Do Birth Control Pills Hurt Your Future Fertility? Truth From a Fertility Doctor

Natalie Crawford, MD – a board certified OBGYN and REI, discusses one of the top questions she gets asked – all about the pill and how it works and the impact on future fertility. Learn abut combined oral contraceptives (estrogen and progesterone pills), also called “the pill” and understand your options best from an expert. Fight misinformation about contraception with knowledge.

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Studies supporting:

Girum T, Wasie A. Return of fertility after discontinuation of contraception: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Contracept Reprod Med. 2018;3:9. Published 2018 Jul 23.

Barnhart KT, Schreiber CA. Return to fertility following discontinuation of oral contraceptives. Fertil Steril. 2009;91(3):659-663.

Davis AR, Kroll R, Soltes B, Zhang N, Grubb GS, Constantine GD. Occurrence of menses or pregnancy after cessation of a continuous oral contraceptive.

Gnoth C, Godehardt D, Godehardt E, Frank-Herrmann P, Freundl G. Time to pregnancy: results of the German prospective study and impact on the management of infertility. Hum Reprod. 2003;18(9):1959-1966.

Farrow A, Hull MG, Northstone K, Taylor H, Ford WC, Golding J. Prolonged use of oral contraception before a planned pregnancy is associated with a decreased risk of delayed conception Hum Reprod. 2002;17(10):2754-2761.

Mikkelsen EM, Riis AH, Wise LA, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Sørensen HT. Pre-gravid oral contraceptive use and time to pregnancy: a Danish prospective cohort study. Hum Reprod. 2013;28(5):1398-1405.

*note: many people who cite the opposite reference very old studies ( more than 20 years old) which utilize high dose EE pills (no longer used for contraception) and/or are poorly done in study design. The studies listed here support the highest quality evidence on this topic by respected leaders in the field. Further evidence supports that not only of combined oral contraceptives “the pill” not decrease future fertility, even continuous pill usage (no placebo pills) and prolonged duration of pill use is not associated with significant differences.
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Sharing fertility facts to educate women about trying to conceive, getting pregnant, ovulation, fertility treatments, IUI, IVF, becoming a doctor, life as a woman in medicine, and more.