Birth Control Archive

December – September 2009: Birth Control

Research Abandoned on Contraceptive Vaccine to ‘Immunize’ Women Against Pregnancy

Taking the Pill for Past 40 Years 'Has Put Women Off Masculine Men'

Europe's Most Popular Long-Term "Contraception" is Abortifacient IUD

Health Concerns Over Popular Contraceptives Yaz & Yasmin

Emergency Contraception Resulting in More Menstrual Complications

Morning-After Pill Proving To Be Ineffective and Abused

Injectable Contraceptive Use Significantly Increases Risk of Obesity…

Research Abandoned on Contraceptive Vaccine to ‘Immunize’ Women Against Pregnancy
  A leading contraceptive researcher has abandoned her attempts to create a vaccine that would render a woman “immune” from pregnancy. The Population Research Institute lauded the end of the research, which it said tried to make a woman’s body treat pregnancy as a disease. Based on research into women who are infertile because of antibodies that inhibit sperm from fertilizing the egg, Dr. Donnie Dunbar had hoped to develop a vaccine that would trick a healthy woman’s immune system into a hostile reaction to her own eggs. She intended the vaccine to help combat what she saw as the “world population problem.”

Tests which injected rabbits with pig proteins caused an autoimmune response, but it completely destroyed the ovaries.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t just looking at preventing fertilization now; we generated a complete autoimmune disease, which is also known as premature ovarian failure,” Dunbar said, according to the Population Research Institute.

“I am responsible for killing this vaccine for further human research, and I made some people in my biotech company and some other people very unhappy.”

The Population Research Institute (PRI) described her vaccine as “an insidious attempt to make the body treat pregnancy as a disease.” However, the organization said her refusal to develop the vaccine for humans showed “an integrity often absent among anti-fertility researchers.”

The former contraceptive vaccine is now being developed for possible use as a sterilizing agent for dogs and cats and for the culling of the African elephant population.
[Washington D.C., Dec 1, 2009, CNA, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17898 ]

 

 

 

 

 

Taking the Pill for Past 40 Years 'Has Put Women Off Masculine Men'
It ushered in the 1960s sexual revolution and gave women control over their own fertility.

But the Pill may also have changed women's taste in men, according to a study.

Scientists say the hormones in the oral contraceptive suppress a woman's interest in masculine men and make boyish men more attractive. Although the change occurs for just a few days each month, it may have been highly influential since use of the Pill began more than 40 years ago.

Classic men: In the Fifties, more masculine men like Burt Lancaster and Kurt Douglas were considered attractive

Tough guys: In the Sixties rebels like Sean Connery and Steve McQueen made women weak at the knees

If the theory is right, it could partly explain the shifting in tastes from macho 1950s and 1960s stars such as Kirk Douglas and Sean Connery to the more wimpy, androgynous stars of today, such as Johnny Depp and Russell Brand.

Dr Alexandra Alvergne, of the University of Sheffield, says the Pill could also be altering the way women pick their mates and could have long-term implications for society.

'There are many obvious benefits of the Pill for women, but there is also the possibility that the Pill has psychological side-effects that we are only just discovering,' she said. 'We need further studies to find out what these are.'

The links between the Pill and sexual preferences are highlighted in a paper in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

Scientists have long known that a woman's taste in men changes over her menstrual cycle.

During the few days each month when women are fertile – around the time of ovulation – they tend to prefer masculine features and men who are more assertive.

On these fertile days, women are also more attracted to men who are 'genetically dissimilar', Dr Alvergne said. Picking a partner whose genetic make-up is unlike their own increases the chances of having a healthy child.

Big hair: Long locks like John Travolta and Ryan O'Neal's hit the spot in the Seventies

Softer look: Pin-ups like Rob Lowe and Michael J. Fox were popular in the Eighties

On days when women are not fertile, their tastes swing towards more feminine, boyish faces and more caring personalities, researchers have shown.

However, if women are taking the Pill they no longer have fertile days.

That means they no longer experience the hormonal changes that make them more attracted to masculine men and those with dissimilar genetic make-up.

