Contraception - Causes of Female Infertility

There are many forms of contraception available, which range from barrier control to hormone based. Barrier control in the woman includes the diaphragm and intra-uterine devices are usually has a minimal effect on fertility. In other words, you should find that you are fully fertile once you stop using a birth control device.

However, this is not always the case and some women find that they are at an increased risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) as a result of using an IUD.

If you have undergone a surgical procedure such as tubal ligation then your fallopian tubes will have been tied to prevent any eggs from passing through and being fertilised. This is also a sterilisation procedure.

But what happens if the woman wants a reversal? Reversal of this procedure is possible but success rates are variable and depend on a whole range of factors. These include the condition of the fallopian tubes, the type of technique used, the risk of infection and the woman’s physical structure. Plus there is also an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy.

Hormonal methods cause a temporary state of infertility although this usually reverses itself once periods start again. The length of time between stopping a birth control method and fertility varies according to the method used.

If you have been taking an oral contraceptive then your menstrual cycle should return to normal after 2 to 3 months. But this depends on the amount of oestrogen present in the pill: the higher the concentration of oestrogen the longer it will take for your menstrual cycle to return to normal.

If you have been using a birth control patch then this interval will be much shorter, unless you are severely overweight or obese. Obese women will find that oestrogen is absorbed much quicker than for non-obese women which are due to the extra fat cells. These cells also act as a storage area for oestrogen even once the patch has been removed.

If you have used a hormonal implantation method such as Norplant then it will take up to 6 months before your menstrual cycle returns to normal.

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