Old Wives' Tales
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Claim: E-mail describes the death of a woman from blood clots associated with her use of birth control pills.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2007]
Origins: The above-quoted e-mail attributes the death of a woman named Nicole Dishuk to blood clots resulting from her use of an unnamed birth control product. We can ascertain that the woman identified, 31-year-old Dr. Nicole
Although the product referenced in the piece reproduced above is not named, the mention of a "birth control that allows you to only have your period
Most oral contraceptives have users undertake a
Even before the introduction of Seasonique and Seasonale, women who wanted the convenience of delaying periods would do so by taking all of the active pills in theirThe suppression of periods through the use of hormonal contraceptives has not been shown to pose a significant health risk to women, and it is sometimes a recommended option for women who suffer from PMS, heavy flows, cramps, and menstrual migraines:
The active pills prevent a woman's body from building up the lining of the uterus, eliminating the need for the lining to shed, therefore no period results. With the conventional
"In regular birth control pills, a lot of people take the whole pack of regular pills and not take the placebo," said Chao.
Although the method works, patients might find Seasonique is a better choice for several reasons.
"If your prescription plan pays for a monthly pill, then you are short," she said.
In addition, she said, "Having that estrogen all the time will prevent PMS (including mood swings), migraines (and menstrual headaches) and will decrease breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between periods)."
Studies show it's safe to suppress your period using various methods: Seasonale, a pill that limits you to four periods a year; Seasonique, a similar pill that may help fight PMS; or others like Depo-Provera injections that may eliminate your period. "The hormones keep the lining of your uterus thin, so nothing builds up," says RebeccaAlthough some women believe that not having a regular monthly period is dangerous because the cessation of menstrual flow will allow blood and other material to "build up" in the uterus, this is not the case:
Menstrual suppression is great for women with particularly heavy flows, painful cramps and menstrual migraines.
As for whether the new [Seasonique/Seasonale] pills are safe, it is useful to look at how they were developed. The pills' creators gave women a "week off" because the hormone level in the pills was higher at that time and some women had difficulty with it. They also thought women would get psychological benefits from having their periods. These days, some women think that if they don't have their period once a month, the uterine lining and blood will build up since the body isn't getting rid of it. This is absolutely false. When you're on birth control pills of any kind, there is no thickening of the uterine lining and no buildup of blood. There is, in other words, no medical reason to stop taking the pills everyThe possibility of side effects and serious health risks (including blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks) accompanies the use of any hormonal contraceptive product, so patients are advised to use them in regular consultation with their health care providers.
Last updated: 16 May 2007
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