Although the effect is subtle, Dr Alvergne said it could alter women's view of male attractiveness. 'It is a possibility – but there is no evidence of this yet,' she said. 'We need a lot more research in this area.' In her paper, Dr Alvergne reviewed seven studies showing how the Pill can change women's behaviour.

She also found evidence from three studies that the Pill can affect the way women are looked at by men.

Past studies have shown that men find women more attractive around the time of ovulation, possibly because women have evolved instinctive ways, by their natural scent or their behaviour, of alerting men that they are fertile.

One study showed that lap dancers get bigger tips at the time of the month when they are most fertile.

Dr Alvergne said the use of the Pill could influence a woman's ability to attract a mate by reducing her attractiveness to men.

Girly locks: Heart throbs of the Nineties had flowing hair

Tweeny pin-ups: 2009 favourites look cheeky and boyish like Zac Efron

Her co-author at Sheffield, Dr Virpi Lumma, said: 'The ultimate outstanding evolutionary question concerns whether the use of oral contraceptives when making mating decisions can have long-term consequences on the ability of couples to reproduce.' An increasing number of studies suggest that the Pill is likely to have an impact on human mating decisions and subsequent reproduction.

'If this is the case, Pill use will have implications for both current and future generations, and we hope that our review will stimulate further research on this question,' said Dr Lumma.

The changing fashions for film stars appear to show a shift from masculine men in the 1950s – before the advent of the Pill – to more baby-faced stars today.

Many of the biggest box office draws are b

oyish in appearance, rather than classically rugged. The top Hollywood earners of last year include Will Smith, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Hugh Jackman. Other boyish film stars include Jude Law.

The rise of such stars could also be explained by cynical attempts to market films and merchandise at an ever younger age group.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1218808/Contraceptive-pill-women-attracted-masculine-men–interested-boyish-looks.html#ixzz0VXCSdeNa
[8October09, David Derbyshire,
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1218808/Contraceptive-pill-women-attracted-masculine-men–interested-boyish-looks.html?printingPage=true]

Europe's Most Popular Long-Term "Contraception" is Abortifacient IUD
By Hilary White

ROME, October 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A recently released study has revealed that the abortifacient Intra-Uterine Device (IUD) and the hormone-releasing Intra-Uterine System (IUS) are the most popular forms of long-term birth control in Europe among the over-30s. 
 
Published in the European Journal Of Contraception And Reproductive Health Care, the study evaluates the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives, and notes that younger women who want children later do not use the long-term methods as much as older women.

However, the study noted that 10 per cent of women in Europe use long-term methods, the majority over 30 years of age, and that the most popular long-term methods are intrauterine (which includes both the IUD and the IUS).

But the description of the IUD or IUS as contraceptive can only be accepted together with the newly established definition of pregnancy as beginning only at the implantation, and not the fertilization, of an embryo.

The intrauterine system (IUS) is inserted into the uterus and contains a hormone cylinder that releases hormones which reduce the frequency of ovulation and induces the release of chemicals naturally occurring in the body which are believed to be "hostile" to early-stage embryos.

The IUS also has a secondary effect similar to that of other chemical birth control in thinning the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for an embryo to implant.

The World Health Organisation says that IUDs are the world's most popular form of long-term reversible birth control, used by 160 million women around the world. Non-hormonal IUDs are a plastic T-shaped frame that is wound around with pure electrolytic copper wire that is inserted into the uterus.

In 1967, when IUDs were first popularised in the US, the American Medical Association Committee on Human Reproduction pointed out the abortifacient properties of the devices, observing, "That these devices prevent nidation [implantation] of an already fertilized ovum has been accepted as the most likely mechanism of the action."

Anthony Ozimic of Britain's Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) commented that intrauterine "contraception" is not a form of contraception at all, but a method of procuring a very early-term abortion.

He noted that the popularity of the intrauterine devices in Europe is just another manifestation of the continent's flirtation with self-extinction.

