Holistic Medicine

6 Shocking Birth Control Risks

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birth control risksIn ancient Egypt women used a combination of cotton, dates, honey and acacia as a form of topical spermicide. In medieval Europe, under the harsh scrutiny of the Catholic church, women would insert lily root and rue into the vagina to deter pregnancy out of wedlock.

Women have long been charged with the responsibility of contraception and have sacrificed their health in consequence.

It is no shock that when the oral contraceptive pill first hit the shelves of pharmacies nation wide in 1960, it quickly became the most popular form of contraception in America. It didn’t take long however before doctors noticed more and more women suffering from dangerous side effects.

Unfortunately the financial gains of pharmaceutical companies took priority over women’s health and the dangers of hormone heavy drugs stayed a secret.

Some would argue that is still the case!

In 1969 Barbara Seaman published The Doctor’s Case Against The Pill which became the basis for the Nelson Pill Hearings on the safety of the combined oral contraceptive pill. As a result of this hearing a health warning was added to the pill but it maintained its FDA stamp of approval.

It wasn’t until 1988 that the original high estrogen dose pill got taken off the market, only to be replaced by an equally as synthetic drug which is touted as the best form of contraception to this day.

Here are 6 health risks that today’s birth control pill can cause:

1. Cancer

According to the World Health Organization, birth control pills contain similar carcinogen toxins as tobacco and asbestos. Estrogen and progesterone (both synthesized in the pill) have been found to influence the growth of cancer cells in the breast, cervix and liver.

2. Blood Clots and Plaque Buildup

Contrary to popular belief, estrogen does not cause blood clots, but it does increase the risk by up to 5 times. Research has shown for every 10 years of pill use, a 30% increase in plaque build up occurs in arteries. The pill also increases blood pressure which is the leading symptom of heart disease.

3. Osteoarthritis

Research shows women who use the pill have lower bone mineral density than those who have never used it.

4. Weight Gain

High levels of estrogen can influence insulin resistance and frequently results in excess weight gain. With spike insulin levels, the energy from carbohydrates is absorbed primarily by fat cells.

5. Diabetes

A study released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed the correlation between the pill and gestational diabetes. Women who use the pill prior to pregnancy have a 40% increased chance of developing gestational diabetes which can put them more at risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.

6. Lowered Libido

The pill inhibits the production of the hormones androgen and testosterone which are the primary forces behind sex drive. Birth control pills also alter a women’s natural estradiol fluctuations, which minimizes the release of eggs and the hormones attached to them.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_birth_control

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/a-brief-history-of-the-birth-control-pill/480/

http://bodyecology.com/articles/dangers_birth_control_pill.php#.VHOdylfF-Aw

Image Source: The Polvika Family

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Michelle Toole

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