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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.

Best regards,
Donnica Moore MD
President, DrDonnica.com

Created: 7/25/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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