Tuesday, November 01, 2011

One Simple Way to help Prevent Breast Cancer

If you have breasts or you love someone who has breasts, stay here.

If you are not a lover of cancer, or are in fact, perhaps, a hater of cancer, stay here.

If you think people shouldn't make money off of doing harm to others, please stay here.

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer before we got married.  She had to undergo chemotherapy.  She wore a wig to our wedding because she had no hair.  She made it and is still with us today and every day we thank God for that.  We thank modern medicine for that.

I also pray that no one else I know has to go through that.  That someday, no woman will ever endure that again.  That my daughters will not also one day find that they have breast cancer.

So when I learn that doctors are prescribing, and big pharma is promoting, and millions of women are willingly taking a drug that more than QUADRUPLES their chance of getting breast cancer, I get angry.  As a woman and a mother and a daughter, I get angry.  You can read more about the study and the findings here.

Please, if you are taking The Pill, artificial birth control pills, stop.  Just right now, today, please stop.  Even if I don't know you, I care about you.  I care about people and the world.  I'm sorry that doctors and big pharma don't feel the need to spell out the dangers of ingesting large amounts of hormones on a daily basis and essentially trying to change our very biology.  But they don't.

FOUR TIMES AS LIKELY TO GET BREAST CANCER.  It's the truth.

Now before you accuse me of being unreasonable and against healthcare, I get that not all prescriptions are evil, even the ones with potentially dangerous side-effects.  Because often the risks of not taking the drug exceeds the risks of taking it.

For example, my husband takes a medication to lower his blood pressure.  Genetically, he has been blessed with dangerously high blood pressure and although he is 6" tall and only weighs 180 lbs and went for months on a modified diet just to see if there was any way to lower it naturally, it just didn't work.  So he takes a little white pill every day and it helps him stay alive.  In his case, the benefits outweigh the risks.

With that in mind, let's talk about the potential side-effects of The Pill:

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding or spotting.


  • Problems wearing contact lenses such as change in vision or inability to wear your lenses. 


  • Fluid retention with swelling of the fingers or ankles 


  • increased blood pressure.


  • Spotty darkening of the skin (particularly the face). 


  • nausea and vomiting


  • change in appetite


  • headache


  • nervousness


  • depression


  • dizziness


  • loss of scalp hair


  • vaginal infections


  • allergic reactions


  • decreased sex drive


  • long-term decrease in fertility


  • QUADRUPLE THE RISK OF BREAST CANCER



  • Additional risks provided by reader JD: "increased heart attack (while smoking and taking the pill) and stroke risks (especially for migraine sufferers), gallbladder disease, cancer or precancerous lesions of the cervix, blood clots. (That is straight from the warner chilcott pamphlet that comes with the BC.)"


    And now the potential side-effects of not taking The Pill:
    • Increased sex drive
    • Decreased chance of breast cancer
    • The end
    "But Dweej!  You didn't put 'getting pregnant' on your list of no-pill side effects!"  For a reason, my friends.  For a reason.  

    Because getting pregnant is not a potential side-effect of not taking The Pill.  Getting pregnant is a potential side-effect of having sex while you're fertile.  People using artificial birth control methods get pregnant all the time by having sex because the method has "failed" and they're fertile.  People not using artificial birth control methods get pregnant all the time by having sex when they're fertile because they're fertile.

    But no one gets pregnant from NOT having sex.  The sex havin' is the key, folks.  The sex is the key.

    Drugs should combat disease.  Things that are detrimental to our health.  They should not be the CAUSE of disease. 

    Your fertility is not a disease.  The natural way your body works, which is not a mystery and is in fact something you and anyone else can understand, is not a disease.  You were not born broken just because you are capable of reproduction.  You do not need to put dangerous, cancer-causing chemicals into your body to 'fix' it.

    Please, stop taking The Pill.  Please don't put your daughters on The Pill.  

    Cancer is not a joke.  I don't want you to get cancer.

    post signature

    56 comments :

    1. D, I have been pill free for 8 years. Didnt like the way they made me feel. Husband didnt like the way they made me feel. We have an 8 year old and a 2 year old. No regrets! Just know your body.