"Interestingly," he said, "Europa, the mythical Greek woman after whom Europe is named, had three children, whereas the average European woman of child-bearing age only has one or at most two. Killing babies and avoiding pregnancy is hardly the way forward for a rapidly ageing continent."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Concerns Over Popular Contraceptives
 
The oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin are the top-selling pharmaceutical line for Bayer HealthCare, largely as a result of marketing that presents them as much more than mere pregnancy prevention.

Yaz, in particular, the top-selling birth control pill in the United States, owes much of its popularity to multimillion-dollar ad campaigns that have promoted the drug as a quality-of-life treatment to combat acne and severe premenstrual depression.

Yaz, a newer sister drug to Yasmin, contains less estrogen. The franchise had worldwide sales of about $1.8 billion last year, based on Bayer’s successful positioning of Yasmin and Yaz as the go-to drug brands for women under 35.

But recently, the Yaz line’s image has been clouded by concerns from some researchers, health advocates and plaintiffs’ lawyers. They say that the drugs put women at higher risk for blood clots, strokes and other health problems than some other birth control pills do.

Those critics, though, are up against a large European health study, sponsored by Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant, that reported the opposite conclusion. The Bayer-financed study said that cardiovascular risks in women taking Bayer products were comparable to those taking an older formula of birth control pills.

But regulators are finding other faults with the Yaz franchise. The Food and Drug Administration early this year asked Bayer to correct misleading television commercials. Last month, the agency cited the company for not following proper quality control procedures at a plant that makes hormone ingredients.

In e-mail responses to a reporter’s queries, the American unit of the company said that its birth-control drugs had been and continued to be extensively studied and that the company stood behind their safety. The company also said it had responded to the F.D.A.’s questions about manufacturing practices, which it said it took very seriously.

But even if Bayer can adequately respond to the safety and other concerns, some industry analysts say that the avalanche of criticism could tarnish the Yaz line’s image. Other products by Bayer, like the erectile dysfunction drug Levitra and the intrauterine birth-control system Mirena, generate far less income than the Yaz product family.

“For Bayer, it is by far the highest margin and the fastest-growing brand,” Martin Brunninger, an analyst with the European investment bank Bryan, Garnier & Company, said in a phone interview from London on Wednesday. “Whether this turns out to be a serious issue or not, when a drug is stigmatized in public, people just withdraw from taking it.”

Bayer said that the company had been served with 74 lawsuits brought by women who charge that they developed health problems after taking Yaz or Yasmin. The company says it intends to defend itself vigorously against the suits.

The health questions and the lawsuits may rattle consumer confidence, but the warnings from federal health authorities about advertising and quality control raise larger questions about Bayer’s approach to complying with government rules, said Michael A. Santoro, an associate professor at the Rutgers Business School who has studied ethics in the pharmaceutical industry.

Birth control pills work by altering a woman’s hormone levels. Researchers have long known that taking a combination hormone birth control pill — which contains estrogen and a progestin hormone — can increase the risk of stroke and blood clots in the legs and lungs. That is because estrogen can play a role in blood coagulation. Indeed, since the introduction of oral contraceptives i

n the 1960s, drug companies have greatly reduced estrogen doses to decrease the risk of thrombosis, the medical term for blood clots.

With lower-dose estrogen pills now available, the safety debate, continuing for the last decade, has focused on whether the type of progestin in a formula may also play a role in the risk of cardiovascular problems.

In 2001, the F.D.A. approved Yasmin, which contains a novel progestin called drospirenone.

Yaz, which contains drospirenone and a lower dose of estrogen, received agency approval in 2006. For women seeking contraception, the drug is also approved to treat severe emotional and physical symptoms called premenstrual dysphoric disorder and for moderate acne. Because drospirenone can increase potassium levels in the body, it may put women who have liver or kidney problems at risk for serious heart problems, according to the drug label.

Studies on the safety of birth control pills have reported different results on the risks of progestins.

One large-scale study in Europe, sponsored by Bayer, reported that there was no difference in the risk of cardiovascular problems or death in women taking drospirenone birth control pills compared to women who took pills that contained levonorgestrel, a progestin that has been used since the 1970s.

But two other studies on Danish and Dutch women, published last month in The British Medical Journal, found a higher risk of venous blood clots for women taking newer progestins, including drospirenone.

