When the FDA approved the Pill for marketing in 1960, it changed America forever. The pill was released without adequate testing. Within two years, 1.2 Americans were using it and by 1973 that number had risen to 10 million. In 1969 the book The Doctors Case against the Pill by Barbara Seaman showed people the dangers. By the end of the 70 s, the FDA required physicians and pharmacists to hand out sheets on possible negative effect and complications (Kalb 20-36).
The pills contain two hormones, estrogen and progestin. They prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation and by making the lining of the uterus thinner. During your period, the low estrogen level normally indirectly triggers your pituitary gland to send out follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) a hormone that starts egg development. Among typical couples who initiate use of combined pills about 5% will experience an accidental pregnancy in the first year (Leone 24-27). This is because sometimes pills are not used correctly. If pills are used consistently and correctly, just one in 1,000 women will become pregnant ( Oral Contraceptives ). A second form of contraception should be used for the first seven days of your first pack of pills.
Some of the advantages of the pill are that they decrease a woman’s risk for cancer of the ovaries and cancer of the lining of the uterus. The pills also lower the risk of developing benign breast masses and ovarian cysts. They decrease menstrual cramping and pain. The combined pills reduce menstrual blood loss and the risk for anemia. Monthly periods are also more regular when on the pill. Acne often improves in women taking combined birth control pills. One pill, Tricyclen, is formally approved for the treatment of acne ( Oral Contraceptives ). Many women enjoy sex more when taking birth control pills because they know they are less likely to get pregnant. Some clinicians will even provide 3 to 6 months of pills without a pelvic exam.
There are also many disadvantages to taking these monthly pills. They do not protect you from HIV or other infections. You have to remember to take one pill every day, which can be hard for some women to do. Nausea and/or spotting are two problems women may have the first month on pills. Some women may experience short and scanty periods.
Women taking combined pills may experience side effects such as headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes, weight gain and depression. Serious complications such as blood clots may occur but are very rare. The pills require a prescription and can be expensive. Pills may promote growth of breast cancer but probably do not cause breast cancer. They may lead to higher rates of one type of cervical cancer, adenocarcinoma of the cervix.
The pill has one severe side affect. Some women, while on the pill, continue to get pregnant and never know it. The eggs are still being released and fertilized through the process of breakthrough ovulation. Women never know they are pregnant and don t stop using the pills that eventually kill the baby before it was ever acknowledged. The pill has three mechanisms of action. Sometimes, the pill suppresses ovulation. When this happens, an egg is not released and conception cannot occur. The Pill also works to thicken the woman s cervical mucus, which can restrict sperm from moving up the reproductive tract toward the egg. One way the pill causes early abortions is that it interferes with the flexing motions and the cilia movement of the fallopian tubes. These changes slow the transportation of the newly conceived child from the fallopian tubes from the womb (Lerman 88-93).
Unfortunately, many small babies starve to death in the fallopian tubes because the chemicals caused changes that prevented them from reaching the womb in time to be nourished. Another way the pill can cause an early abortion is if your baby survives the ride down the fallopian tube to your womb, the pill almost always causes the endometrium, the lining of your uterus, to reject the child. Chemical reactions often cause the lining of your womb to become thin, shriveled, and unable to support implantation of your newly conceived child (Boston Women s Health Book Collective). This type of early abortion is something a lot of women do not know about.
Using any kind of contraceptive is not 100% effective against disease or pregnancy, but they help. There are many side effects of birth control pills, and women should consider them all before getting a prescription for them. If a woman decides they are right for her, they are more effective against pregnancy than anything else. The negative side effects are harsh, so there are many other options you may choose.