Does contraception affect fertility?

posted by: Amy Toy

We often have chats with our patients about the affect that contraception has on fertility. Here are the answers to the common questions we are asked.

Will using contraception affect my fertility?

The only method of contraception that has any impact on fertility is the contraceptive injection, the injection can cause a delay to the return of your fertility for up to a year.

No other method of contraception has any impact on fertility. As soon as contraception is stopped, fertility returns to normal very quickly.

If I use contraception for a long time will it affect my fertility?

No. Long term contraceptive use has no impact on fertility, however, fertility naturally declines with age. It is naturally harder to get pregnant over the age of 35 (although this is definitely still possible).

If I don’t have regular bleeds whilst using contraception will this affect my fertility?

The body doesn’t need to bleed on a regular basis or once per month.

One of the ways that hormonal methods of contraception work is by stopping the lining of the womb from building up – blood doesn’t build up inside. This can often lead to no bleeding for long periods of time which is completely safe and has no negative impact on fertility. No reversible methods of contraception will cause infertility.

For more information about the above information in relation to specific methods of contraception see the following links:

Contraceptive implant

Progesterone only pill (mini pill)

Combined pill

Contraceptive injection

Hormonal coil (IUS)

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Accessing our service

In response to the emergence of COVID-19 we have implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

We are currently experiencing high demand for our Sexual Health Services across Devon and Torbay with unprecedented demand in Exeter. Please note always review urgent cases the same day. If your need is urgent and you are struggling to reach us keep trying as our phone system will explain how to access same-day care with us.

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception here.

Self-requested STI testing by post is available for those aged under 25- more info

We are now running an under 18’s sit and wait clinic at Exeter, Torquay, and Barnstaple for more information click here

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - from a local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info