The results of the new studies, conducted on European populations with specific genetic risk factors for blood clots, might not translate to a more ethnically diverse American patient population, said Dr. David A. Grimes, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina medical school. And even if the reported increased risk is realistic, he said, it is tiny.

“My dictum is that a multiple of a rare event is still a rare event,” said Dr. Grimes, who has been a paid consultant for Bayer and other makers of contraceptives.

And taking birth control pills involves much smaller blood clot risks than getting pregnant and having a baby, he said.

But Dr. Frits R. Rosendaal, a professor of clinical epidemiology at Leiden University Medical Center who was one of the authors of the Dutch study, said the reports of an increased risk were worth acting on — by switching to pills containing levonorgestrel.

“Even if the risk of thrombosis is low, why not choose the lowest risk, just in case?” he said.

A spokeswoman for the F.D.A. said the agency was reviewing the safety of birth control pills with a study designed to identify the incidence of blood clots, stroke and death among users of Yasmin and other oral contraceptives. Bayer, meanwhile, is conducting a postmarketing study comparing the safety of Yaz with other birth control pills.

Lawyers suing Bayer on behalf of plaintiffs who claim that they developed blood clots, heart attacks and other health problems because they took the drugs said they intended to argue that the company knew or should have known that the pills entailed a higher risk.

One such plaintiff is Anne Marie Eakins, a history teacher in Grafton, Ohio, who developed blood clots in both lungs in 2007 and, as a result, she said, lost partial use of her right lung. She had used a variety of different birth control pills over more than a decade before starting Yaz in 2007, she said.

“To be perfectly honest, I asked my doctor about Yaz because I had seen the commercial and it mentioned helping control your period symptoms and acne, which was very attractive to me,” said Ms. Eakins, 34. “I didn’t think it was going to be worse than any other pill.”

Because drug labels for Yasmin and Yaz contain warnings about the risk of side effects like blood clots and strokes, plaintiffs may have a difficult time winning cases with the argument that the company should have issued stronger alerts. But, armed with F.D.A. warning letters to Bayer, lawyers may find more success with the argument that misleading Yaz commercials enticed women to take the drug, thereby exposing them to health risks they might not otherwise have incurred.

Last October, the agency sent Bayer a warning letter, citing the company for running two false and misleading television ads about Yaz. According to the letter, the ads overstated the drug’s efficacy, promoted it for conditions like premenstrual syndrome for which the drug is not approved, and minimized serious risks associated with the drug. In February, Bayer agreed to spend $20 million on a corrective advertising campaign to counteract misimpressions created by the original television spots.

Last month, the agency sent Bayer a warning letter about another problem — deviations from quality control standards at a manufacturing plant in Germany that makes drospirenone and other hormone ingredients used in Bayer’s birth control pills sold in the United States. The letter said that the way in which the facility calculated variability in ingredients did not meet American standards.

Bayer said it was taking the matter seriously. Maintaining good manufacturing practices and patient safety continue to be top priorities at Bayer, the company said in a statement.

But Mr. Santoro of the Rutgers Business School said that drug companies should set higher standards for themselves than those set by the F.D.A.

“It tells me,” Mr. Santoro said of Bayer, “that it is not understanding the business that it is in, that it is not understanding the health risks that it is posing to the public or the financial risk that it is creating for its shareholders.”
[September 25, 2009, Natasha Singer http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/26/health/26contracept.html?ref=health&pagewanted=all ; A version of this article appeared in print on September 26, 2009, on page B1 of the New York edition.]

Bayer warned by FDA regarding birth control products quality
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators have written a letter warning drugmaker Bayer about quality control issues in the company’s plant in Berghamen, Germany. This plant is responsible for making drospirenone, the key ingredient for popular birth control drugs like Yaz and Yasmin; these products were Bayer’s top selling pharmaceuticals last year, with global sales of $1.8 billion.
http://charlottesville.injuryboard.com/fda-and-prescription-drugs/bayer-warned-by-fda-regarding-birth-control-products-quality.aspx?googleid=271376
InjuryBoard

Television Ads Air Concerning Injuries Caused by Birth Control
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFr8m8oR9Lc
News Source
The FDA says Yaz Birth Control may cause serious heart, blood clots and health problems.

