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Ask an Expert: Can Hormonal Birth Control Really Affect My Fertility?

Welcome back to Ask an Expert, the LOLA series where we find expert answers to your reproductive health questions. Dr. Navya Mysore, a primary care provider who works collaboratively with her patients, is answering a question we’ve heard from a lot of you: can hormonal birth control really affect your fertility?

Can hormonal birth control really affect my fertility?

It’s a great question, I get it asked a lot in my practice. There is absolutely no evidence that hormonal birth control itself can affect your fertility. What can happen, though, is if you have been on birth control for many years, you may have developed a medical condition in that time that could affect your fertility.

So, an example is with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). If you were put on birth control prior to the diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome, you might not be aware that you developed this condition during that time. And, when you get off of birth control in the attempt to conceive, you may notice that you have irregular periods because of the polycystic ovarian syndrome, and then at that point have difficulty conceiving.

Is it normal to have irregular periods after going off hormonal birth control?

It can be really normal to have an irregular period for a month or two after getting off hormonal birth control. If your period stays irregular for longer than 2-3 months, that’s when I would say it’s probably a good idea to come in, see your primary care doctor or your gynecologist to check in and see if there’s any kind of issues that have arisen since being off of birth control. 

I always encourage my patients to speak openly about any questions they might be having, so please feel free to share this with friends and family. You can continue the conversation below, as well. If you have any more serious concerns, please reach out to your primary care physician or your gynecologist. If you have any questions about the topics we talked about today, please feel free to message me. 

If you have any more serious concerns, please reach out to your primary care physician or your gynecologist. Feel free to continue the conversation below or use LOLA’s Ask an Expert page for more information!

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