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.