Birth Control Archive

March – January 2010: Birth Control

Yet Another Morning After Pill… The Only REAL Effect is Abortifacient…

NEW! Synthetic Hormonal Use in Humans and Emerging Risks to the Environment

NOTE: Study Finds Half of Women on "Birth Control Shot" Suffer Bone Problems (OG, 1/10) 

Protest the Pill Day — June 5

NEW! Women Sue Birth Control Manufacturer over Serious Health Issues

2nd STUDY: Low-Dose Birth Control Pills Decrease Bone Density in Young Women (CJ, 1/10) / Abstract

There are long-term adverse physiological and psychological effects for human users of synthetic hormones… and the ecological safety of our environment and drinking water due to the survival of their metabolites through our bodies and through our waste water treatment facilities…

Nearly half of women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as the birth control shot, will experience high bone mineral density (BMD) loss in the hip or lower spine within two years of beginning the contraceptive [University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston]. More than two million American women use the birth control shot, including approximately 400,000 teens

NOTE: The primary effect of this and any "emergency" contraception is abortifacient.

New Morning After Pill 'Can Be Taken up to Five Days After Sex'
The first emergency contraceptive pill that can be taken almost a week after sexual intercourse has been developed – but there are fears it could promote promiscuity and lead to a rise in sexually transmitted diseases.

The existing "morning-after pill" can be taken up to three days after intercourse, but a new version, called EllaOne, still works five days afterwards.

A study shows that it is potentially more effective, reducing the small risk of pregnancy in women who take such pills by around half.

The pill, launched in Britain in October last year, is available only on prescription. Experts believe that within two to three years it could be available over the counter from chemists, like the morning-after pill.

Tony Fraser, the general manager of the pill's manufacturer, HRA Pharma UK, said the drug could offer extra protection to women who do not take a morning-after pill in time. But Professor Anna Glasier, from Edinburgh University, who tested the pill, said she was concerned the new drug could encourage women to delay visiting their doctor.

She said: "I think if you license people to behave in a sloppier manner they are going to do it. There is a risk that if women have got used to the idea of 72 hours and now we say that with EllaOne that you can have 120 hours that they may delay."

Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, a family values charity, said: "The easy availability of the morning-after pill has a damaging social effect, by lulling young people in particular into a false sense of security, encouraging a more casual attitude to sex and exposing them to increased risk of sexually transmitted infections."

But Mr Fraser insisted the new pill would not cause such problems.

He said: "Emergency contraception has been available in Britain for 10 years now and we do not think that a new emergency contraception will change people's behaviour…."
[ed. he obviously has not studied human behavior…]

[Kate Devlin and Richard Alleyne, The Daily Telegraph, January 30, 2010, Vancouver Sun, http://www.vancouversun.com/health/morning+after+pill+taken+five+days+after/2501801/story.html]

 

EllaOne: Emergency Contraception Pill or Abortive Agent?
Although the new emergency contraceptive pill, EllaOne, has been found more effective than morning-after pill, its use has ignited a debate whether it prevents pregnancy or is it an abortive agent.

EllaOne is 50 percent more effective – and effective for 48 hours longer – than the "morning-after pill" or Plan B.

It could prevent pregnancy up to five days after unprotected intercourse.

In the study involving 1,700 women aged 16 to 36, women who took a morning-after pill had a 2.6 percent chance of becoming pregnant, while women who took ellaOne had only a 1.8 percent chance, and five-day window of opportunity to take the pill.

The new pill has also been found to be even two-third times more effective if taken within 24 hours of intercourse.

For those who support the use of emergency contraceptives, ellaOne is an important and vital innovation that will provide more reliable pregnancy prevention.

However, critics believe that the drug is not so much emergency contraception as emergency abortion.

"This is a thinly-veiled attempt to get an abortion drug over-the-counter," ABC News quoted Dr. Donna Harrison, president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Because fertilization of egg and sperm can only be prevented within 24 hours of intercourse, Harrison says, any emergency contraceptive that is effective five days after sex has to work by preventing the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus which.

If one believes pregnancy begins with fertilization that would be considered abortion.

"To label this as emergency contraception when it's clearly an abortive action is dishonest," she added.

However, according to Dr. Lauren Streicher, clinical instructor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern Medical School, thinking that emergency contraception is equivalent to an abortion "is a big misconception."

She said it takes five to seven days for the fertilized egg to implant in the uterus and begin to grow. If one interrupts the process before this implantation takes place, pregnancy never begins.
[ED. THIS is a "big misconception" — this is based on the definition of pregnancy beginning at implantation. So, if pregnancy does not begin until implantation, and implantation is not allowed to occur, then according to this definition, there is no pregnancy, and no abortion.]

"There are many people who are reluctant to take emergency contraception because they think it's abortive, but it's apples and oranges," she said.

"With emer

gency contraception, it's really to stop a pregnancy of occurring," she added.

Harrison fears that over-the-counter availability of ellaOne would boost the chances for misuse and adverse side effects.

"That's the purpose, to slip an abortive agent into the country as an over-the-counter drug. It's deceitful," she added.
[Washigton, 2Feb 2010, ANI,
http://www.dailyindia.com/show/357721.php; PharmFacts, 3Feb10]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synthetic Hormonal Use in Humans and Emerging Risks to the Environment

Thesis:

We are just beginning to realize the long-term adverse physiological and psychological effects for human users of synthetic hormones, their welfare, and the ecological safety of our environment and drinking water due to the survival of their metabolites through our bodies and through our waste water treatment facilities.  Emerging risks are being discovered and evaluated.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified research needs to determine future risks of synthetic estrogen metabolites in our environment, such as those from ethinyl estradiol, and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs).  The EPA would like studies to determine the effects of EDCs on reproductive, neurological, and immunological function, as well as carcinogenesis. 

The White House’s Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources increased their budget to include studies in these areas on EDCs. 

The US Congress added provisions to the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996 to require testing for estrogenicity and other hormonal activity. 

The Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC) was established in 1998 as part of the Toxic Substances Control Act.  The study of EDCs has become one of the biggest testing programs ever in the history of toxicology.[1]

The persistence of pharmaceutical contaminants in our aquatic environment may be partially attributed to human consumption of drugs and subsequent discharges from sewage treatment plants. 

The contamination of our water resources by pharmaceuticals and their metabolites, particularly the EDCs, is emerging as an international environmental concern.  The long-term effects of human exposure to continuous low-level EDCs are not yet well understood.[2]

The University of California Berkeley collected samples of EDCs at the Sweetwater Groundwater Recharge Facility, located in Tuscon, Arizona. 

Influent concentrations of 17-α estradiol (a metabolite of ethinyl estradiol) were approximately 2ng/L.  After passage through the treatment wetland 0.5ng/L of 17-α estradiol still remained.  Because 17-α estradiol is resistant to biotransformation in the activated sludge treatment systems the researchers hypothesized that the observed biotransformation must be attributed to some other process, such as indirect photolysis.  Nevertheless, a measurable amount of the ethinyl estradiol metabolite remained after passage through the water treatment facility.[3]

Many researches have been able to correlate endocrine system anomalies due to contaminants of EDCs. 

There are a few researchers who have documented examples of aberrant animal behavior and disruptions of their reproductive patterns due to EDCs in their habitat:  gulls from Lake Ontario and southern California[4]; alligators in Lake Apopka, FL[5]; dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea; and fresh-water fish[6].

Tuscon, AZ is a popular location for toxicologists to study.  Because of the aridity of the region water managers may incorporate wetlands into sequential wastewater treatments leading to potable reuse of reclaimed water. 

The University of Arizona in Tuscon has studied the Constructed Ecosystems Research Facility (CERF) located in Tuscon.  During the summer months evaporation (evapotranspiration) water losses are 20-50%.  This leads to a maintenance of estrogenic contaminants and their removal efficacy being inversely related to temperature.[7]

David Quanrud et al have done some very interesting theoretical work by isolating one of the human estrogen receptors to determine how significant our exposure is to these detectable estrogenic contaminants. 

The contaminants of ethinyl estradiol metabolites that are passed through human urine and through waste water treatment plants are showing to be of high enough concentrations to remove natural human estrogen from their receptors due to a displacement by the estrogenic contaminants found in the Constructed Ecosystems Research Facility. 

These studies are called competitive binding assays and involve only isolated human receptors.  Therefore no hard evidence can yet be drawn from these studies in their relation to whole organism toxicity.  Work is underway at establishing correlations between these binding assays and more physiological relevant bioassays to determine whole organism toxicity.[8]

[1] Daston, George P. Toxicological Sciences. 74(2):245-252, August 2003.

[2] Boyd, Glen R., Grimm, Deborah A. Occurrence of Pharmaceutical Contaminants and Screening of Treatment Alternatives for Shoutheastern Louisiana.  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 948:80-89, 2001.

[3] Sedlak, David L., Pinkston, Karen E  Factors Affecting the Concentration of Pharmaceuticals Released to the Aquatic Environment.  Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Berkeley.  Presented at the 2nd International Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Water, Minneapolis, MN, October 9-11. 2001.

[4] Colbourn, T. Dumanoski, D., and Myers, J.P. (1996) Our Stolen Future. Penguin Books, New York.

[5] Roefer, P., Snyder, S., Zegers, R.E., Rexing, D.J., and Fronk, J.L. 2000 Endocrine disrupting chemicals in a source water. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 92(8):52-58.

[6]Tyler,C.R., Jobling,S., and Sumpter,J.P. 1998. Endocrine disruption in wildlife: a critical review of the evidence.  Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 28(4):319-361.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.
[18 Jan 2010, PharmFacts E-News Update, Neil Noesen, PharmD,   http://www.pfli.org/articles/20100118noesen_oc_water.html ] 

 

 

 

 

 

Study Finds Half of Women on "Birth Control Shot" Suffer Bone Problems
Nearly half of women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as the birth control shot, will experience high bone mineral density (BMD) loss in the hip or lower spine within two years of beginning the contraceptive, according to researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

The study, reported in the January 2010 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecolo

gy, was the first to show that women on the birth control shot who smoke, have low levels of calcium intake and never gave birth are at the highest risk for BMD loss. The researchers also found that high risk women continued to experience significant losses in BMD during the third year of the use of the contraceptive injection, especially in the hip – the most common facture site in elderly women.

DMPA is an injected contraceptive administered to patients every three months. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than two million American women use the birth control shot, including approximately 400,000 teens. DMPA is relatively inexpensive compared with some other forms of contraception and doesn't need to be administered daily, which contributes to its popularity.

The study followed 95 DMPA users for two years. In that time, 45 women had at least five percent BMD loss in the lower back or hip. A total of 50 women had less than five percent bone loss at both sites during the same period.

By and large, BMD loss was higher in women who were current smokers, had never given birth and had a daily calcium intake of 600 mg or less – far below the recommended amounts. Moreover, BMD loss substantially increased among the women with all three risk factors.

The researchers followed 27 of the women for an additional year and found that those who experienced significant BMD loss in the first two years continued to lose bone mass.

[21December2009, Galveston, Texas, www.LifeSiteNews.com, http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09122105.html; ALL Pro-Life Today, 23Dec09]

 

 

Women Sue Birth Control Manufacturer over Serious Health Issues
Over 50 women in Indiana have filed lawsuits against Bayer Pharmaceuticals charging that use of the company’s Yaz and Yasmin hormonal birth control pills caused conditions ranging from gallbladder-related injuries to strokes.

There are now over 25,000 similar reported cases across the United States.

In December LSN reported that over 100 lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. against Bayer, alleging that the company has overstated the benefits of the drugs, downplayed the side-effects, and failed to conduct proper research before releasing them onto the market.

William Riley, the lawyer who is representing many of the women, told Fox 59 that he believes the company was aware of the danger that their product presented. "They're not doing adequate clinical studies and they are aggressively marketing this to women, young women," he said.

“We’re seeing an increasing awareness of the very real health risks associated with hormonal birth control,” said Marie Hahnenberg, project director of American Life League’s The Pill Kills project. “For years, criticism of birth control has been a sacrosanct topic, but the victims of hormonal birth control are too numerous to ignore any longer.”

American Life League’ s annual Protest the Pill Day on June 5 seeks to educate women on the dangers of hormonal birth control – a 'class one' carcinogen on the same level as tobacco – through protests and activism at birth control retailers nationwide.

“The birth control pill, patch, IUD, and similar birth control products can cause blood clots, heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms,” Hahnenberg said. “How many lawsuits, injuries and even deaths could be prevented if only women were properly warned, or better yet, if these dangerous drugs were taken off the market?”   [22 February 2010,  Indiana, www.LifeSiteNews.com – http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/feb/10022209.html ]
 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE

Study: Low-Dose Birth Control Pills Decrease Bone Density in Young Women
A new study showing a link between long-term use of oral contraceptives and a decrease in bone density in women under the age of 30 has found that the modern low-dose forms of estrogen pills have the greatest risk of harming a woman's bone density.

