The Pill and Miscarriages
Q: Can using birth control pills cause a miscarriage? How?
Is there anything to prevent this from happening?
Dr. Donnica: I'm a little confused by your question. When properly
used, birth control pills prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation. In women
who "accidentally" get pregnant while taking the pill (usually because of missed
pills or other improper use such as taking medicines that decrease the pill's
effectiveness), the incidence of miscarriage is similar to women not taking
the pill. If you are asking whether prior use of the Pill can increase the risk
of miscarriage, the answer is no.
Unfortunately, the incidence of miscarriage is actually quite high, especially
in first pregnancies: estimates range from 1 in 8 to 1 in 9 pregnancies ending
in miscarriage; most occur in the first trimester. In most cases, we don't know
what "caused" the miscarriage, so we don't know how to prevent them. The good
news is that most women who have an early miscarriage can go on to have a normal
pregnancy. For tips on enhancing your fertility, click here.
Donnica Moore MD
Created: 7/25/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.