Someone please explain to me how these things are so safe, that they’re a critical part of women’s rights?
Migraines were 40 percent more common among women taking oral contraceptives, the researchers report in the medical journal Neurology, and non-migraine headaches were 20 percent more common. (from Reuters article "Study confirms oral contraceptive-migraine link" from 3/2/2006)
You do, of course, realize that there is (or at least, there is supposed to be) extensive testing done, before any medication is approved by the FDA, to see if there are any side-effects. Any side effects are supposed to become public knowledge. But, no – instead we teach our children, especially our teenagers from sites like kidshealth.org that:
"The birth control pill is a safe and effective method of birth control. Most young women who take the Pill have none to very few side effects… The Pill also has some side effects that most young women are happy about. It usually makes periods much lighter, reduces cramps, and is often prescribed for women who have menstrual problems. Taking the Pill often improves acne, and some doctors prescribe it for this purpose. Birth control pills have also been found to protect against some forms of breast disease, anemia, ovarian cysts, and uterine cancer." (Source: http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/contraception/contraception_birth.html)
How about mentioning the fact that it can also cause you to never be able to have children – ever! The effects of the pill last long after you stop taking it. Why isn’t it mentioned (except in the fine-print on the opposite side of the page containing the ad) that there are all sorts of other side-effects. I, for one, would not consider decreased sex drive and less frequent intercourse a "mood swing". I wouldn’t label dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, or bleeding as merely being a "mild discomfort". Let’s not forget these other side-effects:
bacterial infections (because the pill weakens the immune system.) more susceptible to the AIDS virus (HIV) because the pill weakens the immune system pelvic inflammatory disease-an infection of the fallopian tubes that can cause sickness or sterility infertility-unable to ever bear children cervical cancer ectopic pregnancy shrinking of the womb (endometrial atrophy) mood swings and depression breast cancer blood clots birth defects in children conceived while women are on the pill tender breasts stroke weight gain
The remarkable thing about this is that these are things that happen in the first few months of taking the pill, or after stopping taking the pill. Sounds like a built-in addiction-maker to me! Isn’t it the same thing with tobacco and alcohol? The first few times you try to smoke, it’s difficult and the first drink of alcohol (for most people, it’s from beer) is disgusting – trying to stop either is even more difficult! Why? Because it’s they’re addictive drugs. The bad news about them is tobacco can cause lung cancer, and alcohol causes all kinds of medical problems, with a newly discovered link between alcohol and all kinds of cancer. Am I implying that there may be a link between cancer and birth control too? Is the Pope Catholic?
It simply amazes me – the FDA green-lights every birth control pill, patch, injection, etc. that comes down the pike, but they won’t give clearance for a rubella vaccine that doesn’t use aborted fetal tissue as a substrate. Thank you, Merck and all the other pharmaceuticals that lobby politicians so they can continue to harm others without repercussions.