 

 

 

 

 

EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION RESULTING IN MORE MENSTRUAL COMPLICATIONS
POSTED: AUG 12, 2009

Promoters of EC admitted from the beginning that overuse could result in reproductive health problems for young women, but they also reassured the public that users would not abuse the morning-after pills. Reports are now coming in from around the world that the pills are, in fact, being used freely as birth control, with negative effects.

A recent report in the Times of India quotes gynecologists and their patients concerning this misuse: "They check dosage on the internet, do their own calculations. Not understanding the consequences, they land up with incomplete abortions. They are scared about the uncontrollable bleeding, or not

getting their periods," said Dr. Shilpi Tiwari, more than half of whose patients are between 18 and their mid-twenties and experiencing such complications.
Tuesday August 4, 2009

Over-the-Counter "Emergency Contraception" Pills Such as Plan B, and Other Abortifacients, Leading to Menstrual Complications
Unsupervised, over-the-counter use of 'emergency' contraceptive and other abortifacient pills is leading to menstrual problems, reports The Times of India.

The paper reports that gynaecologists are encountering increased incidents of menstrual problems among young women who are arbitrarily and repeatedly using these pills as regular forms of contraception.

"They check dosage on the internet, do their own calculations. Not understanding the consequences, they land up with incomplete abortions. They are scared about the uncontrollable bleeding, or not getting their periods," said Dr. Shilpi Tiwari to The Times of India. She also said that more than half of her clients are between 18 and their early 20s, all with pill-related complications.

In a 2002 Medscape interview, American 'emergency' contraception proponent Dr. David Grimes asserted that easier access to these drugs would not result in greater reliance upon them as regular birth control.  "There are four studies which suggest that advance access to EC does not prevent use of regular birth control," he said. "When legalized abortion became available we heard the same argument, but going through an induced abortion actually encourages women to use birth control methods subsequently."

Grimes admitted the danger of such drugs to a woman's menstrual cycle.  "Repeated use of EC wreaks havoc on a woman's cycle, so the resulting menstrual chaos acts as a powerful deterrent to using this method too often," he said.

Contrary to Grimes' assertions, however, popular morning-after pills are being used as casual contraception, the paper says.  "When you're with your boyfriend, you don't want to use condoms," says 21-year-old D Bina.  Asked whether there are complications, she said, "At times. But you prefer sex without a condom. … Some put on weight, others don't feel right. But the body gets used to it."

Morning-after pills such as Plan B and I-Pill claim to be effective in preventing pregnancy for up to 72 hours; however, if fertilization has already occurred, they are abortifacient, preventing the newly-formed child from implanting in its mother's uterus (womb).

RU-486, on the other hand, known as 'chemical abortion', can be effective in killing an unborn child up to 7 weeks.  According to some reports, however, this drug has a 'failure' rate of 15%, normally resulting, then, in a surgical abortion.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Abortion Pill not 'Safe' Despite Media Spin – Study Suggests Pill as Dangerous As Surgical Abortion
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/aug/07081601.html

Canadian Physicians Group Warns of Dangers of "Morning After Pill"
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2004/may/04052005.html
[4August2009,  Patrick B. Craine, www.LifeSiteNews.com; http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09080402.html]

Morning-After Pill Proving To Be Ineffective and Abused
 In what appears to be a startlingly candid admission of failure, an article in the Reproductive Health Reality Check blog by Elizabeth Westley, Francine Coeytaux and Elisa Wells that originally appeared in the journal Contraception, states that emergency contraception (EC), commonly called the morning-after pill, "is not as effective in reducing unwanted pregnancy rates at a population level as we once hoped."

"While the exact effectiveness of emergency contraceptive pills is difficult to determine (estimates range from 59 percent to 94 percent), we know that using emergency contraception is more effective than doing nothing. … When we realized that the typical effectiveness of condoms and pills was much lower than their theoretical effectiveness, did we tell women to stop using them in favor of more effective IUDs? …" the writers confess.

