An American woman who was held hostage along with her family by Taliban-linked militants said she was drugged in order to have a miscarriage after she fell pregnant during her captivity.

Caitlan Coleman, 31, and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle, 34, were abducted the Haqqani network, a guerrilla group that operates in Afghanistan, while hiking in the country's Ghazni province in 2012. They were released along with their three children, all of whom were born in captivity, earlier in October, following joint operations by US and Pakistan officials.

Coleman, who said she had been "defiled" in front of her children, also claimed in an interview with the Toronto Star her captors put "massive doses of oestrogen in the food" to kill a baby girl she was expecting.

"They were very angry because Joshua had been asked to join them, to work for them, and he said no," he explained.

However, the Taliban issued a statement claiming Coleman had a spontaneous miscarriage.

Boyle claimed earlier this month that the insurgents had raped his wife and had killed an infant daughter, but he did not elaborate further.

Coleman, who refused to clarify whether she converted to Islam during her captivity, continued to wear a hijab – a garment typically worn by Muslim women – even after returning to Canada, where the family is trying to find normalcy after their experience.

Coleman defended the couple's decision to have children during their captivity.

"It was a decision we made. We did think about it and talk about it and it's difficult to explain all the reasons, but, for me, a large part was the fact that it has always been important to me to have a large family," she said.

"This took our life away from us — this captivity with no end in sight. And so I felt that it was our best choice at that time. We didn't know if we would have that opportunity when we came back. We didn't know how long it would be. It was already unprecedented, so we couldn't say, 'Oh we'll only be here a year or six months.' "

The couple was also criticised for going to Afghanistan when Coleman was pregnant.

Caitlan Coleman Joshua Boyle
A still image from a video posted by the Taliban on social media on 19 December 2016 shows American Caitlan Coleman (L) speaking next to her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle and their two sons. Taliban/Social media via REUTERS

A video of Coleman and her husband surfaced last year. Both hostages pleaded with their respective governments to secure their release. The footage also showed the couple's children.

The woman went on to criticise both the Canadian and American governments as well as the extremist organisation. The video was published by extremist channels and shared by the US-based SITE intelligence group, which monitors terrorist activities.

The couple had already appeared in a video, in which they pleaded Washington to secure their release. Extremists warned the hostages would be killed if the the Afghan government continued executing Taliban prisoners.