8. Oral Contraceptives
There are two major categories of oral contraceptives. They are combination and progestogen only. The combination types contain both a synthetic estrogen and a synthetic progestogen and are given continuously for three weeks. No medication is given for the fourth week to allow for “withdrawal bleeding.” Progestogen alone is given in small doses every day but this form of oral contraceptive is not used frequently due to its more severe consequences.
8.1 General Effects
Many effects such as nausea, breast tenderness, fluid retention and depression are related to the dose of synthetic estrogen. Progestogens result in weight gain, acne and nervousness. In addition to effects on the female genital tract, the metabolic activities of synthetic hormonal components of oral contraceptives affect nearly every other organ system of the body.
During lactation the amount of milk produced is diminished, and the concentration of protein and fat in the milk is reduced; also, measurable amounts of the hormonal compounds can be found in the milk. You can see why it is especially dangerous to take these substances while lactating. It would have severe adverse effects upon the infant.
Serum protein changes occur while taking the pill. Serum copper and iron levels are increased, while tests of thyroid function are altered to the same extent that occurs in pregnancy; e.g., thyroxine-binding globulin capacity increases, while free thyroxine remains normal.
In some individuals, deep vein thrombophlebitis and thromboembolism occur. Thrombus formation appears to be related to increases in blood clotting factors, an increase in the number of platelets, and increased platelet adhesion. These changes are the result of the estrogenic component, and the increased incidence of thromboembolism is related to the amount of estrogen given.
Central nervous system effects of oral contraceptives include stroke, nausea and vomiting, headache and depression. The incidence of stroke is three times greater in oral contraceptive users than in nonusers. Alterations in glucose metabolism have also been associated with oral contraceptives. Serum levels of some vitamins, trace elements, and lipids may be altered by these drugs. Levels of pyridoxine and folic acid and most other vitamins, as well as ascorbic acid, calcium, manganese, and zinc, are decreased, while vitamin A levels are increased. Serum lipid levels, mainly triglycerides, are elevated in nearly all oral contraceptive users, and cholesterol concentration is increased in many. Studies have proven hat this increase in triglycerides is a direct result of the synthetic estrogen.
Discoloration of the skin occurs in some women indicating that the body is trying to discharge this drug via that route.
Concerning the dangers of the pill, Dr. Mendelsohn says,
“In 1977, the FDA required a warning brochure emphasizing the astronomical risk of cardiovascular disease among women over forty taking the Pill. Whether these warnings will do much good remains to be seen. Women over forty are still taking the Pill, either because they are not properly informed or because they choose to accept the risks. The overwhelming majority of women on the Pill are under forty. The risks are great for these women, too, and they include not only cardiovascular disease, but liver tumors, headaches, depression, and cancer. While taking the Pill over age forty multiplies the risk of dying from a heart attack by a factor of five, from age thirty to forty the Pill multiplies it by a factor of three. All women taking the Pill run a risk of high blood pressure six times greater than women not taking it. Their risk of stroke is four times greater, and their risk of thromboembolism is more than five times greater.
Doctors maintain the enormous market for the Pill by telling women it’s safer to take the Pill than to get pregnant. Of course, that argument defies logic as well as science. First of all, the dangers of the Pill are just beginning to surface. They are the dangers of an unnatural substance interfering with body processes. Pregnancy, however, is a natural process, which the body is prepared to deal with—unless it is unhealthy in some way. To take the Pill is to introduce disease into the body. Comparing the risk of pregnancy to the risk of taking the Pill illogically jumbles together rich women, poor women, healthy women, sick women, women on the Pill, women off the Pill, women using other contraceptives, women using no contraceptives, married women, single women, teenagers, adults, promiscuous women, and non-promiscuous women. When these women get pregnant, they already bring to the statistics risk factors which have nothing to do with pregnancy.”
- 1. Introduction
- 2. The Reproductive System
- 3. Menstruation
- 4. Vulvitis
- 5. Salpingitis
- 6. Menopause
- 7. Carcinomas
- 8. Oral Contraceptives
- 9. Hysterectomy
- 10. Male Infertility
- 11. Prostatic Enlargement
- 12. Abnormalities Of Pregnancy
- 13. Some Reasons For Abnormalities During Pregnancy
- 14. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Sterility In Women By Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Enlargement of The Prostate By Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #3: Ballerina Syndrome? Or Medical Ignorance?