The 24-year-old England left-arm spinner does not intend to retire, but will stand aside after making herself unavailable for this winter's Ashes tour of Australia and the following Women's World Twenty20.
"This is not a decision I have taken lightly as playing for England means so much to me and has been an integral part of my life since I was 15 years old," Colvin said in an ECB statement.
"But after eight years in the sport I feel now is the right moment to take a break and seek to establish myself in a career outside cricket."
Despite not confirming she was not retiring Colvin's decision, which she said the England management "fully understood", could spell the end of her international career.
In a press release to announce Colvin's break from the game the ECB revealed that a decision over her future availability for England would be made "in due course".
Warwickshire's Rebecca Grundy has been called in to replace Colvin in the England Performance Squad.
ECB's head of women's cricket Clare Connor said: "This has not been an easy decision for Holly as she has played for England for all of her young adult life.
"She has been a key member of the team, playing her part in our World Cup and World T20 wins in 2009 as well as successful Ashes campaigns in 2009 and 2013.
"Holly's decision creates an opportunity to invite left-arm spinner Rebecca Grundy into the England Women's Performance Squad from the England Women's Academy.
"Rebecca has developed enormously over the last couple of years at Warwickshire and thoroughly deserves this opportunity."
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