Female Health

Contraception and Fertility

I often get asked these questions;” Dr, how do I know whether I will be able to fall pregnant?”  As well as: “Will the contraceptive pill give me infertility problems in future?” 

Female fertility is known to decline with

#Age. Many women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children, decreasing the ovaries’ ability to release eggs. The eggs are also less and not as healthy.

#Smoking

#Excessive alcohol use.

#Extreme weight gain or loss and

# Excessive physical or emotional stress that result in amenorrhea (absent periods)

To be able to fall pregnant, ovulation needs to take place, leading to a cycle of less than 34 days without being on a contraceptive.

 Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, intra-uterine insemination (IUI) or assisted reproductive technology (ART). Many times these treatments are combined. Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility based on –

  • The factors contributing to the infertility.
  • The duration of the infertility.
  • The age of the female.
  • The couple’s treatment preference after counseling about success rates, risks, and benefits of each treatment option.

IUI is often used to treat mild male factor infertility and couples with unexplained infertility.

ART includes all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled outside of the body ex IVF.

Although being on the contraceptive pill might slow down ovulation, it does not influence fertility in the long run.

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Dr Desere Ferreira