A Fact Sheet
- For those women starting the pill before 20yrs old, the risk of developing
breast cancer was 820% higher than for healthy non-users of the same
- For women starting pill between 20-25 years, relative risk was 180% higher
than healthy non-users (Ref 1)
- Other researchers cite the risk of breast cancer for young women(less than
20 yrs old) is 200-480% higher than for non-pill users(Refs 2,3,4)
- In one study of 918 Dutch women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, 85%
had used the pill at some time (5)
- Even 3 months use of the pill has been reported to be associated with 100%
increase in breast cancer (6)
- For more than ten years use, breast cancer risk increased by 310% (7)
- women with breast cancer, who at an early age have used oral
contraceptives, have larger breast tumours and a worst prognosis compared
with later(pill users) and never users(8)
- Death rate from breast cancer in
Australia = 20.4/100,000
USA = 20.7/100,000
ie a x3 fold reduction in Japan. Australia/USA have a pill history of 30
years with identical breast cancer statistics. Industrialised Japan, has no
pill use, reports one third the rate (9)
- (Note: With use of Depo-Provera (DMPA) "Use for two years or longer
before age 25 was associated with a significantly increased risk of breast
cancer" (ie 360% increase) (10)
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- Pill use in women less than 20years old means 280% higher risk of
- In women 20-24 years, its 70 % higher.
- In women 25-29 years its 40% higher (11)
- Another study cites increased risk of 250% for cervical cancer amongst
pill users (12)
- Longer term users(6-12 years) 100-340% increased risk of non-users
- However, one of these studies showed women who used the pill for only
1-6 months had a 190% increase in cervical cancer than non-users (15)
- Clinical evidence cites the pill’s role in activation of and enhancing
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) in initiation of cervical cancer. (16,17)
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Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Risk of DVT increased by 600-900%(ie 5-8 fold) compared to non-users in
users of 3rd generation progestagen pills (eg containing gestodene eg
Femodene, Minulet, Tri-minulet, or containing desogestrel eg Marvelon)
- Across all age groups, use of the 3rd generation pill brands had a 770%
greater DVT risk than non-pill users (20)
- Second generation progestagens such as levonorgestrel and norethisterone have
120-280% increase risk of DVT (21,22)
- For teenagers aged 15-19yrs risk of DVT " for the desogestrel-containing
oral contraceptive was 7-fold higher than that of the levo-norgestrel
containing products; among women aged 20-24 the risk was 4-fold higher" (23)
IMPORTANT! Note that this x7 increase was relative to 2nd generation users
not non-users!! Therefore, by computation, risk for 15-19yr olds compared to
non-users is (120%-280%) x 7 = x 15-26 fold risk!!
- A x50 fold increase risk of DVT for users carrying a blood clotting
factor V Leiden mutation.This occurs in 5-15% of European women(26) Note
mechanism gestodene causes decreased oestrogen metabolism in liver leading
to accumulation in body leading to increased DVT risk.
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Infertility after pill-use
Women may not conceive for up to 48 months or longer depending on age
This is due to atrophy of the mucus secreting glands thus preventing sperm
Birth defects/chromosomal abnormalities in children conceived right after
Fertility drugs cause hyperstimulation of the ovaries, leading to
increased ovarian cancer of the ovary due to increased minor trauma of the
covering epilthelium The pill, and pregnancy, and breast feeding cause a rest
in ovulation, thus associated with a decreased incidence of ovarian cancer.
Some family planning advocates defend or advocate pill use because of the
associated decrease in ovarian cancer rates(0.2% risk). To do so in light of
the appalling side-effects of the pill documented is a woeful ignorance of the
facts or a deliberate and cynical act of injustice to women.
All references from:
"A Consumer’s Guide to the Pill" by John Wilks B Pharm MPS 2nd Ed 1997
ALL Publications available from HLI Ireland £10.99 + £2.00 p+p
- Olsson H, Borg A, Ferno M, Moller TR, Ranstam J. Early oral
contraceptive use and premenopausal breast cancer – a review of studies
performed in South Sweden Cancer Detection and Prevention 1991:15 (4): 265-271
- Olsson H & ML, Moller TR, Ranstam J, Holm P. Lancet(letter) 1985
March 30, 748-49.
