Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New Study Finds Birth Control Pills May Cause Heart Problems

I was watching the news this morning and saw a report that said the birth control pill could be linked to increased heart problems. I googled the study and found the following:

In a disturbing new finding, European researchers say taking birth control pills for a year may lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Researchers from Ghent University in Belgium looked at 1,301 apparently healthy women between the ages of 25 and 55 who had previously used oral contraceptives, half of whom used them for 13 years or more.

The results found that women who had used the pills had an unexpected increase in the presence of artery-clogging plaque in key blood vessels in the heart and legs. This was especially true for the ones who had consumed high-estrogen ones sold decades ago.

The risk of blood clots was largest in women who smoked but it disappeared once they go off the pill. However, plaque deposits that raise the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and peripheral artery disease continue to build up for decades after a woman stops taking the pill, WebMD reports.

Having had a heart attack while on the pill, I believe it. Unfortunately, my doctors never put too much emphasis on the pill as a cause although they cautioned me to quit taking it and I did. Perhaps with this new research, more women will talk with their doctor about their personal risks such as high cholesterol or other factors before taking the pill so they can make an informed decision about their heart health.


Blogger Dale B said...

The article you pointed to doesn't have any numbers other than population size and that makes me a bit suspicious. When the popular press reports on medical studies they usually go for the headline and miss the important stuff.

They will report that a study finds that a particular activity (taking a pill or not taking a pill) will double your chances of getting some disease. What they don't report is that your chances go from 1% to 2%. I've even seen alarming study reports where the actual data showed a 5x increase that was really 0.01% to 0.05%.

Also, the press almost never reports on followup studies, most of which cannot confirm the conclusions of initial study. Until there are a significant number of studies, like 10-20, from different groups you can't say much with any confidence.

For most scientific and technical reporting, the press are idiots.

11:42 AM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

I think my dad's sister had a stroke while on birth control. When I saw this story, I thought of you, so I'm glad you posted it. I think it goes to show that women's bodies are intended to have babies and fighting against it can be dangerous. However, in our society it is difficult and expensive to raise a lot of children. Perhaps there are safer
ways of birth control.

Dale, you make some good points. I agree that the media does a poor job of explaining scientific studies and to the general public it seems like there is a lot of contradictory information.

12:05 PM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

It seems that whenever you introduce extra hormones, estrogen or testosterone, into the human body bad things may happen.

2:33 PM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Serket, yes there are safer methods of birth control, if the woman is blessed with a regular cycle. I am a female and my husband and I, through charting my cycle, first avoided conceiving for over 1.5 years then conceived the very first cycle we tried (I'm now 8 months pregnant). This was all because I did not want to consume hormones, and my husband honored my decision. It does require using condoms on known fertile days, and only having about 9-10 days of condom-free sex per month. Please note I did not bother with checking my temperature every morning, etc. etc. -- I just kept track of when my periods started and knew our "free" time was beteen Days 20 - 3 (inclusive). This is called the Fertility Awareness Method and there are several books out there on how to use it for either avoiding or maximizing chances of conception. Again, though, the big caveat is you must have a steady cycle, and I know some women do not. Hope that helps.

4:31 PM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger cardeblu said...

Okay. Other than the approximate year pre- and postpartum 21-22 years ago, I've been on the pill in its various forms (now phasic type) for about 30 years.

Oh, and I smoke a little less than half a pack a day.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6....

...still least for now.

Famous last words?

10:46 PM, November 07, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

It does appear, based on what I have read and heard that the pill has some fairly serious health effects when measured for very large groups of women.

Getting other methods into the populace is a good idea. Most of the other methods have drawbacks in terms of time, complexity or reliability.

The IVD, for men, shows great promise at low cost and high reliability: Mind you, while it is easy to undo, the return of full fertility after long periods of use has not as of yet been demonstrated.

So, we should be heavy into the research labs. This is an area of research where a bit of spending is clearly called for.

3:55 AM, November 08, 2007  
Blogger meep said...

