Can progestin-only birth control cause infertility?

Progestin-only birth control is not a cause of infertility. However, if you have been on long-acting forms of progestin-only birth control, such as Depo Provera or the Mirena intrauterine device, it can take up to 13 months for your menstrual cycle to return to normal. While you have an abnormal or irregular cycle you may not be ovulating monthly, which could reduce your chances of becoming pregnant until your cycle normalizes.
Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing

Progestin only birth control comes in the form of pills, the depo shot, implanon and the mirena IUD. These are all reversible methods of birth control that give the woman the same odds of age related and risk related fertility as someone not using birth control. The important thing to remember about some of these methods like implanon or depo may have delayed resumption of menses, which may make it harder to plan a pregnancy.

Charla Simon
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Neither having taken either the combined or progestin only birth control pill is a risk factor for infertility. Women who have a history of birth control pill use have the same age adjusted fertility rates as women who have never taken the pill.
That being said, over time progestin therapy can thin the uterine lining and make implantation of an embryo less likely. It is therefore recommended to get off of progestin therapy at least 3 months prior to attempting to conceive.
Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health
Progestin only birth control is available as pills, injectibles and implants. All progestin only methods are reversible birth control methods. They do not cause infertility. However, the injectible, DepoProvera, may have a delayed return to fertility. The injectible should be given every 12 weeks to ensure continuous protection from pregnancy. When women discontinue the injection, however, there is a great deal of variation in how soon their menstrual periods return and they become fertile again. For some women this occurs right away. For more women fertility does not return until 9 to 10 months after the last dose.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.