- Olsson H, Moller TR, Ranstam J. Early oral contraceptive use and breast
cancer among premenopausal women: Final report from a study in Southern
Sweden. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 1989;81(12):1000-4.
- Johnson JH, Weighing the evidence on the pill and breast cancer Family
Planning Perspectives 1989: 21 (2): 89-92.
- Rookus & Van Leeuwen. Oral Contraceptives and risk of Breast Cancer
women aged 20-54 years. Lancet 1994 ; 344; p844-51.
- Millar DR, Rosenberg L, et al Breast Cancer before age 45 and oral
contraceptive use ; new findings. American J of Epidemiology 1989;129 (2):269-
- Millar, 1989 as above.
- Olsson H, Borg A, ferno M, Moller T, Ranstam J. Early oral
contraceptive use and breast cancer in Southern Sweden. Proc. Annu Meet Am Soc
Clin Oncol. 1989: A367, Ma.
- WHO Cancer Mortality database 1994 Breast Cancer Rates by Country.
Paul C, Depo medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera) and risk of breast
cancer Br Med J 1989; 299: p762.
- Thomas DB, Ray RM. Oral contraceptives and invasive adenocarcinomas
and adenosquamous carcinomas of the uterine cervix Am J Epid 1996;144:p284
- Kohler U, Wuttke P. results of a case control study of the current
effect of various factors of cervical cancer risk . 2) Contraceptive behaviour
and the smoking factor. Zentralblatt fur gynakologie 1994;116 (7): 405- 9
- Ursin G, Peters RK, Henderson BE, d’Ablaing G, Monroe KR, Pike MC.
Oral contraceptive use and adenocarcinoma of cervix. Lancet 1994; 344;
- Brisson J et al Risk factors for cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia:
differences between low and high-grade lesions American J of Epidemiology
- Ursin et al, 1994 as above.
- Chen Y-H, Huang L-H, Chen T-M. Differential effects of progestins and
estrogens on long control regions of human papilloma virus types 16 and 18.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 1996;224:p654.
- Kenney JAW. Risk Factors associated with genital HPV infection. Cancer
Nurse 1996 (Oct);19:5, p353.
- Vandebrouke JP, Rosendaal FR. End of the line for "third-generation
pill" controversy? Lancet 1997; 349:1113-1114.
- Vandebrouke JP et al Increased risk of venous thrombosis in oral
contraceptive users who are carriers of factor V Leiden mutation. Lancet
- Bloemenkamp KW, Rosendal FR, Helmerhorst FM, Bauller HR, Vandenbroche
JP. Enhancement by factor V Leiden mutation of deep vein thrombosis associated
with oral contraceptives containing third generation progestogen. Lancet
- Bloemenkamp et al, p1594, table 1.
- Spitzer WO, Lewis MA, Heineman LAJ et al. Third generation oral
contraceptives and risk of venous thromboembolic disorders: an international
case-control study Br Med J 1996;312:83-8.
- Bloemenkamp et al p1595.
- Vandebrouke JP et al 1997.
- Bloemenkamp et al p1593.
- Sarisin,F Bounameaux,H Decision analysis model of prolonged oral
anticoagulant treatment in factor V Leiden carriers with first episode of deep
vein thrombosis. Br Med J.1998:316;95.
- APPG 24th Ed Microgynon 30 monograph 1995 p1508.
- Micromedex vol 89 Oral contraceptives monograph.
- Wade ME, McCarthy PM et al. Am J Obstet Gynaecol 1995; 172: p698.
- Rahwan R, Prof Pharmacology & Toxicology, College of Pharmacy Ohio
State University. Chemical Contraceptives, Interceptives and Abortifacients
Human Life International (Ireland)