Although birth control pills are a popular method of contraception, some women believe that using the pill causes fertility problems. Some feel that the longer you use the pill, the smaller your chances of becoming pregnant in the future are. Is this true or nothing but an old wife’s tale? Here’s what you should know about the birth control pill and infertility.
Do Birth Control Pills Cause Infertility?
No research has linked birth control pill use to long-term infertility. It is important to keep in mind, however, that ovulation must return before a woman will be able to become pregnant after stopping the pill. This generally takes two to three months, according to the American Pregnancy Association, although it is possible to become pregnant within weeks of discontinuing birth control pill use.
Why Doesn’t Ovulation Return After Using Birth Control Pills?
Some women may find that ovulation does not return after they discontinue birth control pill use. If you do not experience a menstrual period within two to three months after you have stop using the pill, the American Pregnancy Association recommends that you take a pregnancy test and contact your doctor. However, it is important to keep in mind that the reason that ovulation does not return is generally unrelated to the pill.
Many women begin using birth control pills to stabilize irregular menstrual periods, according to Health Services at Colombia University. This may be due to hormonal problems or conditions, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which can lead to infertility. If periods were absent prior to birth control pill use, they may remain absent afterwards as well.
Women who go on the pill due to painful menstrual periods may have endometriosis, a condition that may cause infertility and can go undiagnosed. Sexually active women may contract STDs, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, which can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease. When it is not treated right away, PID can cause infertility.
Overall, it is important to keep in mind that there is not a direct link between birth control pills and infertility. While there are other factors which can contribute to infertility, use of the pill is not one of them. In fact, the birth control pill is considered a better method of contraception for women who wish to become shortly after discontinuing contraception, especially in comparison to Depo-Provera. If you are unable to become pregnant within six months, it is important to speak to your doctor.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes only. It should not be used to replace the diagnosis or treatment of a licensed healthcare professional. If you are concerned about your health, be sure to seek medical attention right away.
American Pregnancy Association, “Oral Contraceptives: Birth Control Pills.”
Health Services at Colombia University, “The Pill and Infertility?”