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FDA Scrutinizes Birth Control Pills - Newer drugs have up to twice the failure rate due to lower hormone levels

The FDA recently released a report stating that the newer versions of birth control pills (BCP’s) are twice as likely to get pregnant.  The reason why is that drug manufacturers continue to lower the synthetic, chemically altered hormones within the Pill.

Why are the drug companies trying to lower the synthetic hormone levels?  Because of too many side effects like blood clots in the legs and lungs, as well as heart disease problems and strokes. 

Drug companies that manufacture BCP’s are now finding themselves caught in a “Catch-22″ situation.  The higher the synthetic hormone levels, the more effective they are at preventing pregnancy, but the greater the incidence of nasty side effects.

On the other hand, as they continue to lower the synthetic hormones to lessen the side effects, they become less effective in preventing pregnancy - which is the reason they were designed to begin with.

There is one more deadly catch:  The newest generation of BCP’s, even though they are at their lowest hormone levels ever, have actually DOUBLED the rate of blood clots in the legs and lungs!

The reason why the newest BCP’s are deadlier than ever (and simultaneously least effective at preventing pregnancy) is because they changed one of the chemically altered hormones for another entirely different hormone class.  So the hormone levels don’t matter because they are dealing with an entirely new synthetic hormone class.

Why did the drug companies opt for an entire new chemically altered class of hormone in the Pill?  Because the earlier versions were androgenic - meaning they resembled the effects of anabolic steroids like testosterone.  They had too many complaints in women of changes in them like facial hair, aggressive behaviour and increased acne. 

Women who started shaving beards do not make good long term customers.  So the drug companies altered a chemical that resembles a diuretic called spironolactone.  This had far less androgenic effects, but turns out it doubled the rate of blood clots.

There is a much more detailed discussion of the dangers of BCP’s on the website: www.ditchthepill.org if you want to see just how nasty BCP’s really are.  Don’t forget that BCP’s are one of the primary causes of migraine headaches in women.

The good news is that many of the toxic effects of BCP’s can be neutralized (partially).  This is explained in the www.ditchthepill.org website, too.   Pretty simple, too.

Obviously, I am an advocate of getting rid of BCP’s altogether, but for many women, if not most, the convenience of BCP’s outweighs the actual dangers.  For those women, there is the strategy of “Match the Pill” described in the ditchthepill website.

As far as migraine headaches are concerned, virtually 100% of women will get off BCP’s if only they knew how much they are involved with their migraines.

Andrew Jones, M.D.

Medical Director, Women’s Health Institute of Texas


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