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Can Birth Control Pills Cause Infertility?

Birth control pills do not directly affect your fertility, but they have a big impact on your menstrual cycle.

Check out how birth control pills can affect your fertility, and the duration it takes to get pregnant after you stop taking such pills.

Birth Control Doesn’t Cause Infertility

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after or beyond one year (or longer) of having unprotected sex regularly.

If you are aged 35, the definition birth control switches to six months of unsuccessful tries at getting pregnant. Infertility in women can be caused by several conditions, such as hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Among the causes listed, birth control is not one of them. In most majority cases, your cycle comes back as previous almost immediately after you stop the pill.

What’s more, scientific research has found no link between oral contraceptives and infertility. Take a 2013 study of 3,727 Danish women between the ages of 18 and 40. “Although OC (oral contraceptive) use was associated with a transient delay in the return of fertility, we found no evidence that long-term OC use deleteriously affects fecundability,” or the ability to get pregnant,” according the study published in Human Reproduction.

How Stopping Birth Control Affects Your Menstrual Cycle

Once you stop taking birth control pills, the hormones will leave your system. This will cause your body to take over and return to a natural menstrual cycle. This naturally happens relatively fast: The hormones (linked with oral contraceptives) only stay in your body for a short while. This explains why you need to always take the pill regularly because if you do not, the contraceptive will fail you.

So, expect your cycle to revert to normal soon after stopping birth control. For certain women, it can take a little time, characteristically not more than a few weeks, for the (menstrual cycle) to start functioning again after stopping the birth control pills. This isn’t always the case, however. Note that certain women will ovulate and resume seeing their regular periods almost immediately after discontinuing taking the birth control pill.

Injectable birth control options such as Depo Provera can cause the resumption of your normal menstrual cycle to last a little longer. Even though the Depo shot is given every three months, it can take 6 to 12 months (and in rare cases even longer) for a person’s menstrual cycle to return.

Getting Pregnant After Birth Control Pills

After you stop taking the pill, it’s possible to get pregnant as soon as your cycle returns. A lot of women have conceived immediately and that is the reason most OB-GYNs recommend waiting until you are truly ready before stopping contraceptive use. However, in some cases, things can take a little longer, and that’s normal.

Remember that it can take a few months for some women to finally achieve a pregnancy under normal circumstances. In a couple that is healthy enough to have no fertility problems, approximately 40 to 50 percent of them will get pregnant after three months of unprotected intercourse. Remember to always contact your OB-GYN or fertility specialist with all your fertility concerns.

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