Maternal use of oral contraceptives and risk of fetal death

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Intrauterine exposure to artificial sex hormones such as oral contraceptives may be associated with an increased risk of fetal death. Between 1996 and 2002, a total of 92 719 women were recruited to The Danish National Birth Cohort and interviewed about exposures during pregnancy. Outcome of pregnancy was identified through linkage to the Civil Registration System and the National Discharge Registry. The authors analysed the risk of fetal death after recruitment to the cohort by using proportional hazards regression models with gestational age as the underlying time scale. In total, 1102 (1.2%) women took oral contraceptives during pregnancy. Use of combined oestrogen and progesterone oral contraceptives (COC) or progesterone-only oral contraceptives (POC) during pregnancy was not associated with increased hazard ratios of fetal death compared with non-users, HR 1.01 [95% CI 0.71, 1.45] and HR 1.37 [95% CI 0.65, 2.89] respectively. Neither use of COC nor POC prior to pregnancy was associated with fetal death. Stratification by maternal age and smoking showed elevated risks of fetal death for women <30 years and smokers using oral contraception during pregnancy, but the interactions were not significant. In conclusion, there was no evidence that oral contraceptive use before or during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of fetal death.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPaediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)334-340
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ID: 10947706