Saturday, June 03, 2006

Extended birth control use issues that could affect fertility and health

There was a discussion on Ovusoft so I looked up some references based on things that I had read here and there. Studies supposedly show that upwards of 80% of women will return to "normal" cycles upon discontinuation of the Pill. It really does matter how they did those studies though, as cycles before and after hormonal contraceptive use might differ wildly so normal isn't really as normal as you might have been if you hadn't used the Pill.

I never used the Pill, it wasn't anything other than a philosophical position -- it didn't seem right to me to introduce prolonged hormonal manipulation to my body just for the sake of more assurance against unwanted pregnancy. I was careful in my selection of partners, there were few as well that I crossed that line of intimacy with, I was willing to be diligent in my use of condoms and I knew I was open to dealing with any unfortunate outcomes of my approach. Still I ended up with fibroids and heavy period and anemia and who knows if BCPs might not have carved out a different reality for me. My sister on the other hand used all sorts of birth control including Depo and she ended up with 6 fibroids combined to the size of a grapefruit (the size mine was when it was removed after I became pregnant) and that was a good 6-7 years ahead of when I got to that point when you factor in our age difference.

Here are some mentions of the pill that might interest you.

After the pill, the copper IUD, superovulation-stimulating drugs (Clomid, etc.) or previous childbirth, the copper may be over-high and the zinc, and possibly also magnesium and manganese, may be too low. It is vital to adjust this before embarking on the next pregnancy, to avoid the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
From: Foresight, Preparing for Pregnancy

14 women with a history of taking a combined oral contraceptive (norethynodrel plus mestranol) were studied and were found to have vaginal candidosis which commenced after an average period of 9 months from start of contraceptive therapy. 4 sexual contacts (men) of those women taking the pill were also discovered to have vaginal candidosis; they had presented with candidal balanoposthitis. 4 other men had clinical manifestations suggestive of balanoposthitis caused by hypersensitivity to the candidosis of their sexual partners. Nystatin was a satisfactory treatment in most cases; however, 2 women had to stop using the pill because of frequent relapses of yeast infections.

From: Candida albicans and the contraceptive pill.

Nutrients that can be reduced by the use of Oral Contraceptives (OC):

Folic Acid (Folate). Birth control pills tend to cause folic acid depletion and increase the risk of cervical dysplasia and vascular thrombosis, stroke, and possibly megaloblastic anemia.

B-vitamins. As several B-vitamins are affected negatively by birth control pill use, a B-complex supplement is suggested, especially vitamin B6 if depression is present.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). Levels are lowered by OC use which interferes with the metabolism of ascorbic acid. Insufficient intake of ascorbate is also associated with an increased risk of cervical dysplasia.

Selenium. Selenium absorption may be reduced. Selenium is an important nutrient for cancer prevention.

From: Birth Control Pill Issues

Also since the affect of the pill cause changes in the hypothalmus-pituitary-ovarian axis isn't it possible that prolonged use actually can cause some potential atrophy of this system in how it is normally meant to function? Using a contrasting situation, if you shot up someone who was healthy with insulin for years, even at a low dose, wouldn't it affect the function of the pancreas long-term? (]more about how the Pill works here)

The pill may cause permant sex drive loss

BOSTON, May 26 (UPI) -- Women who take contraceptive pills may suffer reduced sex drive for the rest of their lives, University of Boston researchers say.

It has been long known that oral contraceptives lower levels of testosterone, and thus sex drive, and increase levels of sex hormone binding globulin, or SHBG.

While it was thought that the pill's adverse effects could be reversed, the University of Boston research shows they may be permanent, the London Daily Mail reported Thursday...

Women taking the pill had SHBG levels that were seven times higher than women who had never taken oral contraceptives.

Women who quit taking the pill still registered SHBG levels that were four times as great as non-contraceptive users.

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