"more than 20 well-controlled studies have demonstrated the clear risk of premenopausal breast cancer with the use of oral contraceptives"
Women can certainly count it as a victory that factual discussion of reproductive disorders is now available and that the medical monolith has backed off from such inhumane measures as radical mastectomy and routine hysterectomy for minor female problems. Unfortunately, with the spotlight illuminating the razzle-dazzle of politically correct nutrition, lifesaving facts remain in the shadows, and without those facts, women's options remain limited.
Health information regarding Female reproduction and fertility in general is misguided. A lot of the advice purported these days is out of sync with the natural rhythm of reproduction. Over many weeks the health column will address this vital topic and provide factual information and an insight into the treatment of many conditions from a natural medicine perspective. This week id like to talk about the Oral Contraceptive Pill(OCP)
The Pill is widely prescribed to girls and women these days for a myriad of hormonal conditions other than contraception. It’s a shortsighted treatment and generally provides a mask for the symptoms and seldom addresses the underlining cause of the conditions. Acne, irregular menstrual cycles, irregular bleeding (menorrhagia), Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), PMS and general dysmenorrhea are a few of these conditions.
Other than exploring effective treatments that can address the underlying cause and therefore resolve these conditions the Pill seems to be the desired and easy way to get rid of the problem (albeit temporarily). But many women fail to understand the extent of the possible dangers of taking the Pill. Here is a list of some of the main ones:
In The Breast Cancer Prevention Program, Sam Epstein, MD, writes, "more than 20 well-controlled studies have demonstrated the clear risk of premenopausal breast cancer with the use of oral contraceptives. These estimates indicate that a young woman who uses oral contraceptives has up to ten times the risk for developing breast cancer than a non-user, particularly if she uses the Pill during her teens or early twenties; if she uses the Pill for two years or more; if she uses the Pill before her first full-term pregnancy; if she has a family history of breast cancer." Thus, a woman who takes the Pill for two years before she’s 25 and before she’s had a pregnancy to term increases her risk of breast cancer tenfold.
A study conducted by the World Health Organization found that women who carry the human papilloma virus (HPV) and who have taken the Pill for five to nine years are nearly three times more likely than non-Pill users to develop cervical cancer. (HPV affects a third of all women in their twenties.) Women with HPV who’ve taken the Pill for more than ten years are four times more likely than non-users to develop the disease.
Women who have a history of migraine headaches and who take combined oral contraceptives are two to four times more likely to have a stroke than women who have migraines and don’t take the Pill. Women who use low-dose oral contraceptive pills have a two-fold increased risk of a fatal heart attack compared to non-users. Women who take oral contraceptives and smoke have a 12-fold increase in fatal heart attacks and a 3.1-fold increase in fatal brain hemorrhage. Women who use the Pill after the age of 45 have a 144 percent greater risk of developing breast cancer than women who have never used it.
Because of blocked hormone production, women who take the Pill have decreased sensitivity to smell. Because sexual interest is communicated through smell, the Pill may decrease women’s sex drives. And also possibly attract them men that they would otherwise not be attracted to.
Oral contraceptives may aggravate insulin resistance and longterm risk of diabetes and heart disease. Other hormonal contraceptives may also be problematic. Depo-provera, an injectable contraceptive, requires a shot every three months. Even one shot before a woman is twenty-one can result in bone loss. Adolescent women who use Depo may be more likely to suffer fractures when they reach menopause than those who never took the injections.
Women who take Depo-provera shots for two years or more before they’re twenty-five have an almost tripled risk of breast cancer.
Many women taking the Pill have reported weight gain--a sign of estrogen dominance and/or insulin resistance--as well as depression and even psychosis.
Good nutrition and herbal medicines can provide effective and safe alternatives to synthetic hormone therapy for the above mentioned conditions.