrogen and progesterone rise and fall when you are not using hormonal birth control. These hormones communicate with the pituitary gland, which controls ovulation.

If you use a combination birth control pill, hormone levels remain fairly constant throughout the cycle. This tells the pituitary gland that it does not need to ovulate.


Combination birth control pills keep hormone levels stable throughout the menstrual cycle. This communicates to your pituitary gland that you don’t need to ovulate.

Progestin-only birth control pills and ovulation

The hormones in progestin-only birth control pills or mini-pills can sometimes prevent ovulation. Its main way of preventing pregnancy is by thickening cervical mucus. This prevents sperm from reaching the egg even if you have ovulated.

when you may be ovulating on birth control pills

If you don’t take the pill at the same time every day, your body may not have enough hormones and ovulation may occur. If you miss more than one pill in a row, your risk of ovulation increases.

As mentioned earlier, ovulation is possible if the mini pill is used, but the egg will not be fertilized if the proper pill is used.


Combination birth control pills that contain estrogen and progestin prevent your body from ovulating. Pregnancy is prevented because there is no egg for sperm to fertilize.

Combination birth control pills keep hormone levels in your body steady, which sends your brain the message that you’ve ovulated.

Progestin-only birth control pills may prevent ovulation. However, its main way of preventing pregnancy is by thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does it take to start ovulating after stopping the drug?

    Fertility returns quickly once you stop taking hormonal contraceptives. On average, women start menstruating within 32 days of stopping the pill, so ovulation can start as early as two weeks after stopping birth control.

    understand more:

    What happens when you stop birth control

  • Will I stop ovulating the next morning after taking the pill?

    Yes. Researchers initially thought that if you took levonorgestrel, drugs used in plan B, and other forms of emergency contraception, a fertilized egg would not implant. However, recent research has shown that this contraceptive method works by preventing an egg from being released and fertilized. It is estimated that if taken before the egg is released, it can prevent ovulation 15% of the time.

    understand more:

    What is Plan B emergency contraception?

  • Why am I not ovulating?

    Hormonal birth control can stop you from ovulating, but there are several possible medical reasons. These include:

    • underweight
    • obesity
    • endocrine disorders
    • primary ovarian insufficiency
    • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
    • Ageing

    understand more:

    Everything you need to know about ovulation