Maternal and prenatal teratogen exposure is associated with birth defects, spontaneous abortion, and stillbirth, and sometimes cancer in the reproductive tract of progeny. Previous studies demonstrated that acute, high-dose teratogen exposure causes reproductive decline, but the long-term ramifications of low dose teratogen exposure during early development later in life remain unknown.
The primary mode of action for hormonal contraceptives is thought to be suppression of pituitary gonadotropin secretion, secondarily leading to suppression of ovarian function. The pill impedes the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the pituitary, which doesn't allow for the maturation of follicles in the ovaries. By the human body's feedback loop, the luteinizing hormone (LH) increases, which then prevents ovulation of eggs within the ovary. In addition to the decrease of ovulation, the increase of progesterone in the pill increases the cervical mucus, which creates a harsh environment for sperm.