Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Pill and Future Fertility

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jul 04 - The use of oral contraceptives does not impair future fertility, according to a report in the June Fertility and Sterility.

"The study clearly shows that previous use of oral contraceptives does not influence fertility," Dr. Herbert Kuhl from J. W. Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany told Reuters Health. "There was only a short delay in the average time to pregnancy after discontinuation of the preparation."

Dr. Kuhl and colleagues examined conception rates after cessation of a combination of 30 micrograms ethinyl estradiol and 2 mg dienogest in 750 women who wished to become pregnant.

Six hundred thirteen women became pregnant within 1 year of terminating oral contraceptives, the authors report, and an additional 7 women became pregnant after the first year.

Overall, the results indicate, at least 86.8% of the women had become pregnant within 1 year. For the 652 women with complete data, the cumulative pregnancy rate at the end of the 1-year follow-up was 94%.

"These rates correspond to those observed in fertile couples who attempted to become pregnant without previous contraception," the investigators write.


The mean time period to pregnancy was 3.5 cycles, the results indicate, with nearly 50% of the youngest group conceiving during the first cycle after cessation of oral contraceptive use.

The duration of oral contraceptive use had little influence on the 1-year cumulative pregnancy rate, the report indicates. In fact, the lowest pregnancy rates were associated with the shortest duration of oral contraceptive use.

"The present data suggest that oral contraceptives cause only a slight delay of fertility during the first three cycles after termination of use and this is not influenced by the previous duration of treatment," Dr. Kuhl said.

"The results also suggest that oral contraceptives may have a favorable effect on fertility, perhaps due to a protective effect against pelvic inflammatory disease," said Dr. Kuhl, noting that another prospective study has been initiated to look at pregnancy outcomes.


At 12:05 PM, Blogger Sarah Louise Parry said...

I'd be lying if I said that it didn't worry me as a contraceptive pil-taking woman that it could interfere with my overall chances of having children some day.

Your article was an interesting insight.

At 4:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following is quoted from the August 2006 issue of Parenting magazine, page 74:

"If you're on the Pill or another form of hormone-altering bith control, like the Patch or the Ring, it may be masking symptoms of infertility. These methods bring on a "false" period, which is bleeding that's not a response to ovulation. "So if you develop a condition that tends to cause irregular or missed periods, you may not realize it," says Veronica Ravnikar, MD, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth, MA."

Infertility-causing conditions can inclue thyroid disorders (common in women), premature ovarian failure and the most common cause (affecting as many as 10% of women), PCOS. Furthermore, it has been found that in some women, the type of cervical fluid necessary to support sperm does not return for UP TO THREE YEARS due to damage caused to the cervical crypts by the unnatural hormones in birth control pills.

So I hardly think it's safe to say that birth control pills "clearly" don't affect future fertility in users.

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a lot of detailed information about fertility (PCOS etc.) here:


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