Effects of Contraception Usage on Fertility
Most of the couples use contraception for years in order to avoid getting pregnant and when they plan to conceive, they experience difficulties. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict as to how long a couple will take in conception and whether or not, they will face difficulties.
Most of the Times the Following Questions Arise:
- How does birth control/contraceptive affect fertility? There is a variety of different contraceptives with a varied effect on fertility. Following commonly used birth control methods are discussed here:
- Barrier methods – Condoms and diaphragms are also referred as barrier methods and they can actually be helpful in maintaining reproductive health by protecting one from sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia and gonorrhoea which can lead to infertility. These barrier methods only work as long as they are being used and can be stopped with immediate effect once a couple is ready to conceive. Barrier methods can be considered as the most convenient method. When we judge them on the merit of their impact on the fertility of an individual then we find that mostly they are external methods and thus causes no negative impacts on male or female fertility.
- Oral contraceptives/pills – Since each woman’s body is different, their response to medicines is also different. For some women, oral contraceptive pills help regulate their cycle and they feel regular cycles can actually help them conceive easily. Ideally, once a woman has decided to become pregnant, she should finish a monthly batch of pills and then prepare to be pregnant. Can contraceptive pills hamper your fertility? The answer to this question can confuse you. Theoretically speaking these pills is safe. However, in some specific cases, it has been observed that the processes that are necessary to for the fertility and pregnancy take their own time in settling down. It can vary from person to person and body to body.
- Hormonal contraceptives/Depo Provera – this is a contraceptive which needs to be injected every three months in order to prevent ovulation. Depo-Provera is not recommended for anyone who intends to get pregnant in near future. Doctors usually inquire about patient’s plans before injecting Depo-Provera because it is the highly effective method of birth control and can have a lasting effect on fertility. Though birth control effect of Depo-Provera lasts only for three months, it stays in the body for longer period of time as it is injected into muscles and takes the time to be flushed out. It has been shown via research that it takes about 10 months to return to normal fertility after the last shot, though conception can happen anytime after its effect has run out in three months’ time. In general, we can say that it has no negative impacts as such because things restore themselves after a point of time. In some cases, it can take longer while mostly it follows the above-mentioned routine.
- IUD (intrauterine device) – IUD is a small T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus and using an IUD is very unlikely to affect fertility. Some IUDs contain synthetic hormone levonorgestrel which is released in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. In this case, it may take some time for menstrual cycles to settle down as the hormone is flushed out of the system. Once the intrauterine devices are removed, the return to body’s normal level of fertility is quite quick.
- Sterilisation – Achieving pregnancy after female sterilisation depends on various factors. If a woman has had a tubal ligation, then reversal surgery and IVF are considered two best options for her. For a reversal surgery, a specialist doctor would go through her and her partner’s reproductive history so as to determine the conditions which may affect her fertility. Age is also an important factor as women who are older than 35 starts to have a decline in natural fertility as well. Also, male partner’s fertility concerns might need to be ruled out before embarking upon a reversal surgery. Sometimes, large segments of fallopian tubes are removed or tied for sterilisation procedure and in that likelihood of successful reversal goes down and IVF is considered a better option. IVF on the other hand bypasses the tubes and with the help of medications eggs are matured and retrieved. Once the eggs are fertilised with partner’s sperm in the lab, they are directly placed back in the uterus. Male sterilisation is usually done through vasectomy in order to permanently prevent pregnancy. If pregnancy is planned, then vasectomy reversal needs to be done.
- How long should it take to conceive, once the contraception has been stopped and when should a couple seek expert opinion? Depending upon the type of contraception used, most of the couples regain their ability to become pregnant almost immediately but it is estimated that 60% couples take around six months and 80% about 12 months once they try to conceive.
It is always a good idea to schedule a prenatal appointment once you have decided to plan a pregnancy. Nutritional supplements can be prescribed by the specialist doctor depending upon the individual patient requirement.