What you should know about birth control

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Birth control pills have been accepted and are a standard practice and have been for decades, but we are just now starting to see the long term effects from prolonged use.   In Chambers clinic we treat a number of patients with medical issues as a result of long term birth control pills.  The pill has been widely prescribed for decades and is still being used today.  Women however need to weigh the pro's and cons of this form of birth control and know the facts in order to make a well informed decision.

Pros:

Works well for birth control – 99% effective is taken as prescribed.  Because of forgetful dosing about 10% of women on birth control become pregnant. 

Easy to use

Helps many with acne concerns

Predictable timing of periods.

Cons:

Extra Estrogen Increases viscosity of the blood and increases possibility of clots (DVT, Pulmonary Embolism, Stroke, and Heart Attack)

When used for a long period of time, estrogen gets stored in body and worsens menopausal symptoms

Increased risk of endometrial cancer when used unopposed with progesterone when synthetic estrogen is used.  There is no evidence that ‘natural' estrogen increases the risk of endometrial cancer.

Increased risk of breast cancer

As with any medication it is important to discuss any concerns with your doctor.  There are other methods of birth control such as  the cervical cap, IUD, male and female condoms that don't have the long term side effects of the birth control pill.

See your doctor and make sure that you are healthy and be aware the risks increase if you are a smoker or are over the age of 35.

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