Infertility mythbuster: Birth control does not affect fertility

Women tend to have a lot of questions on their mind when it comes to using birth control measures and fertility. An expert addresses the concerns.
male infertility
Take care of your eating patterns in case you are planning to conceive. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Gauri Agarwal Published: 16 Dec 2021, 03:01 pm IST
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For the first time in India’s history, the increased use of contraception has resulted in a decrease in Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to below replacement level. According to the most recent National Family Health Survey (NFHS), the use of modern contraceptives for family planning has increased by 8.7 percent – from 47.8 percent to 56.5 percent – since the last NFHS survey in 2015-16. Although this is welcome news because it indicates that India’s population growth is finally slowing, it has sparked a debate about the relationship between birth control and

Infertility and birth control in India

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that infertility is a disorder of the male or female reproductive system described by the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of frequent unprotected sexual intercourse. It affects millions of people and couples worldwide, especially in India.

Infertility can be caused by a variety of factors. Some of these are:

  • A genetic condition
  • Tubal disorders such as blocked fallopian tubes
  • Uterine disorders like endometriosis
  • congenital disorders like the septate uterus
  • Ovaries diseases like polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Hormonal imbalance

Regular usage of birth control, on the other hand, has been shown to have no effect on fertility.

Condoms, tablets, vaginal rings, contraceptive injections, and intrauterine devices are some of the most commonly used birth control methods in India. All these methods of conception prevention are reversible. A woman who wishes to become pregnant might simply stop using them and begin the pregnancy process.

Birth control pills interrupt the menstrual cycle by stopping ovulation and hindering your fertility rate. Image Courtesy: Shuterstock

How to conceive after having abandoned birth control measures?

It is necessary to make some lifestyle changes while discontinuing birth control measures in order to become pregnant. Here’s some advice:

  • Adopt a diet that promotes well-balanced nutrition. This includes consuming more fruits and vegetables. Your diet should also include plenty of proteins.
  • Get a good night’s sleep of at least 8 hours. This resets your body and refreshes you.
  • Some birth control methods, such as pills, cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies. As a result, it is critical to address such deficiencies by taking adequate vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Some hormonal contraceptives have been linked to changes in blood glucose levels. It is therefore critical that women who have decided to stop using contraception be tested for insulin resistance.
  • It is also critical to restore the gut microbiome to its original level in order to boost your chances of conceiving, as it plays a key role in the regulation of oestrogen levels in the body. To do so, restrict your intake of artificial sweeteners and eat foods high in prebiotics, probiotics, and polyphenols.

How long should you wait before conceiving?

According to studies, 83 percent of people who stopped using contraceptive techniques became pregnant within the first year. It was also discovered that the length of contraceptive use had no bearing on the time it took to conceive. So, if you have been on birth control for a long time, you probably do not have anything to be concerned about getting pregnant.

There are multiple different factors that can cause infertility. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Are there any signs of infertility to look out for?

If you have not become pregnant after a year of not using birth control, you may be suffering from infertility. In such a case, it is critical to see a gynecologist. The doctor can determine the cause of infertility and begin treatment.

Infertility can be treated with the help of medication (to initiate the ovulation process), surgical procedures to correct the fallopian tubes, or assisted conception methods such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI).

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About the Author

Dr Gauri Agarwal is a fertility expert and founder of Seeds of Innocence, an IVF & Surrogacy Hospital. ...Read More

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