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Oral Contraceptives linked to Health Problems for Women

Posted Aug 23 2010 12:00am

New studies suggest that some forms of birth control contraceptives may decrease bone density in women under the age of 30, as well as potentially increase the risk of developing certain cancers in women.

Researchers studied more than 600 women between the ages of 14 to 30 and discovered a 5.9 percent decrease in bone mineral density (BMD) of the spine in young women who take birth control contraceptives for over one year, as compared to those who did not take birth control pills. The BMD of the whole body was shown to be decreased by 2.3 percent in those taking the pill.

The study was published in the January issue of the magazine, “Contraception,” measured the BMD of the spine, hip and entire body of women to investigate how the duration of treatment with the pill and the estrogen dose will affect the bone density. Due to the fact bone density in women is at its highest when they are in their 20’s; researchers are concerned that the effects may lead to long-term bone density problems.

Drospirenone, known as “Yaz,” is an oral contraceptive to prevent against pregnancy and treat acne. Yaz was formulated to avoid pregnancy by preventing ovulation, the process that occurs in women when a mature egg is released from the ovary. The medication contains the hormone estrogen and a type of progestin called drospirenone to prevent ovulation.

According to the National Cancer Institute , several studies have revealed a link between the use of oral contraceptives and an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. The connection between the development of some cancers and naturally-occurring sex hormones prompted scientists to look into the relationship between the use of oral contraceptives and cancer risk.

Certain serious side effects have been linked to Yaz. If you experience any of the following side effects, seek immediate medical attention. Women over the age of 35 and those who smoke are at an increased risk for experiencing severe side effects. Serious side effects include: nausea, vomiting, weight gain, breakthrough bleeding between menstrual periods, Breast tenderness and breast pain.

Other more serious side effects include increased chance of developing certain types of cancers long term: Liver cancer, liver tumors, severe liver bleeding, high blood pressure, Breast cancer, Stroke, Heart Attack, Blood clots in the legs or lungs. Side effects are increased with age and the amount of time the drug is taken.

There are many different methods in regards to elected birth control. To determine what is best for you, receiving an examination and council from your personal physician and family, as well as doing as much individual research are the best steps in making this all important decision.

By providing FDA alerts, drug interactions and up to date drug side effects information about prescription and over the counter medications, we can ensure an environment where patients have the best knowledge on their medical treatment and health.

(article courtesy of DrugWatch.Com , keeping an eye on pharmaceuticals)

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