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.