Past Pill Use Doesn't Lower Fertility
Study: Pregnancy Rate Same for Past Users, Nonusers of Oral Contraceptives
The Study continued...
In the study, the median time to conception was three months after stopping the pill (half the women got pregnant earlier, half conceived later).
"The effect of age [on fertility] was not amplified by oral contraceptive use," Cronin tells WebMD.
Nor did long-term use of the pill have a major impact on fertility, Cronin's team found. While 79.3% of women on the pill less than two years became pregnant in the year after stopping it, 81% of women on the pill more than two years got pregnant in the first year after stopping it.
No Need to Wait
The new study seems to refute previous research that the pregnancy rate is lower than normal in the first few months after women stop the pill, says Richard Frieder, MD, attending physician at Santa Monica-UCLA and Orthopaedic Hospital in California and assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine. "This study suggests even in the initial couple of months [after stopping the pill], there is no difference in pregnancy rates [among past pill users and nonusers]," he says.
In the past, Frieder says, some doctors may have advised women to wait before trying to get pregnant for a number of reasons. That time lag, for instance, would allow the woman to ovulate and have a menstrual period, and the obstetrician could more easily gauge the delivery date.
"In these times, we have ultrasound [to date the beginning of the pregnancy]," he says. "So there's really no reason to wait [a while after going off the pill to try to get pregnant]."