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    2. Thanks for your story, Anonymous :) Happy that you feel healthy and happy with your decision.

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    3. You wrote this in such a charitable, beautiful way! I applaud you; you are an amazing writer and in this case, your writing could help other people. So many take this pill without even knowing about the link to breast cancer and those that do know about the link sometimes ignore it so they don't have to give up their birth control.

      Knowing when you're fertile can allow you to delay pregnancy if you're not ready!! Like you said, "the sex havin' is key!" Natural Family Planning works!! I <3 NFP!

      Jamie
      For Love of Cupcakes

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    4. Tee-hee! You said "sex-havin'"!!

      All joking aside, your facts are 100% correct, as is your reasoning. In this day and age of being able to research things from the comfort of our homes, there is very little reason why people should not be able to "discern the logical". It never fails to astound me when I listen to the other moms at my kids' schools talk about the great lengths they will go to to make sure they are eating and drinking hormone-free and antibiotic-free products, followed up by the discussion of which HORMONAL birth control methods "work the best". Um, contradict yourselves much?
      No one WANTS to get cancer. They live in fear of doing something that will cause themselves to be put at greater risk, but when it comes to cancer vs. the "horror" of another baby, they stick their heads in the sand and choose cancer.

      And, I really don't accept the arguments of "difficult" or "dangerous" pregnancy. Sorry. Anybody who knows me, sees that I am living through one of the most "dangerous" pregnancies out there doing it with joy and incredible gratefulness for this gift of new life. God is in control. Any control we have is just an illusion.

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    5. MK, I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't know about the breast cancer link until a few days ago...and ever since then all of this has been swirling in my head. Why doesn't EVERYONE know this? Why don't people talk about it? It's so, so, so very sad.

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    6. I take the pill presently at age 51, and have been doing so for about seven years. And it's not for contraception, it's actually for another reason that I choose to keep private (or because I'm too lazy to share all the details.)

      I hope it doesn't sound cavalier to share that I have had not one of those side-effects. In fact it's improved my life in immeasurable ways--and I'm not referring to sex having.

      The cancer risk is there, yes, but I did weigh my options. My doctor and I discuss it annually, and just yesterday I went to have my mammogram. All is well.

      Am I nuts about being on hormones? No. Am I eager to end it? Yes. And soon, I will. But until then, I seriously couldn't teach and my have had to have a hysterectomy instead. That was not an option in my head.

      I'm trying to be brief, but your post left me a little defensive.

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    7. I do recognize that I am not really the audience for this post due to my advanced years.

      Please replace "might" for my in the second to last paragraph above.

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    8. As someone in the public health field I have to point out that that taking the pill reduces your risk of ovarian cancer. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/150533.stm) Also the numbers I have seen on increased chance of breast cancer are much more conservative - about 10-20%, by no means 400%! My reading of that study was just that specific type of breast cancer was 4x more common, but not breast cancer overall. I'm not saying it's unimportant or shouldn't be a factor. Someone with a family history of breast cancer should probably think twice. Someone like me who has to be on BC should be better than a non-user about BSEs. On the other hand, maybe someone with a family history of ovarian cancer should think about going on it.

      I'm on a bunch of medicines, and they all come with side effects that are pages long, but I don't experience all of them. Sure there are a lot of negative side effects with the birth control, but most of those can be avoided by switching brands or lowering dosages. Not every drug has that luxury! One type of drug I am on, all of the drugs in that class lead to dry mouth, which can lead to cavities. But I can't just shop around for one that works with my body type like you can with birth control!

      If someone doesn't want to take BC because of the side effects, I think that is A-OK. But I don't think the side effects make it that substantially different than any other medication.

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    9. I appreciate your perspective, Jackie. My perspective is "Why take any medication that isn't absolutely required for your well being?". Birth control pills are an elective medication that have potentially deadly side effects. That is unreasonable to me. And you're right, there is one type of cancer that is increased by 400%: the worst, most difficult type of cancer to fight.

