Pregnancy outcome after exposure to oral contraceptives during the periconceptional period

H. K. Ahn, J. S. Choi, J. Y. Han, M. H. Kim, J. H. Chung, H. M. Ryu, M. Y. Kim, J. H. Yang, M. K. Koong, A. A. Nava-Ocampo, G. Koren

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18 Scopus citations


To evaluate whether periconceptional exposure to oral contraceptives (OCs) increased adverse pregnancy outcomes, 136 pregnant women taking OCs within the periconceptional period were identified at the Korean Motherisk Program. Of them, 120 pregnant women accepted to participate in their study and were followed up until completion of the pregnancy. A control group of 240 age- and gravidity-matched pregnant women exposed to non-teratogen drugs for at least 1 month before pregnancy was also included. The median gestational age at delivery was 39.1 (27.0-41.0) weeks in the exposed group and 39.3 (27.4-42.0) weeks in the control group (P = 0.19). In the exposed group, 7.1% of babies were born with low birth weight versus 2.6% in the control group (P = 0.068). The number of preterm deliveries or babies born large for gestational age did not differ between the two groups. In the exposed group, the rate of birth defects was 3.2% (n = 3/99) versus 3.6% (n = 7/193) in the control group (P = 1.0). There were 15 women who took high doses of progesterone (emergency contraception) and no adverse fetal outcomes were observed. In conclusion, periconceptional exposure to OCs does not appear to increase the risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-313
Number of pages7
JournalHuman and Experimental Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Birth defects
  • Fetal growth
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Transplacental exposure


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