RH FC3: Ovarian reserve parameters in long-term combined oral contraceptive use, and knowledge and concerns about fertility after long-term use – A prospective study of Danish women

This study is performed at Rigshospitalet Fertility Clinic with support from the three other Fertility Clinic in Copenhagen.

Hormonal contraception is widely used among women worldwide; 50-89% of all women in the Western countries use oral contraception at some point in their lives. Oral contraceptives (OC) suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and thereby potentially influence the markers of ovarian reserve. Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is produced only in small ovarian follicles, blood levels of this substance have been used to attempt to measure the size of the pool of growing follicles in women. AMH, antral follicle count (AFC) and ovarian volume were seen to be 30-40% lower in OC-users compared to non-users.

The literature on short and long-term effects of OC on the female reproduction system is conflicting. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the ovarian reserve in women with a history of long-term OC use. It also investigates the same women’s knowledge about ovarian reserve and their concern about future fertility after long-term use of OC. And thirdly, this study tries to estimate how long time it takes – after discontinuation of OC – to restore normal reproductive capacity.

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