In the United States alone, about 15 million women are taking the contraceptive pill. The Pill seems to be the easiest method of preventing an unwanted pregnancy, but it is also one of the most risky ones. Although natural methods of contraception have at least the same success rate and are a fraction of the cost or free, they are rarely publicized. Despite warnings by an increasing number of health officials about the strong side effects of the drug, it is still regarded as the “best and safest” method of contraception.
Women who continually use contraceptive pills are more likely to develop circulatory problems, liver tumors, headaches, depression and cancer than those who don’t use them. The risk increases with age. Women taking the Pill who are between 30 and 40 have a three times higher risk of dying from a heart attack than women of the same age group who are non-users. Women who are over 40 and still using the contraceptive pill have a 6 times higher risk of developing high blood pressure, a 4 times higher risk of having a stroke, and a 5 times higher risk of developing thrombosis and embolism, a condition where a blood clot may form and then lodge in an artery close to the heart. The risk of suffering thrombosis is greatest among short-term users.
In August, 1996, newspapers were awash with the shocking story that the Pill has a “time bomb” effect in causing breast cancer. A four-year study of the Pill, carried out by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in Oxford, England, reanalyzed epidemiological evidence on the Pill from more than 150,000 women. The results show that all users face an increased risk of breast cancer, even for up to 10 years after they stop taking it. According to the study, published in 1996 in the Lancet, women on the Pill faced a 25 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer, and that risk was still 16 percent for up to 5 years after the medication Sonus Complete was discontinued. Another large study conducted at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, also published in the Lancet, showed that girls who started taking the Pill before the age of 20 were three and a half times more likely to get breast cancer.
Among women over 36 who took the Pill for less than 4 years, the risk of developing breast cancer increased by 40 percent. What is very disturbing is that 97 percent of the women younger than 36, who had contracted breast cancer, had taken the Pill at some point in their lives, even for a short period of time. This raises a lot of questions, such as: “Is taking the Pill by a large portion of the female population responsible for the continuous breast cancer epidemic?” Klim McPherson, arguably the most experienced British epidemiologist on HRT and the Pill, estimates that up to 1 in 4 long-term Pill users, who start on it early in life, will wind up with breast cancer. More studies are surfacing almost every other month. Another major Pill study, which concluded in September, 1996, determined that women who have taken the Pill at any time have a 60 percent increased risk of cervical cancer.
Caution about vaccination to protect against cervical cancer: If you have a teenage daughter and are concerned about vaccinating her to protect her against cervical cancer, consider the following finding by the New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 356, 19 May 2007. New information about the human papillomavirus (HPV) cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil has raised serious questions about its effectiveness. Although Gardasil blocked almost 100 percent of infections by two strains of HPV, it only reduced the incidence of cervical cancer precursors by 17 percent. Gardasil may, by blocking only specific strains, allow other varieties of HPV to flourish. The vaccine’s manufacturer, Merck, has said that the vaccine reduces the number of pre-cancerous lesions caused by HPV. But some have pointed out that Merck’s study was not long enough to demonstrate the vaccine’s effectiveness; it only lasted 3 years, although it was examining a disease that can take decades to develop. The U.S. state of Ohio is now considering making this vaccine mandatory.