Thursday, May 10, 2007
Oral Contraceptive Use and Ability to Get Pregnant
There is a common thought among women that use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills) might affect the ability to get pregnant in the future. Now a definitive study has shown that use of oral contraceptives has no affect on a woman's ability to conceive after she stops the pill.
A large study reported in Obstet gynecol looked at 60,000 new pill users. They followed the women who stopped the pill to get pregnant. The researchers found that 21.2% of women conceived within the first month of stopping the pill. This was comparable to women who had never been on the pill. One year after stopping the pill, 79.4% were pregnant! The median time to conception for all women was 3 months.
Pregnancy also did not differ for women over the age of 35 compared to women who had never been on the pill.
About 70-80% of women between age 25-34 became pregnant within 12 cycles of stopping birth control pills. After 2 years, 90% of the women conceived. Among women 35 or older 62% became pregnant by 1 year and 77.5% were pregnant at 2 years. These rates were statistically the same as for women who had never taken the pill.
This study debunked old myths that the birth control pill affects future pregnancy.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 10:09 PM