The trio of contraceptive-pushing journalists are lamenting the possibility that funding may dry up for the promotion of ECs

"Recent analyses suggesting that emergency contraception is not as effective … ," the authors observed, "seem to have put the brakes on funding and have revived the original arguments that emergency contraception is "not effective enough" to be promoted as an option and that women are "abusing" it, using it repeatedly instead of using other more effective methods."

The danger to women who repeatedly use the EC drug without consulting a doctor is briefly mentioned, but rationalized by the convenience of a post-coital contraception method the authors say most women need.

"Some of the researchers who are concerned about the "low-efficacy" of oral emergency contraceptives are now trying to promote emergency IUD insertion as an alternative post-coital method. But the logistics and cost of obtaining it make it an unrealistic option for most women.  And it ignores what many women tell us is the biggest appeal of emergency contraceptive pills – the convenience of being able to directly access the method without having to see a doctor or health care provider."

The authors also admit that the promised effectiveness of EC was greatly exaggerated in a bid to gain lucrative financial support for the method in anticipation of huge profits for pharmaceutical companies.

"Our expectations for EC's effectiveness were biased upwards by an early estimate that expanding access to emergency contraception could dramatically reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy and subsequent abortion. This estimate made a compelling story and is likely a key reason why donors and others were willing to support efforts to expand access to EC. Now that we realize that this was an overly optimistic calculation…"

A final plea to financial backers not give up on EC, and a statement that women are being given all the information they need to make an informed choice about using this contraceptive method concludes the article.

The serious health risks to women who use this drug, either occasionally, or excessively, which the article describes as "abuse", has been thoroughly studied and documented, yet the easy availability of the drug without medical supervision raises the serious issue of whether women are in fact being given the information they need, or are just being used for profit.

[Ed. So let me get this straight… Promoters of Emergency Contraception are finally realizing what realists have been telling them for years: all the studies show that EC does not work! They also are noting the serious health risks to women who use EC. They are also realizing that we were all duped by pharmaceutical companies to promote EC for huge financial gains by said companies. YET, these journalist promoters STILL INSIST that we should CONTINUE pump money into promoting EC… I MUST be missing something…]


Read LSN reports on the health dangers of the morning-after pill:

Canadian Physicians Group Warns of Dangers of "Morning After Pill" http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2004/may/04052005.html

MORNING AFTER PILLS USED TO EXPLOIT WOMEN AND CREATE SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2002/jun/02061005.html

CMA
Doctors: FDA Move to Allow 'Plan B' Without a Prescription is Unsafe and Unwise http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/aug/06081101.html

FDA Approves Plan B Abortifacient for Over-the-Counter http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2006/aug/06082405.html
[August 27, 2009, T. M. Baklinski, www.LifeSiteNews.com]

 

 

INJECTABLE CONTRACEPTIVE USE SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASES RISK OF OBESITY

A recent study has revealed a link between injectable hormone contraceptives and stubborn obesity that persists even after use of the drugs is discontinued.

During the 3-year study period, "…women who were not obese at the start of the study were twice as likely to become obese over the next 3 years if they selected DMPA over non-hormone contraception," according to researchers.

Injectable birth control is widely promoted among inner-city teen girls and in third world nations.

[http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09081206.html; Abstinence Clearinghouse update, posted 18Aug09]

Study Finds Injectable Contraceptive Leads To Obesity
A study by Drs. Abbey B. Berenson and Mahbubur Rahman of The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, has found women who use the injectable hormonal contraceptive DMPA (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate) experience a significant increase in body weight and fat, and the obesity may persist even after stopping DMPA use.

The research (http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(08)02460-5/abstract, see below), published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, involved 703 women who were beginning the use of either birth control pills or DMPA, and compared them to women who used a form of non-hormone contraception.

Over the 3 year study period, DMPA users gained significantly more body fat than oral contraceptive (OC) and non-hormone (NH) contraception users, the researchers reported, adding that women of normal weight were found to gain much more body fat than women who were obese at the beginning of the study.

