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  • Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

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    Old 11-08-2004, 10:54 AM   #1
    sarasota2004
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    Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

    When I read the risks on the packet it says that Taking Birth Control pills has not been linked or proven relationship with breast cancer.

    However, it is strongly suggested that if you have a history with nonmalignant lumps or breast issues and taking birth control, be monitored more carefully by your doctor.

    What the heck is that supposed to mean? If it's not proven a relationship, then why be monitored closely?

    At the age of 30, I had a nonmalignant breast lump removed. So, now I can't help but wonder if me taking birth control pills is the right thing to do?

    Why would they even mention it? It's so vague, it's misleading!

     
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    Old 11-08-2004, 11:32 AM   #2
    rush_rulz
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    Re: Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

    I think they mention it to cover their butts!! But, I worry about risks like that too (Who doesn't I guess right?) because I had vaginal small cysts recently and have NEVER had that to deal with all my life...until I got on the pill that is. I don't think it says anything about cysts though but still...I'd check w/ your doc though if your concerned.
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    Old 11-08-2004, 11:36 AM   #3
    jriegel
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    Re: Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

    Hey, you are like many of us women who are concerned about this. My experience has been that most of the women who feel like they don't have any options, or just don't want to consider negative possibilities because birth control pills are just so convenient, dismiss the risks of birth control pills as myths, and even their own doctors do, too.

    When birth control pills were first introduced decades ago they were in such a high dosage that they caused cancer in almost every woman who ingested them. This is because our livers are made to filter everything in our blood but when certain things, like hormones for example, are ingested in excessive amounts it can only process so much. The "left over" hormones that are not processed are called xeno (zee-no) estrogens, like renegade hormones flying around our system, and they attach to protein (muscles and tissue, like the cervix). Hormones are not supposed to attach themselves to the cells that make up muscles and proteins, so it cause these cells to mutate--causing cancer. Today, it is unlikely for this to happen because many of the pills you can get today are in such low dosages. My thoughts, though, are: if smoking two packs of cigarettes a day can give you cancer, so can smoking one, it just takes longer.

    Extra stuff in your system that is not or cannot be processed by your liver and kidneys are called toxins, which can lead to a lot of every day problems like headaches, depression and other things that feel like colds, allergies and digestive problems.

    If you are in your 30's (most BCP inserts state the age 35) your risk for adverse side effects increases because of natural hormone changes in your body and a general slowing down of metabolism, processing, etc. These risks also increase greatly if you smoke or have had previous problems with cancerous growths, even if they were benign.

    I, personally, would recommend you not take birth control pills. I'm not a doctor but about the only really good thing they do is prevent pregnancy, and there are plenty of other birth control methods that are as effective (my personal preference, for instance, natural family planning) and way safer, and free. Some people feel they need to take BCP to regulate their hormones/cycle/clear their skin, but for the most part, there seem to be a lot more risks that outweigh the benefit you can get from other safer, cheaper methods.

    If you're interested in natural family planning let me know.

     
    Old 11-08-2004, 01:13 PM   #4
    bordrgrl
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    Re: Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

    I think the latest studies have shown basically that your risk goes back to normal after 5 or 10 years off of the pill. The pharmaceutical companies run with that "good news" but never mention what happens in the years you are on it. If you do an internet search you can find plenty of people who believe there is a strong link being covered up. Its definitely a controversial subject but my gut tells me there is a link. I'm on the pill right now for health reasons but as soon as I have surgery I'm getting off it.

     
    Old 11-08-2004, 06:56 PM   #5
    sarasota2004
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    Re: Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jriegel
    Hey, you are like many of us women who are concerned about this. My experience has been that most of the women who feel like they don't have any options, or just don't want to consider negative possibilities because birth control pills are just so convenient, dismiss the risks of birth control pills as myths, and even their own doctors do, too.

    When birth control pills were first introduced decades ago they were in such a high dosage that they caused cancer in almost every woman who ingested them. This is because our livers are made to filter everything in our blood but when certain things, like hormones for example, are ingested in excessive amounts it can only process so much. The "left over" hormones that are not processed are called xeno (zee-no) estrogens, like renegade hormones flying around our system, and they attach to protein (muscles and tissue, like the cervix). Hormones are not supposed to attach themselves to the cells that make up muscles and proteins, so it cause these cells to mutate--causing cancer. Today, it is unlikely for this to happen because many of the pills you can get today are in such low dosages. My thoughts, though, are: if smoking two packs of cigarettes a day can give you cancer, so can smoking one, it just takes longer.

    Extra stuff in your system that is not or cannot be processed by your liver and kidneys are called toxins, which can lead to a lot of every day problems like headaches, depression and other things that feel like colds, allergies and digestive problems.

    If you are in your 30's (most BCP inserts state the age 35) your risk for adverse side effects increases because of natural hormone changes in your body and a general slowing down of metabolism, processing, etc. These risks also increase greatly if you smoke or have had previous problems with cancerous growths, even if they were benign.