      @Ellen- I'm sorry this put you on the defensive. I expected it would rub some people the wrong way but I feel strongly enough that cancer is a big enough danger that I was willing to take that risk.

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    10. Thanks for posting this, I wish more people realized exactly what birth control did. When I was first married we used the pill. Everyone did. In looking for a more natural method I found NFP. No one ever told me that using birth control would increase my chances of cancer. During marriage prep no one mentioned NFP to us, even as an option. Something was mentioned briefly but not more than a passing. I would add to this saying not only don't take birth control pills but to breastfeed your babies. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer by 50%.
      Happy All Saints Day.

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    11. Thank you for sharing your story, Lisa. Like I said a minute ago, I didn't even KNOW about the cancer link until a few days ago. Now that I DO know, I want to shout it from the rooftops- all this money and time spent on researching how to cure breast cancer when we can do so many things ourselves to prevent it in the first place!

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    12. It makes me wonder about the drug companies- they make oodles of money off of people buying birth control pills and then they make money off of them again when they get cancer and have to go in for treatment. What incentive do they have to warn us? Our loss is their financial gain. How about #occupyBigPharma ?

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    13. BC can be used to treat diseases though - PMDD, endometriosis, PCOS, acne, dysmenorrhea, heck, even migraines! So actual birth control aside, I think it is a very important drug. For women who have normal cycles and reproductive systems, I think it can be difficult to understand the importance of the pill. Wanting a lighter period and less cramping might sound selfish or unimportant to some, but for women who spend days or a week on the couch writhing in pain, those who have passed out because of the pain, those who can't even have sex in the first place because of the pain, for them all the benefits might definitely outweigh the potential negatives.

      If you are purely taking it 'just because' that's a different, but I think for many many women it can be a very important drug.

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    14. Obviously we'll have to agree to disagree on this one, Jackie. None of the things you mentioned are deadly and cancer absolutely can be, particularly the type that is exacerbated by the pill. To me the benefits do NOT outweigh the risks- one of those being death.

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    15. This is a wonderfully well-written post, though not personally compelling for the same sorts of reasons Jackie describes above. I would happily trade *guaranteed* cancer and death in exchange for actually being able to feel good for 20 years.

      I do wish that no woman would ever take the pill without a medical reason! It is incredibly sad to watch women die in their early 60s from a disease they shouldn't have gotten.

      One thing I wonder though is whether you feel equally passionately about all fertility drugs that alter a woman's hormones? I've always found it a bit suspicious that so many of us oppose the pill for a myriad of reasons but then drop our standards when it comes to couples seeking pregnancy. I don't know of *any* options that don't increase the risk of cancer, including the oh-so-natural one that all the good Catholic doctors prescribe (and I am currently on). http://www.rxabbott.com/pdf/prometrium_PIL.pdf

      Also, if you do feel as seriously as your last comment implies then I hope that you read all of the patient information for any painkillers you may take or consider giving your children. One of the reasons I don't find hormonal drugs scary is that the alternatives are even worse. ::sigh:: You just can't win when it comes to health issues. I guess that's why it's called "sickness." :-)

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    16. What a lot of young women don't understand about the Pill is that it can affect your ability to conceive later on in life. I have known at least two women who were on the Pill in college, and patted themselves on the back for being so responsible, only to find out that once they got married and wanted to try to conceive, it wasn't as easy as just going off the Pill. One woman had to wait three years for her body to get back to "normal."

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    17. Thanks for putting this out here, Dwija. I always read the pamphlet that came with the BC when I used it in the past... risks that you didn't mention: increased heart attack (while smoking and taking the pill) and stroke risks (especially for migraine sufferers), gallbladder disease, cancer or precancerous lesions of the cervix, blood clots. (That is straight from the warner chilcott pamphlet that comes with the BC.)
      Of course, it's a personal choice, and I understand that. I simply feel, like you, that we should all be more informed of what we are putting in our systems.

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    18. @Rae- thank you for your thoughtful comment. If any drug can potentially cause cancer, especially increase the risk of a deadly type by 400%, it better be saving my or my child's life!

