The Undisclosed Risks of Birth Control Pills
For women looking to prevent pregnancy, the recent recall of a birth control tablet is pretty frightening. The pills, sold under the name Mibelas 24 Fe, were improperly packaged with the pills out of the necessary sequence. A 24-day set of pills, like Mibelas 24 Fe, contain one week of placebo pills which do not contain the pregnancy-prevention hormones; the woman generally takes these at the end of her cycle, when she is menstruating. When the pills are taken out of order, the placebos could be accidentally taken in place of the hormones, leading to pregnancy. The idea of a defect in birth control pills is scary, because it means that the very thing preventing pregnancy might actually cause it.
The Pros and Cons of Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are ideal for many women, including those with heavy menstruation cycles, professional athletes, and women who do not want children. Along with preventing pregnancy, birth control pills can make menstruation more regular and less painful. Like other forms of contraception, birth control pills allow a woman to take her body into her own hands. Birth control pills have many benefits, and may prevent:
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Bone thinning
- Ovarian cysts
- Endometrial and ovarian cancer
- Infections in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus
There are, of course, normal side effects. When a woman begins taking a birth control pill, she can expect some side effects, such as:
- Intermenstrual spotting
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Decreased libido
Plenty of these side effects go away with time, and many women believe a few side effects are worth it when compared to the benefits of the pill. But there are some deadly side effects, too — and they are not often talked about.
Deadly Side Effects
The dangers of birth control pills are exemplified by the recent lawsuits surrounding Yaz, a pill manufactured by Bayer. Yaz contains a hormone called drospirenone, which causes an increased risk of blood clots. The pill could also contribute to deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, strokes, or heart attacks. Without immediate treatment, these conditions can result in death or serious damage.
Recent studies also connect hormonal birth control pills with depression. In one study, women who took birth control pills had a 1.2% higher rate of also taking an antidepressant than women who did not use birth control. After six months of birth control use, there was a 40% increase in a women’s risk for depression.
When birth control pills companies do not disclose the potential for conditions like blood clots and depression, it puts women at extreme risk. Women need to know about these risks beforehand, so they can consider if their lifestyle and medical history is right for the pill. When this information is not disclosed, either through a company’s negligence or a doctor’s errors, serious harm can occur.
Before starting a birth control pill regimen — or before starting any new medication, really! — be sure you know about all side effects and health hazards. For many women, birth control pills provide relief and support, but like any other medication, they can cause harm if negligently prescribed, manufactured, or used.
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.