WASHINGTON, D.C., January 15, 2013, ( – Women who take the birth control pill for a period of five to ten years could be more likely to miscarry than those who do not, according to a recent expert study.

The study found that women whose endometrium was 7mm thick or less had a nearly 600 percent higher miscarriage rate than those whose endometrium measured 7mm or thicker.


Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of women who had used oral contraception for 10 years or more were found to have an endometrium of 7mm or below.

Those who take the birth control pill for five years also saw a “significant difference” in endometrial thickness.

“These findings suggest a previously unidentified adverse effect of long-term combined OCP [oral contraceptive pill] use in women who are anticipating future fertility,” the study's author's found, a correlation the researchers found “highly significant.”

“As miscarriage becomes increasingly common, it is unsurprising that research is pointing to contraceptive use as one possible culprit for the problem of miscarriage today,” Arland K. Nichols, director of education and evangelization at Human Life International, told

“In the fine print, producers of oral contraceptives admit that scientific evidence shows that oral contraceptives cause early abortions,” he said, “and so it appears that we have here yet another way in which oral contraceptives end nascent human life.”

One of the most famous faces of the anti-birth control movement may have been a victim of such a miscarriage. The Duggars, of TLC's 19 Kids and Counting, say they were inspired to stop using artificial contraception after becoming pregnant while using the birth control pill, then suffering an early miscarriage.

At the time, they wanted a maximum of three children.


“We asked God to forgive us for taking matters in to our own hands and to give us a love for children like His love for them,” they write in their book, A Love that Multiplies. “We committed to letting Him decide how many children we would have and when they would be born.”

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Dr. Nayana Talukdar and P.T. Chang surveyed 137 women undergoing in vitro fertilization for their study, which was published in the August 2012 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

They found no significant difference in pregnancy rates between women who had taken oral contraceptives and those who had not, only their likelihood of carrying the pregnancy to term.

According to Planned Parenthood, the average woman will spend decades trying to avoid pregnancy, often using oral contraceptives.

An August 2008 study found curettage, an abortion method, led to a “thin unresponsive endometrium” of less than 7mm, which led to eight-times as many miscarriages as live births.

Other previous studies suggested endometrial thickness of 7-14 mm significantly boosts the chance of an IVF pregnancy's success. Thickness of less than 7 mm sometimes led to lower pregnancy rates.

The importance of endometrial thickness for fertility and live birth remains a subject of research.