General Article Can birth control cause fertility problems?

Topic Selected: Fertility and Reproduction Book Volume: 387

By Cesar Diaz-Garcia, MD PhD Assoc Prof

Effective birth control is one of the transformative medical advances that has allowed generations of women to take control of their own destinies. It’s easy to forget that since the pill was introduced in the UK in 1961, we have been at liberty to enjoy a level of personal freedom that our grandmothers never knew. Absolutely, birth control pills can cause infertility: that is what they are designed for! But of course that type of elective, temporary protection from involuntary pregnancy is not what we think of as infertility.

Just as women want reliable contraception at certain times, we also need reassurance that, when the time comes to try for pregnancy, there won’t be a backlash from previous contraception. So can birth control cause infertility? The good news is that it doesn’t, but different types of birth control can cause a small fertility delay.

Types of birth control

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