      If it's not, and it's potentially that lethal, then no, none of us will be taking it, even if it is a drug to increase or encourage fertility. Fertility in and of itself is not what's important to me. Working within the parameters of what nature has given us while fighting against what might be deadly is how I approach medicine.

      @JD- thank you for adding those additional health risks from the BCP pamphlet!

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    19. Though I don't share all of your conclusions I admire your consistent approach!

      And I wasn't joking about looking into painkillers. My mother was careful to never give them to us unless she really thought it was worth the small increased chance of death (400% increase in a really small chance is still pretty small, you know?). Heart attacks and blood clots can kill just as well as cancer.

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    20. Thank you- definitely. We are EXTREMELY sparing with any medication whatsoever, whether it's prescription or OTC.

      There are currently two prescriptions in this house: Hubby's blood pressure medication and some flouride tablets that one child takes a couple times a week because we are on well water and his teeth are very weak. Even those were researched in and out before we agreed to give them!

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    21. I take BC pills eventhough I can't have children because of the risk of ovarian cancer. I don't experience any side effects from the pills. I plan on taking these pills as long as necessary too. Seeing my mother suffer through the final seven weeks of her life in Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer was horrific. I don't want to go through that at all so in my case, the pills don't seem so bad.

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    22. I pray they have the effect you hope for, Mary.

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    23. I started taking the pill when I was around 12 or 13 and took it for about ten years. My mom is a person that would never question medical authority, and I was too young to understand the side effects (or even what it was that the pill did). I've been upset for years that a doctor would put me on the pill for "irregular" and "heavy" cycles at such a young age, when my cycle hadn't really had the chance to develop normally yet. I always worry about the increased risks I have for cancer (and other health conditions, some that may still be unknown) simply because a doctor thought my cycles should be more "regular" - by the way, doc, when you are on birth control, you don't really have cycles anymore...

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    24. Thank you, Mandi! Your story is very powerful. How does a cycle regulate naturally when there's no actual cycle to speak of? I'll keep you in my prayers.

      And I hope every woman can someday feel empowered to know about her own body. After delivering 4 babies, I can tell you that a LOT of health professionals know precious little about how a natural cycle works...

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    25. For me, as a married woman, I find it easy to avoid sex the days I am most fertile. I monitor my cycle and my body and can pretty much tell when I'm ovulating. I was on birth control for exactly one year and had gall bladder problems and a few other side effects I didn't like. For me, it's just easier to monitor myself and practice restraint or be creative with intimacy on the days when I want to avoid sex. And when we decide to have another baby, I'll know exactly when I'm most fertile. Natural family planning works for me!

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    26. My SIL is an L&D RN and two of her 30-something coworkers have had strokes this year from the Pill. She isn't Catholic but pleads with everyone to avoid the Pill because of the side effects. My sister's been on it for 4 years despite my dad having blood clots and my grandma having breast cancer and it freaks me out.

      10 years of NFP here!

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    27. Holy cow, Amy. That's crazy! This particular issue definitely transcends religious affiliation in my eyes. Maybe I'm more cautious than others, but the risk/benefit analysis seems so simple to me.

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    28. I'm not catholic either - but I agree 100% with you - it's all about the "sex having" That is really the issue. I read through some of the comments and understand there could be other reasons to taking them and then you would have to weigh all your options etc. but as far as preggo stuff - monitor the sex. ;) (especially if you're not married!!!!) I really get annoyed when the only reason ppl take them is to prevent pregnancies. There are other way less dangerous ways!
      That's my opinion-
      Good for you for posting such a "controversial" Subject :)
      Hopefully you don't get too much negative feedback.

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    29. I don't agree that birth control pills treat PMDD, endometriosis, PCOS, and dysmenorrhea. Birth control pills may treat the symptoms, but they don't get to the root cause. As someone who has had endometriosis and PCOS, I'd MUCH rather go to a doctor who took the time and effort to diagnose and treat the actual disease rather than just mask the symptoms while the problem is getting progressively worse. If I have to accept side effects of medical treatment, I'd rather that the disease is being addressed directly!