You actually don't need to have a steady cycle to use fertility awareness methods. Indeed, there are many women with irregular cycles who use it as a method to get pregnant.

Like eva, I'm regular, so it's easier, but it's still doable. The following links to the definitive source on this method, and covers lots of bases, such as perimenopause:

5:43 AM, November 08, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

JW, I found an article from 2005 on the Intra Vas Device.

1:14 PM, November 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


excuse me, but did you say you and your husband only have 9 to 10 condom free sax days per month? Then use condoms on fertile days?

Do you guys ever, you know, get out or anything?

6:12 PM, November 08, 2007  
Blogger Donna B. said...

To me (age 55) this is old news. When I was 20 and started taking birth control pills my doctor told me they would increase the probability of a heart attack or stroke at a later age. It's why I went the IUD route later on. That had its own complications.

10:30 PM, November 08, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

serket: That's right, the intra vas device. A Canadian invention. It's in stage three human testing (Canada & US) now and they had to expand the testing as there were so many men wanting to try it. The last I heard, June, was the results look very promising. The only worry being the long term effects.

With the IVD and IUD we'd have a good chance of controlling fertility without drugs.

4:31 AM, November 09, 2007  
Blogger submandave said...

Now if we can just get this information to school nurses who want to give BCPs to 11 year-olds. Wilfully ignoring and discounting very real potential health effects of BCPs and abortion is where the anti-parental notification/consent gang depart from reasonable discourse.

3:57 PM, November 09, 2007  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Why so many people smoke to "excess".

Schizophrenia and Tobacco.



We have entered a brave new world here:

Drugs are forced on those that don't want them and withheld from those that need them.

PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System

3:40 PM, November 10, 2007  
Blogger M. Simon said...

You want more press attention?

Link Birth Control to Climate Change.

3:47 PM, November 10, 2007  
Blogger Renée said...

It is linked to environmental damage.

9:19 PM, November 10, 2007  
Blogger M. Simon said...


No mention at what level the fish were tested at. Same concentration as the rivers and streams. 10X that? 100X that?

So now you are all worried about something that is not a worry.

Every thing is a poison at some dose.

So you might say we are being continuously poisoned just to stay alive. Well just something to worry about if you are in to that sort of thing. Big Mac With Fies Super Size. The fish be damned.

9:48 PM, November 10, 2007  
Blogger DWPittelli said...

Wasn't it standard even 20 years ago to warn women that the pill has such risks for those who are:
1) Overweight
2) Smoking
3) Over 30

Any one of the above factors, you are at some increased risk of heart/circulatory problems.

Any two of the above factors: You are at a substantially increased risk of heart/circulatory problems, and the pill is probably a poor choice for you for birth control.

8:37 AM, November 11, 2007  
Blogger Shannon Love said...

I think there is some interesting sociology in play in regards to chemical birth control. Most prominently, seems to be the only major chemical product that ends up in people's bodies that the political Left has not vilified or sought to intensively regulate.

I think they do not seek to vilify chemical birth control because they desperately need to sell the sexual freedom that it provides. The contemporary doesn't advocate free individual choice for any decisions in our lives except those involving sex. In all other areas of our lives, the Leftist advocate that the state make the decisions. Without their ability to point to their advocation of sexual freedom, the Left would have nothing but a near totalitarian platform to offer the electorate.

There maybe many long term consequences to birth control, such as altering the behavior of women who take it. I find it interesting that the same people who scream about the risk of trace amounts of pesticide in food never issue a peep about the risk of putting a woman in an artificial state of pregnancy from the ages of 14 to 45.

9:33 AM, November 11, 2007  
Blogger Blog Master said...

You need to know about birth control pills in much details and hence I request you to visit at site to know more about birth control products and methods

6:36 AM, November 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

視訊做愛視訊美女無碼A片情色影劇kyo成人動漫tt1069同志交友網ut同志交友網微風成人論壇6k聊天室日本 avdvd 介紹免費觀賞UT視訊美女交友..........................

11:40 PM, May 19, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home