"It is a concern that women who were not obese at the start of the study were twice as likely to become obese over the next 3 years if they selected DMPA over non-hormone contraception," Berenson and Rahman write.

Though OC use did not cause significant weight gain, the researchers reported the often observed loss of muscle mass associated with use of the pill.

"OC users did not gain more weight than NH users but did increase their fat mass and percent body fat and lost significantly more lean body mass than did NH and DMPA users," the report states    [emphasis added]

In a 2 year follow up of the original study to examine the reversibility of the observed changes, the research team found that women who discontinued use of DMPA and switched to non-hormone contraception lost most of the fat they had gained. However, women who discontinued use of DMPA and began using oral contraceptives either kept the fat they had accumulated or gained more weight.  [emphasis added]

A huge amount of research information is available on the effects of contraceptives, with injectable hormonal contraceptives and the "patch" being especially harmful. Adverse reaction reports of stroke and heart attack are increasing annually and studies linking hormonal contraceptives to everything from osteoporosis to diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Mercedes Wilson, founder and president of the natural family planning (NFP) organization, Family for the Americas, observed that hormonal contraception is devastating women's health in the third world.

"The pill, IUDs, injections, and the patch are devastating to the poor because they all carry the same steroids, which are known to be toxic and carcinogenic.  21 scientists with the World Health Organization in 2005 confirmed that estrogens in birth control methods are carcinogenic of the number one type, which is the most dangerous type of all," Wilson told LSN in an interview in 2008.

"In the third world, however, they are still using the 3-month injections the most," Wilson noted. "It does so much harm to the poor. They are given it while mothers' are breastfeeding their babies. The steroids are going right through the breast milk to the babies and that is a calamity. It causes cancer, heart disease, you name it; the list is interminable. And with the lack of the health facilities in the third world, it is criminal."
[12August 2009, T. M. Baklinski, Galveston, TX, www.LifeSiteNews.com]
Reports:
Oral Contraceptives Decrease Bone Density

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ABSTRACT

http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(08)02460-5/abstract
Volume 200, Issue 3, Pages 329.e1-329.e8 (March 2009)

S0002-9378(08)02460-5

Changes in weight, total fat, percent body fat, and central-to-peripheral fat ratio associated with injectable and oral contraceptive use
Presented at the 75th Annual Meeting of the Central Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, New Orleans, LA, Oct. 22-25, 2008.

Abbey B. Berenson, MDab, Mahbubur Rahman, MBBS, PhD, MPHb

Received 30 June 2008; received in revised form 15 November 2008; accepted 29 December 2008.

Objective
The purpose of this study was to determine changes in bodyweight and composition that result from hormonal contraception.

Study Design
Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry was performed at baseline and every 6 months for 3 years for 703 women (African American, 200; white, 247; Hispanic, 256) who were beginning the use of oral contraception (OC; n = 245), depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA; n = 240), or nonhormonal contraception (NH; n = 218). DMPA discontinuers were observed for up to 2 years to examine the reversibility of the observed changes.

Results
Over 36 months, DMPA users increased their weight (+5.1 kg), body fat (+4.1 kg), percent body fat (+3.4%), and central-to-peripheral fat ratio (+0.1) more than OC and NH users (P < .01). OC use did not cause weight gain. After DMPA discontinuation, NH users lost 0.42 kg in 6 months; OC users gained 0.43 kg in 6 months.

Conclusion
Bodyweight and fat significantly increase with the use of DMPA. After discontinuation of DMPA, some decrease in bodyweight and fat occurs when NH is used.

Key words: body fat, body weight, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, oral contraception
a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

b Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

Reprints: Abbey B. Berenson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555-0587

 Cite this article as: Berenson AB, Rahman M. Changes in weight, total fat, percent body fat, and central-to-peripheral fat ratio associated with injectable and oral contraceptive use. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2009;200:329.e1-329.e8.

 Supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grants R01HD39883 and K24HD043659 (A.B.B.) and General Clinical Research Centers (GCRC) program, National Center for Resea

rch Resources, NIH, M01RR000073.

PII: S0002-9378(08)02460-5

doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2008.12.052

http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(08)02460-5/abstract