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Of Birth Control and Babies – Setting the Record Straight on Contraceptives and Their Effect on Fertility

December 3, 2020

You’ve probably used contraceptives for a while now, postponing pregnancy for a later phase. But by the time you get to that phase, it’s natural to wonder whether your years of birth control will have any bearing on your ability to get pregnant. Google it, and you’ll be bombarded with contradictory bits of information floating around from various corners of the cyber world. No matter. We’re here to set the record straight.

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So here it is: birth control doesn’t lower your chances of conception. Barring a few exceptions, your fertility will bounce back to its optimal level the moment you stop using contraceptives. Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the reality. While contraceptives don’t affect your fertility, there are many other factors that do. When you stop using birth control, you won’t be as young as you were when you started using it. Your lifestyle and health may play a role too.

If you’re overworked and stressed, your body will rebel. So, while contraceptives themselves may not influence your ability to conceive, consider how different your lifestyle is now to how it used to be 5, 10, 15 years ago.

There are a variety of contraceptive methods you could use. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

1. Condoms:

Preparing for pregnancy after kicking the condom is as simple as tucking it into your nightstand.

2. The Pill:

Ah, the pill. There are just so many differing views on how the pill works on the body, that reality has been shrouded by a web of hearsay. Many women feel that the effects of the pill take months to wear off, but that isn’t accurate. Ovulation kicks in within weeks of going off the pill, and studies have shown that babies that have been conceived while their mother was still on the pill, haven’t faced any increased risks of being born with birth defects.

The pill can be good for you in other ways, too. Researchers have found that oral contraceptives can lower your chances of developing ovarian and uterine cancer, in turn, protecting your fertility.

Must Read: Side Effects of Emergency Contraceptive Pills on Periods

3. Intrauterine Device (IUD):

An intrauterine device is a T-shaped contraption made of copper or levonorgestrel, which is inserted into the uterus as a long-term contraceptive tool. When an IUD is extracted, the uterus takes about a month to recover, and the ovaries remain undisturbed.

4. Depo-Provera:

Remember we said there were a few exceptions?

This is one. Depo-Provera is a contraceptive that is injected into a woman’s arms or buttocks, to arrest ovulation. While the drug’s effect wears off after three months, its residue collects in muscles, which can take several months to leave the body. Thereafter, ovulation takes about a year to be restored.

To Know More: About Will Birth Control Pills Make Me Gain Weight?

5. Sterilisation:

Here’s another exception. Sterilisation is a one-way street. Once you pick it, there’s no going back. Of course, a reversal is possible, but fertility levels will never go back to their original state because the tubes are now damaged. Chances of conception after a reversal vary between 40% and 70%.Many women don’t realise how quickly they can get pregnant after going off birth control. The key is to give up contraceptives when you’re really ready to welcome a baby. Unless you’re one for surprises, that is!

Must Read: Contraception Conundrums

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