Can Birth Control Cause Infertility?
The contraceptive pill can be an amazing option for so many people. It’s easy to use, provides upwards of 98% protection against pregnancy (with perfect use) and it can also provide relief for a number of different conditions such as acne and irregular periods. Whilst being a great contraception option (although don’t forget it doesn’t protect against STI’s – check out THIS POST for help with that!) the pill can also help provide relief from the crippling symptoms of underlying conditions such as PCOS and Endometriosis.
However, because the pill is so good at helping with the symptoms from these conditions, it also means that it can completely mask them too.
But can birth control cause infertility?
There is little to no evidence that shows birth control causes infertility, however taking the pill without realising you suffer from an underlying condition – which may cause problems with fertility – could then cause issues in the future if you’re unaware you may need extra time or assistance in getting pregnant. In short: the pill doesn’t cause infertility, but it may be covering up a condition that could.
The pill is a fantastic option for so many people but the lack of education, knowledge and support available for those with underlying conditions is often lacking. Drs are quick to prescribe hormonal birth control without offering proper advice about the condition they’re prescribing it for. This can then cause problems for a lot of users later in life when they come to try and start a family only to find out they have a condition that may make this difficult.
How To Know If There May Be a Problem?
This article contains some affiliate links around products or books we recommend. These links do not change the price you pay but do help us to keep writing useful, informative and free articles such as this one -ad-
If you are experiencing or have ever experienced extremely painful or very heavy periods (before you went on the pill, whilst on the pill or after coming off the pill) then it’s worth checking out. Whilst not the most pleasant experience in the world, a regular period shouldn’t be life altering or cause you excruciating pain or problems. A regular period shouldn’t last more than 7 days, or be heavier than 80ml each cycle (the average is around 30-40ml of menstrual blood).
Want to know how to actually work out your flow? Take a look at this post with my handy period product conversion chart.
Society often tells us to ‘just get on with it’ and that periods are ‘meant to be painful and horrible’….but they’re not! Severe cramping, sickness and super heavy bleeding may be a sign that something isn’t quite right and there may be help available.
WATCH: Things Your Pill May Be Masking
What you can do about it…
Tracking your cycle is a fantastic place to start. Checking things like ovulation, cycle length and period length & intensity can be helpful indicators if things are ticking along nicely or if there may be any issues or imbalances at play. This can sometimes be tricky to do while you’re on the pill as hormonal birth control can often disrupt your natural bio markers, but it’s still doable even at a basic level with period tracking apps or journals.
Once you’ve tracked for a few months you’ll start to see patterns in your cycle and you’ll be able to see if your cycle sits outside the norm or shows any indication of underlying conditions. This information can then easily be presented to your Dr for further investigation.
There are also some great at home fertility tests such as the test I did with Hertility Health (read more about that here) that may help pinpoint any hormonal imbalances (and also check your egg reserve too if you’re worried!).
And of course if you are looking to conceive and think you may have an underlying condition which could cause problems, try to be proactive by giving your body a bit more time to adjust coming off the pill and more time to conceive. It can take on average up to a year for couples to successfully get pregnant – even without any health conditions. So by understanding your body and any issues you may be facing, you can give yourself as much of a head start as possible to help make your dreams of starting a family come true.
Remember, the pill can be a fantastic option for a lot of people but it’s not the only birth control option. Being aware of what your body is doing is a powerful tool to keep your cycle happy and healthy!
If you’d like to learn more about your cycle and the things they just didn’t teach us in school – take a look at this book, it’s a fantastic place to start!
PIN THIS POST
Please note: I am not a medical professional, I am simply sharing information to help kick start your own research and exploration. Every body is different.