Study Finds No Link in OC Exposure, Birth Defects


ST. PETE BEACH, FLA. — Periconceptional exposure to oral contraceptives was not associated with increased risk of adverse fetal outcomes in a recent prospective study.

None of the 45 woman who were exposed to oral contraceptives during the periconceptional period and were followed until after delivery gave birth to an infant with congenital malformations, compared with 6 of 225 controls.

The difference in the congenital malformation rate between the exposed group and control group was not significant, according to H.K. Ahn, M.D., and colleagues of the Motherisk Program at Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea, during a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Teratology Society.

The groups were also similar in regard to mean gestational age at delivery (39 weeks in both groups) and birth weight (3,257g in the exposed group, and 3,268g in the controls), the investigators said.

Women who were in the exposed group took oral contraceptives that contained either combined ethinyl estradiol and progesterone, or high-dose progesterone.

Although some earlier studies suggested a link between oral contraceptive use during pregnancy and increased risk of birth defects, later studies—including the current study—have failed to reproduce these findings.

“Exposure to oral contraceptives, including high doses of progesterone … did not increase adverse fetal outcomes,” the investigators said.

Next Article: