Long-Term Dangers of Birth Control Pills

Dr. Elizabeth Plourde, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Author, talks, 2011

Dr. Elizabeth Plourde talks about the dangers of using birth control pills for many years and why they are dangerous.

  • Video published on 26 Sep 2011 by iHealthTube.com.

Sweetening the pill : Could some birth-control drugs kill you?

Could some pharmaceutical birth-control methods be having side-effects that are much more dangerous than women realise ?

Featuring interviews with parents and friends of those who’ve died after complications related to some birth control hormones, Abby Epstein and Holly Grigg-Spall question how much the public really know about their medical effects.

  • Find out more about the Sweetening the Pill documentary on Kickstarter.
  • Video published on 22 Jun 2015 by The Guardian.

The Pill : Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression

Are some side effects of birth control pills being kept secret ?

November 2016, JAMA Psychiatry published a Danish study that found a correlation between the use of hormonal birth control and being diagnosed with clinical depression. The study tracked hormonal birth control use and prescription of antidepressants over six years for over a million women. They found that women who were on hormonal birth control—be it the pill or a hormonal IUD or vaginal ring—were significantly more likely to be prescribed antidepressants.

These findings are only the latest in a long line of battles between women and their doctors over accurate information, broadly.vice reports in The Racist and Sexist History of Keeping Birth Control Side Effects Secret.

In 2018, the popularity of apps like Natural Cycles highlights the serious issues with contraceptives, the conversation reports.

Illustration by Eleanor Doughty, feature image credit broadly-images.vice.

Key Points

  • Question
    Is use of hormonal contraception associated with treatment of depression?
  • Findings
    In a nationwide prospective cohort study of more than 1 million women living in Denmark, an increased risk for first use of an antidepressant and first diagnosis of depression was found among users of different types of hormonal contraception, with the highest rates among adolescents.
  • Meaning
    Health care professionals should be aware of this relatively hitherto unnoticed adverse effect of hormonal contraception.

Abstract

Importance
Millions of women worldwide use hormonal contraception. Despite the clinical evidence of an influence of hormonal contraception on some women’s mood, associations between the use of hormonal contraception and mood disturbances remain inadequately addressed.

Objective
To investigate whether the use of hormonal contraception is positively associated with subsequent use of antidepressants and a diagnosis of depression at a psychiatric hospital.

Design, Setting, and Participants
This nationwide prospective cohort study combined data from the National Prescription Register and the Psychiatric Central Research Register in Denmark. All women and adolescents aged 15 to 34 years who were living in Denmark were followed up from January 1, 2000, to December 2013, if they had no prior depression diagnosis, redeemed prescription for antidepressants, other major psychiatric diagnosis, cancer, venous thrombosis, or infertility treatment. Data were collected from January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2013, and analyzed from January 1, 2015, through April 1, 2016.

Exposures
Use of different types of hormonal contraception.

Main Outcomes and Measures
With time-varying covariates, adjusted incidence rate ratios (RRs) were calculated for first use of an antidepressant and first diagnosis of depression at a psychiatric hospital.

Results
A total of 1 061 997 women (mean [SD] age, 24.4 [0.001] years; mean [SD] follow-up, 6.4 [0.004] years) were included in the analysis. Compared with nonusers, users of combined oral contraceptives had an RR of first use of an antidepressant of 1.23 (95% CI, 1.22-1.25). Users of progestogen-only pills had an RR for first use of an antidepressant of 1.34 (95% CI, 1.27-1.40); users of a patch (norgestrolmin), 2.0 (95% CI, 1.76-2.18); users of a vaginal ring (etonogestrel), 1.6 (95% CI, 1.55-1.69); and users of a levonorgestrel intrauterine system, 1.4 (95% CI, 1.31-1.42). For depression diagnoses, similar or slightly lower estimates were found. The relative risks generally decreased with increasing age. Adolescents (age range, 15-19 years) using combined oral contraceptives had an RR of a first use of an antidepressant of 1.8 (95% CI, 1.75-1.84) and those using progestin-only pills, 2.2 (95% CI, 1.99-2.52). Six months after starting use of hormonal contraceptives, the RR of antidepressant use peaked at 1.4 (95% CI, 1.34-1.46). When the reference group was changed to those who never used hormonal contraception, the RR estimates for users of combined oral contraceptives increased to 1.7 (95% CI, 1.66-1.71).

Conclusions and Relevance
Use of hormonal contraception, especially among adolescents, was associated with subsequent use of antidepressants and a first diagnosis of depression, suggesting depression as a potential adverse effect of hormonal contraceptive use.

The power of the placebo effect

The amazing power of the mind over the body

The placebo effect is an unexplained phenomenon wherein drugs, treatments, and therapies that aren’t supposed to have an effect — and are often fake — miraculously make people feel better. What’s going on?

  • Emma Bryce dives into the mystery of placebos’ bizarre benefits.
  • Video published on 4 April 2016 by TED-Ed.

Too Much Medicine Helsinki Symposium 2018

Paulo Foundation International Medical Symposium, Helsinki, 15 – 17 Aug 2018

Abstracts

  • Overestimation of depression prevalence in meta-analyses via the inclusion of primary studies that assessed depression using screening tools or rating scales rather than validated diagnostic interviews
  • Clinician, patient and general public beliefs about diagnostic imaging for low back pain: A qualitative evidence synthesis
  • Overdiagnosis of low back pain
  • Defining Overdiagnosis of Mental Health Disorders: Secondary Analysis of an Overdiagnosis Scoping Review
  • Evaluating the content of Choosing Wisely recommendations and prevalence of interdisciplinary finger pointing
  • Inadequate Prescription of medicines for Parkinson’s disease in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country. An observational study
  • Is it always necessary to treat nocturia? Natural history of nocturia among men and women during the 5-year period
  • The monocriterial source of over-testing and over-treatment: the case of bone scanning
  • Increasing prescription of opioid analgesics and neuropathic pain medicines for spinal pain in Australia
  • No benefit of additional care for ‘high-risk’ patients with acute low back pain: The PREVENT randomized, placebo-controlled trial
  • Overdiagnosis, overtreatment and low-value care in physiotherapy: a scoping review
  • Targeted information based on reimbursed drug registry
  • Journal Registration Policies and Prospective Registration in Randomized Trials of Non-Regulated Interventions: A Meta-Research Review
  • Pharmacotherapy and behavioural problems in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Simultaneous under and over care of eye health care in Finland
  • Decision Support and Knowledge Translation Tools to Highlight the Benefits and Downstream Harms of Screening: Resources from the Canadian Task Force for Preventive Healthcare
  • A Free Access Literature Awareness Portal That Surveilles High Quality Research and Guidelines to Inform Benefits and Downstream Harms of Screening and Prevention Strategies in Healthcare
  • From “Non‐encounters” to autonomic agency. Conceptions of patients with low back pain about their encounters in Finnish health care system
  • Does the use of CAM reflect a patients´ response to “too much medicine”?
  • Preferred Reporting Items for Overview of Systematic Reviews for abstracts (PRIO-abstracts)

Reference.

Primodos Hormone Pregnancy Test Testimonials, 2018

Hormone Pregnancy Test Drug Given to 1.5M Linked to Birth Defects

Three mums speak out as they believe it is the primodos drug that left their children with devastating health issues.

The women who were given a hormone pregnancy test have shared emotional stories of the terrible health problems their children are forced to live with.

Reference.

Zeranol Use in Meat and Breast Cancer

Oestrogenic potencies of Zeranol, oestradiol, diethylstilboestrol, Bisphenol-A and genistein: implications for exposure assessment of potential endocrine disrupters

Anabolic growth-promoting drugs in meat production are by far the most potent hormones found in the food supply. Researchers have compared the oestrogenic potency of the synthetic oestrogen Zeranol, used as a growth promoter in meat production, and five related compounds, with the potency of 17beta-oestradiol, diethylstilboestrol (DES), genistein, and Bisphenol-A.

  • Care2 reports, April 20, 2018.
  • NutritionFacts reports, 25 Jul 2016.
Related Posts
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More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Illegal Drugs Found in Chicken Feathers

Feather meal: a previously unrecognized route for reentry into the food supply of multiple pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), 2012

By testing chicken feathers for chemical residues, researchers aim to find out what the poultry industry is feeding their birds. The presence of banned drugs and a broad range of pharmaceuticals raises concern, recalling the time in which DES was fed to chickens for years… NutritionFacts reports, August 11th, 2014.

Related Posts
Related Books
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Thalidomide promotes degradation of SALL4, a transcription factor implicated in Duane Radial Ray Syndrome

After 60 years, scientists uncover how thalidomide produced birth defects

More than 60 years after the drug thalidomide caused birth defects in thousands of children whose mothers took the drug while pregnant, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have solved a mystery that has lingered ever since the dangers of the drug first became apparent: how did the drug produce such severe fetal harm?
ScienceAlert reports, 2 AUG 2018.

Abstract

Frequently used to treat morning sickness, the drug thalidomide led to the birth of thousands of children with severe birth defects. Despite their teratogenicity, thalidomide and related IMiD drugs are now a mainstay of cancer treatment, however, the molecular basis underlying the pleiotropic biology and characteristic birth defects remains unknown.

Here we show that IMiDs disrupt a broad transcriptional network through induced degradation of several C2H2 zinc finger transcription factors, including SALL4, a member of the spalt-like family of developmental transcription factors.

Strikingly, heterozygous loss of function mutations in SALL4 result in a human developmental condition that phenocopies thalidomide induced birth defects such as absence of thumbs, phocomelia, defects in ear and eye development, and congenital heart disease.

We find that thalidomide induces degradation of SALL4 exclusively in humans, primates and rabbits, but not in rodents or fish, providing a mechanistic link for the species-specific pathogenesis of thalidomide syndrome.

Significant decrease in testosterone therapy since 2013

Testosterone Prescribing in the United States, 2002-2016

Testosterone use in the United States tripled from 2001 through 2011, mostly in men without a clear indication.

In late 2013 and early 2014, two studies reported increased myocardial infarction and stroke associated with testosterone use.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety bulletin on January 31, 2014.

After a decade of growth, the percentage of US men receiving testosterone prescriptions decreased from 2013,  falling to less than 2% of men by 2016.

This prescribing trends study was published July 10, 2018.