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Pill Popping Mama

Can birth control make you infertile? A 27-year-old woman had a child young, then went on oral contraceptives for eight years. Now, she’s unable to conceive. What’s the cause of her problem?

Case #: 545


I'm 27 and I had a child with my boyfriend when I was 19. I went on the pill for eight years. Now I'm married to a different guy and we've tried for months, but I can't get pregnant. Do you think the pill caused me to become infertile? I really don't know what to do. We're having sex a lot and nothing is happening.


Trying to have a child at 27 is different than at 19. New evidence suggests that women’s fertility begins to decline at 27, rather than at 35. 1 in 6 couples have problems with fertility, mainly due to unexplained causes.

However, studies show that when couples with a history of infertility make some simple, fertility-happy changes to their lives, 80 percent of those previously infertile couples conceived. Rather than focusing on how oral contraceptives might have affected your fertility, instead try initializing some of the ideas to follow, and then engage in a hormone realignment course to help stabilize your ovulations.

All the Small Things

The other factors of your life can have as much of an effect on your fertility as the pill. To begin with, are you at a healthy weight? Women who were rated as overweight according to BMI standards took twice as long to conceive as females in the healthy range, while women who were underweight, with a BMI of 19 or lower, took four times as long to become pregnant!

Are you or your husband smokers? Cadmium is a heavy metal that is deposited in the body through smoking, and it depletes the body of zinc, which is a mineral essential to pregnancy as it develops mature eggs, balances hormones and aids in healthy hair follicles. Zinc is also beneficial to men by creating healthy, mature sperm.

The fact is you’re probably not consuming enough zinc; 90 percent of Americans have a deficiency in it. Zinc is removed from many food products during processing, and unless you’re taking a supplement, you’re not likely to get it from anywhere else.

Do you drink regularly? Having more than two alcoholic beverages per day can decrease fertility by up to 60 percent, although scientists aren’t yet sure why that’s the case. Alcohol can also inhibit sperm motility.

Are you using lubricants? Some lubricants can completely decrease sperm motility, and you would be better off using a pressed oil of some kind, such as grape seed or almond, that you can keep in a cool, dry place.

Besides all these small factors, there is one large factor, and probably the most difficult to control: stress. Stress is the number one enemy of conception. More so even than oral contraceptives, stress wreaks havoc with ovulation, while women reporting high levels of stress released 20 percent less eggs than the control group in one study.

Try not to focus on conceiving, and take a vacation if you can. Conceptionmoons, where couples take a holiday for the sole purpose of creating a baby, are beginning to become a common event. And it seems to work! Out of one thousand couples, 40 percent conceived while on a conceptionmoon.

Sex and Cycles

While you begin to implement the tips above, you should also pay attention to your menstrual cycle. It’s possible that either stress or birth control has altered your normal hormone levels, resulting in irregular ovulation. If you are spotting between periods, or having dramatically different period lengths, it’s probable that your cycle is damaged.

I recommend taking an herbal supplement to realign your cycle (see how Botanical Remedy for Delay & Difficulty Conception can benefit you). Once your menstruations have started more regularly, you can begin planning your fertility window. Ovulation normally occurs about 14 days before your period, and the fertility window is considered to be the five days before ovulation, and the day of ovulation, for a six-day window period. The egg only lasts for 12 to 24 hours, so it’s important to engage in intercourse during that window.

However, I’m sure that through the realignment of your ovulation cycles, and the implementation of the above fertility boosters you will be pregnant in no time. Remember that the average length of time between starting intercourse for conception and actual pregnancy is six months, so don’t stress!

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