• Article

History of oral contraceptive use and risk of spontaneous abortion

PURPOSE: To examine the association between pregravid oral contraceptive (OC) use and spontaneous abortion (SAB). METHODS: In an Internet-based preconception cohort study of 4862 Danish pregnancy planners, we used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between OC use and SAB. We controlled for maternal age, physical activity, parity, education, alcohol and caffeine consumption, body mass index, and smoking. RESULTS: Compared with women who discontinued OCs >1 year before conception, HRs were 0.95 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.77-1.17), 0.99 (95% CI = 0.82-1.19), and 0.80 (95% CI = 0.60-1.06) for women who discontinued OCs 7-12, 2-6, and 0-1 months before conception, respectively. Compared with less than 4 years of OC use, HRs for 4-7, 8-11, and 12 years or more of OC use were 1.05 (95% CI = 0.80-1.37), 0.92 (95% CI = 0.71-1.19), and 0.88 (95% CI = 0.65-1.19), respectively. Dose of estrogen and generation of progestin were not materially associated with SAB risk. CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence that pregravid OC use is associated with an increase in SAB. Use within 1 month of conception was associated with a slightly lower risk of SAB, but this may be due to increased reproductive fitness in women who conceive quickly after discontinuation of OCs


Hahn, KA., Hatch, EE., Rothman, K., Mikkelsen, EM., Brogly, SB., Sorensen, HT., ... Wise, LA. (2015). History of oral contraceptive use and risk of spontaneous abortion. Annals of Epidemiology, 25(12), 936-941. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2015.09.001