Birth control doesn’t hurt a woman’s chances of having a baby in the future.
Women under 30 years old are incredibly fertile—their ability to get pregnant is at its peak. In the U.S., about three in four sexually active women under 30 are using some type of birth control. But many of them ask me, does using birth control now hurt my chances of getting pregnant in the future? Sigh of relief: it does not.
All reversible birth control methods will help prevent pregnancy while you’re using them, but none have long-lasting effects on your ability to get pregnant when you stop. That’s why women who use the Pill but accidentally forget to take it for a few days can get pregnant that month.
Let’s look, for example, at how long it takes for women to get pregnant when they quit the Pill compared to when they quit non-hormonal fertility awareness methods (FAM, sometimes called natural family planning). A big study of over 2,000 women who quit the Pill after using it for an……
No — there’s no evidence that long-term use of the birth control pill interferes with fertility. Some women experience a disruption in their menstrual cycle for several months after going off the Pill (a condition called post-pill amenorrhea). But this is usually caused by an underlying problem that’s unrelated to the Pill — for example, being significantly underweight, or even being under severe stress.
In fact, taking the Pill can protect you from diseases — such as ovarian and uterine cancers — that can lead to infertility. Researchers have also found that long-term Pill use may improve the symptoms of……
Not exactly. Even though some women who had erratic cycles swear that a few years on the Pill helped regulate them, doctors caution that the cycle regulation is artificial, and once women are off the Pill their fertility returns to whatever level it would have been. Some women’s cycles regulate themselves over time anyway, regardless of whether or not they take the Pill.
Once you do decide to go off the Pill, finish up your monthly batch, and then prepare yourself to be pregnant. Many doctors advise using a barrier method until you have had one or two periods, but that is only to help you keep track of your cycle so you can predict your due date. Even if you go off the Pill and get pregnant before you’ve had a period, a sonogram can help pinpoint how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Depo-Provera, a contraceptive injected into a woman’s arm or buttocks once every three months to prevent ovulation, is not intended for women who want to be pregnant any time soon. And doctors should always inquire about a woman’s timetable for family planning before prescribing the drug. That’s because Depo-Provera, while a highly effective method of birth control, is also the one hormonal contraceptive that can have lingering effects on fertility. “Even though Depo-Provera stops working reliably as birth control after three months, it persists in your body for……..
There is no scientific evidence that birth control pills cause infertility. “This idea is a common misconception of patients using birth control pills for prolonged periods of time. Birth control pills are the most effective reversible therapy to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. In fact, since birth control pills inhibit ovulation, some studies have suggested that the use of birth control pills may have a positive effect on preserving women’s ovarian reserve, the number of eggs available for ovulation,” Gomez advises.
Birth control pills contain the hormones estrogen and progesterone which send signals to the brain to stop producing follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which would cause eggs to mature and ovulate in a natural cycle. The effects of these hormones cause the uterine lining to remain thin (not receptive to embryo implantation), and cause cervical mucus to be too hostile of an environment for sperm to swim toward the cervix.
Many women will experience normal cycles within one to three months after stopping birth control pills, though it could take six months to one year for a woman to conceive with well-timed intercourse. “In about 10% of patients the resumption of normal ovulatory cycles may take up to 6-12 months. Therefore, the suppression of ovulation by the birth control pills is completely reversible, without long standing……..
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