Is Birth Control A Cause of Fertility Issues?

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 12 percent of women ages 15 – 44 in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.

Another CDC statistic tells us that 14 percent of women ages 15 – 49 are currently using the birth control pill as a method of contraception, and 10.4 percent of women are using a long-acting reversible contraception, such as an IUD.

A common myth that’s been circulating related to these two sets of statistics is that birth control or contraceptives have a negative impact on fertility or can even cause infertility. However, we know this is simply not true – birth control does not have a negative impact on fertility.

Birth control pills use synthetic hormones such as estrogen and progesterone to prevent ovulation, cause the uterine lining to become inhospitable for embryos and cause cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the cervix. Because ovulation isn’t taking place, birth control pills can mask or treat other underlying issues with ovulation or other menstrual cycle issues.

For some women, it can take a couple of months for their regular menstrual cycle to resume after stopping birth control. For some, their regular menstrual cycle will return right away. If it’s been two months and you haven’t resumed your menstrual cycle, you should contact your gynecologist for follow-up.

There are many different options of birth control, and you should work with your gynecologist to determine which one may be the best fit for you.

If you are trying to get pregnant and are under the age of 35, see your gynecologist after 12 months. If you are over the age of 35, see your gynecologist after 6 months. In addition, if you have irregular or painful periods, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or have had more than one miscarriage, make an appointment with your gynecologist before you begin trying to get pregnant.

 Obstetrician/Gynecologist Shawna Ruple, M.D., sees patients at MidMichigan Obstetrics & Gynecology in Midland and performs procedures and delivers babies at MyMichigan Medical Center Midland and MyMichigan Medical Center West Branch. Dr. Ruple specializes in routine and problem gynecology care, gynecologic surgery, prevention of female reproductive cancers, birth control options, caring for women while pregnant and more.


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