The study, published in the January issue of Contraception Journal, measured bone mineral density (BMD) of the hip, spine, and whole body to analyze how both the duration of taking the contraceptive pill and the estrogen dose affected bone density in young women.

Researchers studied 606 women, aged 14 to 30, and found a 5.9 percent decrease in bone mineral density of the spine in young women taking birth control pills for longer than one year, as compared with those not taking oral contraceptives. BMD of the whole body was shown to be decreased by 2.3 percent in those taking the pill.

Low-dose estrogen pills containing less than 30 micrograms ethinyl estradiol, which include such brands as the Yaz, Yasmin, Levlen, Desogen and others, were found to cause the most bone loss in the study.

"I think the evidence is still emerging on this association, but our findings suggest that low-dose oral contraceptives with long-term use have some impact on bone density," said study author Delia Scholes, a senior investigator at the Group Health Research Institute of Group Health Cooperative in Seattle.

Background information in the study notes that most of the estimated 12 million oral contraceptive (OC) users in the U.S. are under 30 years of age and in the critical period for bone mass accumulation. Research has shown that estrogen plays an important role in the development and maintenance of bone mass, which has caused concern since hormonal contraceptives alter the amount of estrogen a woman's body naturally produces.

Though the research report states that the long-term impact of bone loss from oral contraceptives is unknown, or if stopping use of OCs could reverse the negative effects, the study suggests that use of the pill could lead to bone problems such as osteoporosis or fractures later in life.

Scholes states, “If oral contraceptives are indeed causing the approximately 5 percent lower spine bone density for oral contraceptive users … and if that impact is not reversed with oral contraceptive discontinuation or with other factors that may occur across the life span, a 5 percent lower bone density after menopause is associated with approximately 50 percent more osteoporotic fractures.”

This study augments earlier work showing that hormonal contraceptives negatively affect bone density.

In 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United Kingdom Committee on the Safety of Medicines cited bone mineral density loss when they issued warnings on the use of the progestin-only injectable contraceptives.

An abstract of the study is available on the Contraception Journal website [http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824%2809%2900346-1/abstract — see abstract below]

Related: Oral Contraceptives Decrease Bone Density
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/aug/07082705. html

Australian Woman Dies from Taking Birth Control Pill
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/aug/08082001. html

Another Woman Dies of Hormonal Contraceptive in Switzerland
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09122308. html

[21January 2010, T. M. Baklinski, Seattle, www.LifeSiteNews.com, http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/jan/10012103.html ]

 

ABSTRACT

Oral contraceptive use and bone density in adolescent and young adult women

Delia ScholesaCorresponding Author Informationemail address, Laura Ichikawaa, Andrea Z. LaCroixab, Leslie Spanglera, Jeannette M. Beasleyab, Susan Reedac, Susan M. Ottd

Received 23 May 2009; received in revised form 4 July 2009; accepted 7 July 2009. published online 25 August 2009.
Abstract
Background

Most of the millions of oral contraceptive (OC) users are under 30 years of age and in the critical period for bone mass accrual.
Study Design

This cross-sectional study of 606 women aged 14–30 years examined both OC duration and estrogen dose and their association with bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip, spine, and whole body (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry).
Results

Of 389 OC users and 217 nonusers enrolled, 50% were adolescents (14–18 years). Of OC users, 38% used “low-dose” OCs [<30 mcg ethinyl estradiol (EE)]. In adolescents, mean BMD differed by neither OC duration nor EE dose.

However, 19- to 30-year-old women's mean BMD was lower with longer OC use for spine and whole body (p=.004 and p=.02, respectively) and lowest for >12 months of low-dose OCs for the hip, spine and whole body (p=.02, .003 and .002, respectively).

Conclusions
Prolonged use of today's OCs, particularly <30 mcg EE, may adversely impact young adult women's bone density while using these agents.

Keywords: Bone mineral density, Oral contraceptives, Hormones, Peak bone density, Adolescents[http://www.contraceptionjournal.org/article/S0010-7824%2809%2900346-1/abstract ]