    I, personally, would recommend you not take birth control pills. I'm not a doctor but about the only really good thing they do is prevent pregnancy, and there are plenty of other birth control methods that are as effective (my personal preference, for instance, natural family planning) and way safer, and free. Some people feel they need to take BCP to regulate their hormones/cycle/clear their skin, but for the most part, there seem to be a lot more risks that outweigh the benefit you can get from other safer, cheaper methods.

    If you're interested in natural family planning let me know.
    Thanks for all of your posts. What is Natural Family planning?

    All I want is to not get pregnant for the time being. I'm 33 years old, have 2 children and my husband doesn't want anymore. He would have a vasectomy but it's sooo official and hard to reverse if we were to ever change our minds. I think when we turn 35 years of age, he will have a vasectomy but I'm not sure what to do in the meantime.

    I heard of other things like a patch or an implant but isn't that the same type of hormones/estrogen in the end like the pill?

    I wish there was a safer, more simple way with a guarantee too like BCP's.

     
    Old 11-08-2004, 09:18 PM   #6
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    Re: Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

    To do natural family planning you abstain during your fertile days. To do fertility awareness you use some method of birth control (or two or three ;-)) on your fertile days.
    You identify when you are fertile by observing your cervical fluid and charting your temperature, primarily. Both are very easy to do once you have a bit of practice and takes about 2 extra minutes a day. An optional cross check is to check your cervical position. It is 98-99% effective if you abstain on your fertile days. The most important thing to realize is that this method, like all the others, takes diligence. Its gotten a bad name because of the unreliable calendar method. But a ton of scientific research has gone into this and nowadays it is extremely effective. I'd recommend reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility and The Art of Natural Family Planning if you are interested in learning more.
    (One other thing to be aware of is the first couple of months off hormones can be tricky when charting, and you also need about 3 months of practice. Your fertility signs can be messed up so its critical that you either abstain or use a barrier.)

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 09:57 PM   #7
    whatamIdoing
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    Re: Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jriegel
    When birth control pills were first introduced decades ago they were in such a high dosage that they caused cancer in almost every woman who ingested them.
    This is a gross overstatement. Yes, the high doses are believed to have increased [breast] cancer rates somewhat, but not so that "almost every woman" got cancer!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jriegel
    ...when certain things, like hormones for example, are ingested in excessive amounts [the liver] can only process so much. The "left over" hormones that are not processed are called xeno (zee-no) estrogens, like renegade hormones flying around our system, and they attach to protein (muscles and tissue, like the cervix). Hormones are not supposed to attach themselves to the cells that make up muscles and proteins, so it cause these cells to mutate--causing cancer.
    This is also mostly wrong.

    "Xeno" means "from the outside," or "foreign," not "leftover"; a xenoestrogen is an estrogen from some source other than the body. Often, we draw a line between "exogenous estrogen" and "xenoestrogen" so that we can differentiate between human estrogen given to a different human (exogenous estrogen) and non-human estrogen (xenoestrogen).

    The usual term for having too much of something is "excess."

    Cells never "make up proteins;" cells are themselves composed of proteins. Perhaps more relevantly, the steriod sex hormones are designed to act directly on DNA, not on proteins, and no amount of "mutating" a protein is going to cause cancer, because cancer requires genetic damage.

    And, for the record, nearly all (98%+ worldwide) cervical cancer is caused by the virus that causes genital warts, so if you don't get genital warts, you're almost certainly not going to get cervical cancer, no matter how high a dose your BCPs are or aren't.


    Oh: In case you were wondering, I'm not a BCP user; I'm an NFP user -- eleven years now, and I highly recommend it. _Taking Charge of Your Fertility_ is an excellent book, or there are often classes available. (Best bet: call the nearest Catholic hospital and ask if they offer any classes to the community.)

    I understand that our local "Planned Parenthood" thinks that the women in their client base "aren't stable enough" (a direct quote from a local newspaper story on fertility awareness) to handle it, so perhaps you should think about your own personal situation before making a decision about what you want to do.

     
    Old 11-09-2004, 10:19 PM   #8
    bordrgrl
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    Re: Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

    I thought there were strains of hpv that don't cause warts?
    At any rate I think there is a fairly plausible argument that the damage done to the cervix when on the pill (which is clearly proven) can make a woman more prone to hpv infection. More research needs to be done before anyone can say whether the pill actually causes more cases of cervical cancer because of this.

     
    Old 11-10-2004, 03:10 PM   #9
    jriegel
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    Re: Birth Control Risks - I'm confused...

    once again, whatamidoing, i'm sorry for the "mistake". the information i have posted comes from a practicing women's health doctor that i am in contact with who specializes in liver and kidney support specifically in the areas of birth control/hormon replacement and toxic diets and i am only sharing what i have learned and understand to be true.

     
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