      I don't think we're really dropping our standards, either, by arriving at a different evaluation of hormonal treatment while seeking pregnancy. Infertility is usually a result of disease--fertility is not. One of the major concerns I have is with taking drugs that have serious potential side effects for a condition (fertility) that is normal for a healthy person.

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    30. I was recently diagnosed with PCOS, (but have the opposite problems of most, I ovulate ALL.THE.TIME.)Anyway, I am and have always been anti-Pill. Our small town does a HUGE Susan G Komen walk for the cure every year. It drives me CRAZY that people don't know that SGK gives money to Planned Parenthood, which distributes the Pill, as well as providing abortions, both of which increase a woman's chance of developing breast cancer.
      And andnotbysight is very correct - the pill merely masks the symptoms of so many problems, and OBs don't know how to treat them any other way. They are taught in med school to use the Pill to treat these conditions. I was just diagnosed this month, after a decade of complaining to doctors about not being able to use NFP, not understanding why I bleed for weeks and weeks at a time, or just a day or two, or whatever, very painful cramping, and the many miscarriages I have had. This doctor (who is Catholic, BTW), was the first to listen, write down all that I said, and give me a diagnoses. He put me on (he said either folate or folic acid) vitamins and told me to come back in three months - trying to address the PCOS, to make it easier to use NFP to avoid pregnancy right now, and he is the first to not scoff at my desire to do so. Everyone else just wanted to put me on the pill, and pretended to be patient when I explained my position on the pill. ah - it is so frustrating, and No, they don't tell people all this when they request the pill.

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    31. Thank you to those of you who've experienced PCOS and endometriosis for chiming in here. I have not had first hand experience with it, so did not feel comfortable speaking to those conditions.

      Megan, I'm so happy you finally have a doctor who is trying to treat the actual CONDITION. Praying for you!

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    32. This is a marvelous post-- thank you! I've been complaining for years that doctors act like the pill is magical and will cure all things. It is SO frustrating.

      I've gone to doctors for sinus infections due to my allergies and had them try to get me on the pill because the infection made me tired and I had two kids already so "of course" I needed to be on the pill-- where do they GET that nutty idea?

      For nearly my entire adult life EVERY year when I went for the PAP smear, it mattered not what doctor I had they ALL tried to get me to take the pill, promising all sorts of benefits and then being angry when I rejected it.

      I consider my naturally healthy body a gift and I could never get why doctors push the pill which takes a normal, healthy function of MY body and then makes it unhealthy and abnormal and I'm supposed to consider this an improvement?

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    33. My risks for cancer have always been fairly low according to the doctors (even though my dad had a lump, not cancer)I've never put much weight in what they say. It is such a real risk for all of us. That is such a scary thing!

      I don't for one minute think it is natural for us to mess with our natural hormonal balances unless it is a true risk to our health.

      And believe me I'm over fifty and still wake up once a month give or take and say "when is the nonsense going to be over" Hey, but who am i to mess with my bodies need to do what it needs to do.

      Everyone's taking pills to stop their periods, getting their selves scraped to stop their periods like all of the sudden this natural cycle of our womanhood is some kind of bother that can't be tolerated.

      Playing with fire, that's what i say it is.

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    34. I am a breast cancer researcher and I don't take the pill either. When I did take it while in college it always made me feel so sick and made my boobs way too huge. It hurt my back so bad. I actually have stretch marks on my boobs from what the pill did to me.

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    35. As the other ladies have said, the pill does not in any way treat PCOS, dysmennorhea, endometriosis, or any reproductive health condition. It simply masks the symptoms. Once you stop taking the pill, the disease is still present. Unfortunately, though, it's basically seen as the "cure-all" for "women's health" issues. As I struggled with reproductive health problems and as my husband went through med school, this became more and more apparent. Irregular bleeding? Give 'em the pill! Severe cramps? Give 'em the pill! Irregular cycles? Give 'em the pill! The irony here is that "women's health", that is, reproductive health, is given very little regard at all. Symptoms are masked rather then the source treated, and what's really sad is that when patients DO ask questions, most doctors simply don't have answers for them because they're trained to prescribe contraception rather than spend the time and resources necessary to find out what's actually causing the cramps / irregular bleeding / etc.

