Birth defects not linked with “the Pill”: Study

the Pill not linked with birth defectsNew findings uncovered that there is no link between the use of the Pill and birth defects. Rates of birth defects of women who used the Pill were the same to women who did not use it – 25 infants to 1,000 births.

Lead researcher Brittany Charlton said, “Women who become pregnant either soon after stopping oral contraceptives, or even while taking them, should know that this exposure is unlikely to cause the fetus to develop a birth defect. This should reassure women as well as their doctors.”


Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City added, “It’s something we have known for a while. Many women in the United States are on birth control pills, so it’s reassuring to know that they don’t cause any birth defects, and women don’t have to worry about it during pregnancy.”

Oral contraceptives have a high success rate when it comes to preventing pregnancy but still roughly nine percent of women do get pregnant within the first year of using them. This has more to do with skipping a day, not taking it regularly or interaction with other medications than the effectiveness of the actually pill itself.
For the latest study the researchers looked at data from medical registries in Denmark from 1997 to 2011 on all live births, birth defects and mothers’ medical conditions.

Among over 88,000 births, 2.5 percent of babies had birth defects. Specifically, the researchers found of every 1,000 births, 25.1 percent of mothers who never used the Pill had defects and 25.0 percent of mothers who did use the pill had defects showing no link between the use of the Pill and birth defects.

Charlton added, “The prevalence of birth defects was consistent across each of the oral contraceptive groups as well as when we added in pregnancies that ended as stillbirths or induced abortions. Similarly, the results were also consistent even when we broke down the birth defects into different subgroups, like limb defects.”

The research reveals that women should not worry about birth defects if they have used the Pill.

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.


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