Fears that oral contraceptives may have long-term effects on fertility have been around for as long as the Pill itself. The concern is a natural one, but there is no evidence to support it: as soon as you stop taking birth control pills, your fertility should return to its natural level.
The Pill first became available in Great Britain in 1961. By the end of the 1960s, around one million women were taking it. By 2,000 that figure had risen to around 3.75 million women.
The Pill has always had its detractors, but – as one of the most commonly taken medicines and with more than half a century to monitor its performance and impact – there are few medications that have been so thoroughly researched. The good news is that all the evidence suggests that it has no impact on fertility. An early study of 116,686 registered nurses in the United States found no statistically significant increased risk of fertility from taking the pill; importantly, the study also found no correlation between how long a woman had been taking the Pill or how young she was when she first started taking it.
Research in this area has consistently concluded that the Pill is an effective but instantly reversible form of contraceptive. One study of a group of women who tried for a baby after stopping taking oral contraceptives found that 81% were pregnant within a year, a comparable rate to general conception levels.
It is true that your fertility may not be exactly the same as it was before you first started taking oral contraceptives, but there are any number of factors that can affect this. For example, if you started taking the pill at 25 and come off it at 35, you might expect your fertility to have reduced as a natural consequence of aging. Similarly, lifestyle and environmental factors can affect your fertility; your weight, your general health and even your stress levels could all impact on your fertility, so it may not be exactly what it was before you went on the pill. However, there is no evidence to suggest that taking the pill in itself will adversely affect your fertility.
Our experts at The Agora Clinic are happy to advise you on the best lifestyle choices you can make to maximise your chances of getting pregnant.
To find out more about how our fertility experts can help you, call us on 01273 229410