Will Birth Control Hurt Your Chances of Getting Pregnant Later?

Women under 30 years old are incredibly fertileótheir ability to get pregnant is at its peak. In the U.S., about three in four sexually active women under 30 are using some type of birth control. But many of them ask me, does using birth control now hurt my chances of getting pregnant in the future? Sigh of relief: it does not.

All reversible birth control methods will help prevent pregnancy while youíre using them, but none have long-lasting effects on your ability to get pregnant when you stop. Thatís why women who use the Pill but accidentally forget to take it for a few days can get pregnant that month.

Letís look, for example, at how long it takes for women to get pregnant when they quit the Pill compared to when they quit non-hormonal fertility awareness methods (FAM, sometimes called natural family planning).†A big study of over 2,000 women who quit the Pill after using it for an average of seven years found that 21% were pregnant in one month and 79% were pregnant in a year. Women who stopped using FAM had very similar rates of pregnancy, with 20-25% pregnant in one month and 80% pregnant in a year. In other words, women who quit the Pill get pregnant just as fast as other women, even if theyíve used the Pill for years.

Women who quit the patch, ring, or IUD get pregnant at similar rates. Contrary to popular myth,†modern IUDs do not hurt your future fertility. For some women who stop using the implant or the shot (Depo-Provera), it can take a few extra months to start normal menstrual cycles again. There may be a delay of up to two months after stopping the implant and up to six months after stopping the shot, but this varies from person to person, and most women get pregnant soon after stopping these methods.

Okay, so birth control doesnít hurt a womanís chances of having a baby in the future. But there is something that does: untreated sexually transmitted infections (STIs). By the age of 25, one in two young people having sex will get an STI.

One of the most common STIs is a†bacterial infection called Chlamydia. Itís transmitted by sexual contact, and can be prevented by using condoms. Itís easy to treat with antibiotics, but itís sneaky: three in four women with Chlamydia donít know they have it because they have no symptoms. Half of men with Chlamydia have no symptoms either. The longer a woman has an untreated STI like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, the higher the chance that it will cause scarring in the tubes that connect her ovaries and uterus. That scarring makes it difficult for an egg to travel the right direction, and hurts her chances of getting pregnant in the future.

If you had sex with a new partner and didnít use a condom, you can still protect yourself by getting tested. Luckily, getting tested for Chlamydia or Gonorrhea is easy and painless: you just pee in a cup. Getting treated just means taking some pills for a week. If you test positive, you can tell a partner he or she should get tested and treated using an†anonymous e-card. And for future hookups, you can learn more about†talking to a new partner about using condoms.

If youíve never been tested,†check out GYTóGet Yourself Tested, Get Yourself Talking. Lots of health centers around the country offer free or reduced cost testing.†Find a place to get tested and keep infertility from sticking to you!

Related Articles

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Getting Pregnant (Or Avoiding It)

Which Birth Control Pill Is Right for Me?

Can The Pill Protect You from Ovarian Cancer?

Originally published on bedsider.org


Jennifer Sanchez
Past Member 17 days ago

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Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa4 years ago

Thank you

Susan T.
Susan T5 years ago

and birth control is not 100% effective.

Susan T.
Susan T5 years ago

no. not really. unless you had issues to begin with that you did not know about.

Serena Alonzi
5 years ago

lol thx

Pronatalist Pronatalist

To Marie W.:

Why do you say it is hubris? "Religious objections" to "birth control" is likely a huge contributor to population growth. Do you have no respect for people's religious beliefs?

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Each and every human life is of immense value and sacred.

Sounds like hubris to me.

Pronatalist Pronatalist

To Martin H.:

Why do you say that the world does not need more large families? Regardless whether it is said whether the world supposedly has room or not for more large families, lots of families still manage to grow large. So many people understandably have practical or "religious objection" to use of any means of birth control. It goes against nature, and against what is natural.

Each and every human life is of immense value and sacred, and so we ought not hinder the natural spread of human life. Human life is sacred in all its forms: old person, child, toddler, baby, fetus, the natural spurting of semen, and so natural family growth should ever be encouraged.

Why do you opine that nasty "mad scientist" Big Pharma contraceptives should be free? Why do you favor coercion, deception, government violence, to force parents of growing families, to pay for other people's sexual fun? Do not they have their own families to take care of? Condoms do not grow on trees, but food does. Are they not already enough free natural methods? Stop having sex, rhythm, early withdrawal, that poor people in developing countries can use, or they can just welcome the blessings of children and let their families grow naturally.

Why do I read of medical clinics in developing countries, having more contraceptives than they know what to do with, yet shortages of basic supplies like clean needles and well-baby delivery kits? What kind of "choice" is that? Should not "reproductive rights" incl

Martin Hill
Martin Hill5 years ago

I am in shock to read the comment by Pronatalist P. The world does not need more large families. Human beings are well on the way to destroying this planet, in fact my belief is we should pay people not to have children, the opposite of "family allowance". ALL contraceptives (any method) should be free. Also taking the pill does not reduce future chances of getting pregnant. My wife took the pill after our first child was born, 7 when we wanted a 2nd child she got pregnant with no problem, & that was a long time ago when the pill was a much stronger dose than now.

Pronatalist Pronatalist

The side effects of nasty Big Pharma contraceptives CAN damage the body. At the very least, use of any means of "birth control," even more natural methods, can harm one's opportunity to have as many children as they might like, as most people probably are not near as fertile as the RAMPANT CONTRACEPTIVE PUSHERS would have you to believe.

Large families should be encouraged worldwide, so that more and more people can experience life.