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Do Some Methods of Birth Control Cause Infertility?

This is one of the stressing birth control questions for many young women. The good news is the birth control protection is temporary and wears off once you discontinue contraceptive use.

Effective birth control is one of the transformative medical advances that has allowed generations of women to take control of their own destinies. It’s easy to forget that since the pill was introduced in the UK in 1961, we have been at liberty to enjoy a level of personal freedom that our grandmothers never knew. Absolutely, birth control pills can cause infertility: that is what they are designed for! But of course that type of elective, temporary protection from involuntary pregnancy is not what we think of as infertility.

Just as women want reliable contraception at certain times, we also need reassurance that, when the time comes to try for pregnancy, there won’t be a backlash from previous contraception. So can birth control cause infertility? The good news is that it doesn’t, but different types of birth control can cause a small fertility delay.

What if you don’t get pregnant after stopping birth control?

A study of 2,000 women who wanted to become pregnant after taking the birth control pill for seven years was carried out by the European Active Surveillance Study on Oral Contraceptives. Researchers found: 21% were pregnant within one cycle after stopping birth control, 79% were pregnant within one year, Rates of pregnancy were lower among women over the age of 35. These results reflect the chances of pregnancy in the general population, and researchers concluded that birth control has no effect on fertility.