      For anyone who is struggling with reproductive health issues, please check out the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and NaProTechnology. www.fertilitycare.org. Creighton provides a totally different approach to women's health, one that is actually focused on restoring and preserving a woman's reproductive health. Through the use of the system, Creighton Practitioners and doctors trained in NaProTechonology are able to identify the causes of reproductive abnormalities, treat them (in the majority of cases), and restore the individual to health. It's amazing stuff! And, it just so happens to be a highly effective method of family planning. (Just wanted to throw it in for anyone who may be looking for some answers).

      Thanks for another great post, Dwija!

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    36. I feel a little nervous now, but I can't rewind the past, and not sure I would change my decision anyway. I took the pill for 7 years because:
      -it was extremely convenient
      -having sex with a condom is like holding a glass of water rather than sticking your hand in it, and my husband (then boyfriend) are each other's first and onlys so pregnancy was the only concern
      -getting pregnant would have been a huge, life-changing disaster at that age (university and early career) and I don't believe in abstinence for a woman in her 20s in a committed relationship...so the birth control method had to be as close to 100% effective as possible
      -I didn't experience any side effects other than a reduction in libido that was welcomed because it put me and my husband and more in sync
      -I believed (believe?) the health risks were minimal and in some cases protective (eg ovarian cancer risk reduction)

      and perhaps most of all, because my mother is a militant organic, natural, vitamin-pushing warrior who made me feel like a freak throughout my childhood due to her "McDonald's is the AntiChrist" ways, and not a few of my young adult decisions were a rebellious explosion of sugar-eating, chemical-using, hair-dying antics to show I could experience and enjoy what the world had to offer without dying or having God strike me down from the heavens.

      Wow. I must apologize for the wildly off-topic mini-post that just turned into. I try not to write about my relationship with my mother to respect her privacy, but maybe a little of the pressure needs to be let out of this balloon.

      I'm actually quite disturbed by your post - thanks for sharing it. It will make me think twice about what I recommend to Sasha when she gets to the age where she needs to think about this stuff.

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    37. Cancer is a terrible disease. I had cancer. Ovarian cancer. It was found upon the birth of my second child and I had a hysterectomy immediately following the c-section. Not a fun way to celebrate the life of a newborn.

      I certainly would not wish cancer on anyone, of any type. And I do believe that there are plenty of medical professionals & pharms that push meds for their own gain, regardless of potential side-effects. But I also believe that people resort to taking such drugs for more serious reasons than preventing conception. And sometimes, there are no alternatives.

      My cousin suffered miserably with female issues that could have resulted in a life-threatening situation. She was unable to undergo surgery for a hysterectomy until recently. BC was the only relief she got. Sometimes, quality of life is more valuable than quantity.

      Having said that, everyone has a right to know the risks of taking BC and should carefully weigh them. In my cousin's case, I think the risk of taking it was less than not taking it. But, many people aren't aware of or don't even consider the risks. These are the people that I hope and pray read your post and take it to heart. I hope they do their own research and stop taking BC for minor (non life-threatening) reasons. In my opinion, acne is not a good enough reason to take BC.

      Even more disturbing to me is the fact that many BC pills don't really "prevent" conception, they "abort" a pregnancy after conception. How sad is that?!! I guess that's why they are called "birth control" rather than "conception control." Why don't they put that on a label and stick it?

      Anyway, I appreciate your passion and pray that selfish desires do not overpower thoughful decisions.

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    38. Preach it!!

      I took the Pill for several years and it made me feel INSANELY hormonal and depressed. Like, I was a crazy person. And I didn't know then that it wasn't preventing conception, just implantation. I was horrified when I found out. I believe life begins at conception and I feel very strongly about it...so finding this out made me sick. And I can't understand why that isn't something a doctor would tell a girl when prescribing the Pill. It's horrifying.

