Do birth control pills cause infertility in the future?


The new medical advances of effective birth control have transformed and allowed women to take control of their own destinies and given the women the liberty to enjoy personal freedom and postpone their pregnancy which was not possible for the previous generations. Most couples these days want to have a baby only when they are strong and stable financially and mentally prepared so that they could give their baby a better future. Though women choose to postpone pregnancy with pills there is always a concern whether these birth control pills are safe or will it be a cause for infertility in the future. Birth control pills are designed to cause infertility but the elective and temporary protection is not called infertility. As women want to be certain that these pills can prevent pregnancy they also would want to have a reassurance that when they try for pregnancy their previous contraception will not be a backlash, the question is.

Do birth control pills actually cause infertility in the future?

The good news is that they do not, but some types of birth control pills may cause a slight fertility delay. Here we try to understand how the birth control pills act and how they prevent pregnancy The different birth control methods There are two main methods of birth control in females the effects of which differ according to the age, fertility level, and overall health of the woman Hormonal methods-  These prevent pregnancy by addition of hormones that regulate the ovulation

1. Birth control pills

2. Intrauterine device (IUD)

3. Vaginal ring and contraceptive patch

Non Hormonal methods

1. Tubectomy

2. Fertility awareness and natural techniques of birth control

3. Copper IUD

4. Spermicide

5. Barrier methods like diaphragms, condoms, cervical caps, etc It is a well-known fact that the moment the barrier methods are stopped using can get one pregnant but the question is whether the long-term use of hormonal contraceptives like pills, injections, or implants has an effect on future pregnancy. Some methods do carry the risk of having to wait a few months till the fertility returns to square one.

How does the different birth control cause infertility?

The combination pills: They contain progesterone and estrogen which works by preventing ovulation and thickening of the mucus at the neck of the womb and thinning the lining thus avoiding ovulation and prevents implantation which is 99% effective in controlling birth, the cycles return to normal once it is stopped taking but rarely it may take longer to normalcy.

Three months of delay is considered normal.

Mini pill: This also has a similar effect by thinning the lining and preventing ovulation, once the pill is stopped the cycles re-establish and the lining becomes thicker rarely in some women the wait may be slightly longer.

Hormonal or copper IUD: IUD has a mechanical effect of preventing implantation whereas IUD with hormones has a combined effect of thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the uterine lining because of the release of progesterone. The menstrual cycle is re-established once the IUD is removed.

Vaginal ring or a contraceptive patch: Both of these are novel hormonal contraceptives with less evidence on the long-term impact, its action is similar to the pills and is suggestive of similar safety.

Contraceptive injection: The injection is taken once in three months is helpful for women who don’t want to be bothered about taking the pill every day. The only fear with this contraceptive is it may take a year for the cycles to re-establish so a less popular one among women who would like to become pregnant in the future. A study, on oral contraceptives, shows that – 21% got pregnant after one cycle after stopping birth control and – 79% got pregnant within a year and that rates of pregnancy were lower in women over the age of 35. This shows that birth control has no effect on fertility.

When do you need to seek advice?

If one is not pregnant within few months of dropping the contraceptive there is no need to panic.12 months is the normal time frame given to couples who are trying to have a baby and 6 months if the woman is 35 and above. It is possible that the body takes time to re-establish itself therefore it is important to give time for normalcy to return. If there is any delay get a reproductive assessment to find out the potential cause of infertility as it may not be the problem of female infertility the cause of infertility may be in the male partner too. Most of the researches have cleared that birth control does not cause any type of infertility however there are some misconceptions that birth control pills cause infertility but all these are just myths but the fact is that these pills do not become the cause of infertility in women but can be a reason for the delay in restarting of the ovulation after discontinuing them. The hormones taken to cover ovulatory issues may cause some alterations in the body and cause an increase in body weight and stress which may lead to an imbalance in the menstrual cycle. There are some other factors that can affect the fertility of women adversely which are not related to the birth control pills like when the couple plan to postpone their pregnancy then the age of women maybe 20 to 30 but when in the later years they plan their baby then the age of women can be more than 30 then the increased age of women can also be the factor which can cause infertility that can affect the quality and quantity of eggs of women.

If one is using some birth control methods then one must understand that the working of different methods is different and But these methods can give one relaxation of some time to stop pregnancies but cannot stop you from getting pregnant in later years. Postponing babies with different birth control pills can affect your overall health and there can be chances of some side effects in the long term but these methods cannot make you infertile. But one needs to use the appropriate method for a specific period of time only after the advice of the specialist so you could safely enjoy birth control and fertility can be easily returned after some years as per one’s choice. GarbhaGudi is a chain of Next-generation infertility treatment centres in Bangalore equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, doctors, staff, and embryologists trained in infertility treatments to take care of the ever-increasing challenges of infertility. To date, we’ve helped thousands of couples to conceive and revel in the bliss of parenthood.

GarbhaGudi fertility centre has been delivering miracles to couples since 2011 To find out more about IVF and the range of treatments and services we offer visit GarbhGudi IVF centre

For further details, you can also write to GarbhaGudi at or directly talk to our team at 8880000909
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