While the study found a 20%-30% increased risk of artery clogging plaque in women who took hormonal birth control, the general conclusion was that the study was small (1,031 subjects), and this topic needs further study to substantiate the results. However, this is just another risk that has been speculated for women using the pill, especially those women who have been taking it for many years.
There are a myriad of reasons to be taking the pill and many are medically legitimate i.e. a treatment option for an medical disorder, not just a method of shutting down a woman's reproductive system in order to prevent pregnancy. To those women who use the pill as a method of birth control only or as a means to control menstrual pain, flow, or irregularities, there are alternate methods of dealing with these issues that do not involve pumping manufactured hormones into your body.
On the topic of postponing pregnancy and/or spacing children, one solution is the symptothernal method of tracking your fertility. Here are two sites that outline this method in detail and provide resources such as classes, physicians, and help hotlines to aid you in the process of allowing your body to function naturally while exercising reproductive responsibility. This is NOT the rhythm method (i.e. assuming every cycle is 28 days in order to estimate the time of ovulation) The symptothermal method of tracking fertility is medically proven and when used diligently, can be over 99% effective! Nothing to sneeze at. Here are the links:
The Couple to Couple League
Taking Charge of Your Fertility
The pill is very often prescribed for women who experience painful, high flow, or irregular menstrual cycles. While the medication often succeeds in alleviating the symptoms, it can also mask greater problems in a woman's overall health. The nature of the irregularities in a woman's reproductive functioning can be an indicator for a greater problem. By pinpointing the symptoms and then taking the appropriate steps to identify the deficiency or abnormality in the woman's body that may be indicated by them, the woman's symptoms can be diminshed and a greater state of health can be achieved! Here is a link to a great book that may help you to locate resources and start taking a closer look at your menstrual cycle symptoms and their root cause(s).
Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition by Marilyn Shannon
The links below also provide information on natural, researched ways of dealing with many problems that occur in a woman's reproductive system: cycle irregularities, premenstrual syndrome, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovarian disease, repetitive miscarriage, postpartum depression, prematurity prevention, abnormal bleeding, cramping, and hormonal abnormalities. These methods and organizations represent thirty years of scientific research in the study of the normal and abnormal states of the menstrual and fertility cycles.
Pope Paul VI Institute
Ladies, your fertility is worth nourishing and protecting. Here's to your health!
Here are some comments that a friend made. Thought they were good...
- "It's worth adding that all hormonal bc has risks, and there are no longitudinal studies on any one form of hormonal birth control. It's a changing beast. The levels and combinations of hormones available from one pill to another, and from IUDs to patches, are completely different, and the formulas have changed each year since the pill was introduced in the late 60s.And because there are no long-term studies, problems with artificial birth control (ABC) are discovered largely by accident. In 2002, the patch went on the market. In 2005, the FDA (in reaction to about 20 reported deaths) announced that women who used the patch were exposed to about 60 percent more estrogen than originally thought.Also worth mentioning: those .5 to 1 percent failure rates advertised for ABC are method failure rates. Not typical user failure rates. Typical user failure rates can be up to 20 percent, depending on the characteristics of the person using the method." Saint-Like Mother to Be Philomena