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    39. Love this post. I see women who go to extremes to exercise and eat right - and then sabotage all that good behavior with synthetic hormone birth control. It's more than the pill; it's the mirena iud, the patch, the shot. All of them.

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    40. Great post!! I would like to add two other side-effects of taking the pill.
      1. For every one year a woman is on the pill the uterus ages 2 years which can cause a whole host of problems.

      2. At risk for developing fibromyalgia. Can one even watch tv anymore without seeing a commercial for fibromyalgia medication? This disease is definitely on the rise and, according to U.S. Pharmacist (the leading pharmacology journal in the nation), the disease occurs almost exclusively among women who have taken the pill.

      And while I don't have personal experience with some of the severe conditions that women are put on the pill for, I do have a number of family and friends that were. I know that in every case they simply walked in, explained their symptoms to the doctor and walked out 15 minutes later with a prescription for the pill. None of them were given alternative options to pursue (and I don't mean crazy diets or taking a hundred different herbal supplements, I mean just normal, safer and more natural options), none were told about anything but the most general of side-effects, none were examined to try and find out what was causing their problems in the first place - it was always, "take the pill and you'll feel better." Regardless of one's religious beliefs, this approach to medicine should make everyone nervous.
      Emily C

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    41. oh and while we're on the subject of reducing one's breast cancer risk let me add - BREASTFEED!!!!! A woman who breastfeeds for a lifetime total of 7 years has an almost zero chance of getting breast cancer! Almost zero!! Breastfeeding any amount helps, but for those that are thinking 7 years is impossible, remember it's lifetime total not one child for 7 years. I've already hit 7 years and I only have 4 kids.
      Emily C

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    42. The increase in cases of both breast cancer and fibromyalgia since the 70's is shocking, Emily. Women are bearing the brunt of this "revolution" while men get to fully enjoy sex unprotected. It saddens me so greatly that in the name of feminism, women are the ones suffering. I am a true feminist. Women should be allowed to be fully and naturally healthy without men and society putting pressure on them to make themselves "risk free" by becoming voluntarily infertile. A fertile woman is considered a liability by selfish men and that is obnoxious.

      And yes...breastfeeding! I've also heard of women choosing not to breastfeed because their man thinks it's "weird" or because society makes them feel uncomfortable and THAT makes me angry too. I mean, REALLY???? It's better for women to increase their chances of cancer and spend oodles of money on formula that's not as healthy for their children just because some selfish dudes think that nature is "weird"? WTF? Some women can't breastfeed or don't have the support they need, but if it's just pressure from the outside that discourages her, that gets up my IRE.

      At least our sons won't think breastfeeding and fertile women are gross, so at least there's that :)

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    43. Dwija, I just have to say again that your consistency is refreshing!

      And for those who have commented about the pill being used to treat endometriosis, I hope you'll forgive me for persisting in clarifying a bit more.

      I am thrilled that NaPro offers a solution for some women. As I have said before, it is horrible how over-prescribed the pill is.

      Unfortunately, NaPro doesn't offer a solution for all women, and if you dismiss the pill because cancer risks are unacceptable (the point of this post) then you must run from the drugs NaPro doctors use, not to mention risking your life during invasive surgeries etc.

      Ultimately, the pill "treats" most endo/pain issues in the same way that painkillers do: it suppresses your body's otherwise natural function and that means that there are risks involved. Furthermore, we don't actually know how suppressing ovulation works in the case of endo, and there are far more doctors who assert that using the pill to suppress ovulation prevents endometriosis from developing, and may give your body a chance to heal.

      Anyway, NaPro is a wonderful resource for those for whom it works, but I don't want more women to suffer like I did under the delusion that it offers miracles.

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    44. I'm sure we have all seen the news reports these last couple of days about how even light to moderate alcohol consumption (defined as 3 to 6 drinks per week) increases the risk of breast cancer by about 15%, roughly equivalent to the increased risk due to the pill. If we are truly consistent, there should be a call to give up all alcohol, as a non life-saving, elective drug. Unless it is really less about preventing breast cancer, and more about the sex having without baby having.

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    45. Not the most deadly type, Anonymous. The most deadly type has an increased risk of 400% because of the pill. In addition, of course, to all the other many, many risks. Plus, breastfeeding decreases your chance of breast cancer as well. Who can breast feed if they don't have babies? Not many women, I would guess.

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    46. Plus, you can have lots and lots of sex without having babies if you just bother to learn how your body works. Evidence: the 5 years between my second and my third children. It's not like I was single at the time or anything ;)

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    47. Dwija, this post is brilliant, as are your backups in all the comments. I'm so proud of you for voicing this! I've been incredibly amazed at what I've learned about my body since going off the pill several years ago, but I've become downright OUTRAGED at the pill's hidden tricks. I wish I hadn't taken it for so many years.

      By the way, it was provided to me -- at first -- by planned parenthood. To help control my irregular (read: regular 17-year-old body) periods because they made me nervous. If only I'd had some sort of counseling on the natural body's process and its beauty...

      But oh well. Moving forward, I will not take the pill again. Just pray for me not to get upset when my doctor tries to push it on me at my 6-week postpartum checkup! I can stand up for myself very well until a doctor questions me. Ugh. Then I become sad and lonely :)

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    48. It is surprising how they just EXPECT you to do it. As people, we can do something for a while, then learn more about it, and then decided not to do it anymore if we discover it's not good for us. I don't want anyone to feel that since they've been taking the pill up until today, they have to continue despite learning new things.

      It is so hard when you're postpartum to reason through the fog. Can your hubby go in with you and support you? It may be worth a sick call to work so he can help you do what you know is best in the long term for your health and your family!

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    49. Dwija, AMEN. You have been to Dr. Nadal's blog, yes? It's on my blogroll if you haven't. He's a scientist and his mission is to show women how the Pill and abortion have led to skyrocketing incidents of breast cancer. The Susan G. Komen foundation is a disgrace to the name of women. I refuse to buy anything with that hideous pink ribbon on it. This is a wonderful post. There is no -- and I mean absolutely no -- benefit the pill can offer that outweighs the risks. I believe. In humility, though, and respect for other women, I have not suffered form any sort of fertility/menstrual complications. I can't say what experiencing daily pain would do to my opinion on the matter. But the pharmaceutical world is a magical place (and I'm not being sarcastic). Surely they can come up with something better. I think our outrage should be directed toward the doctors and pharmaceutical companies who are pushing this kind of crap instead of doing what they ought to provide women with a better answer.

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    50. Hormonal fluctuations can also cause suicidal thoughts, particularly if you use depo provera. I got "the shot" to regulate crazy irregular periods with excessive bleeding
      ( to the point of needing to be hospitalized.) within days I was suicidal (no history of prior mental problems). Two months later, I was assaulted, 9 months later, I was a mother. Turns out the shot regulated things just enough to get pregnant. Not that I'm complaining, because my daughter is the most beautiful blessing, although at 18, I didn't see it that way at the time. Now, I schedule a d&c every 2 years, solves the problem without hormones. Just gotta make sure not to have sex the month before, to be sure I'm not prego.

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    51. Great post. My aunt, who has been on the pill for YEARS and YEARS, just had a double mastectomy for breast cancer a few weeks ago. :(

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    52. I'm so sorry, Lindsey. :( I pray it does the trick!

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    53. Wow, I did not know that. I've been on the pill for a while and I didn't really take notice of any side effects or sickness. It may be hard to get out of the habit of taking something every morning, but I think I'll consult with a friend who works in a breast reduction surgery clinic if they know any doctors that can talk to me about this.

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    54. Before I add this let me say, I agree. It's NFP only for our family. But here's some more information that so few people know: "...frequent consumption of mushrooms can decrease the incidence of breast cancer by up to 60 to 70 percent. Add green compounds (like that found in green tea) daily....an 89 percent decrease in risk for premenopausal and 82 percent for postmenopausal women." (International Journal of Cancer, 2008; 122:919-23) Everyone knows about the little pink ribbons, why does no one know about this?

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