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Study: Low-Dose Birth Control Pills Decrease Bone Density in Young Women
LifeSiteNews ^ | SEATTLE, January 21, 2010 | Thaddeus M. Baklinski

Posted on 01/22/2010 6:43:51 AM PST by GonzoII

Thursday January 21, 2010

Study: Low-Dose Birth Control Pills Decrease Bone Density in Young Women

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

SEATTLE, January 21, 2010 ( - A new study showing a link between long-term use of oral contraceptives and a decrease in bone density in women under the age of 30 has found that the modern low-dose forms of estrogen pills have the greatest risk of harming a woman's bone density.

The study, published in the January issue of Contraception Journal, measured bone mineral density (BMD) of the hip, spine, and whole body to analyze how both the duration of taking the contraceptive pill and the estrogen dose affected bone density in young women.

Researchers studied 606 women, aged 14 to 30, and found a 5.9 percent decrease in bone mineral density of the spine in young women taking birth control pills for longer than one year, as compared with those not taking oral contraceptives. BMD of the whole body was shown to be decreased by 2.3 percent in those taking the pill.

Low-dose estrogen pills containing less than 30 micrograms ethinyl estradiol, which include such brands as the Yaz, Yasmin, Levlen, Desogen and others, were found to cause the most bone loss in the study.

"I think the evidence is still emerging on this association, but our findings suggest that low-dose oral contraceptives with long-term use have some impact on bone density," said study author Delia Scholes, a senior investigator at the Group Health Research Institute of Group Health Cooperative in Seattle.

Background information in the study notes that most of the estimated 12 million oral contraceptive (OC) users in the U.S. are under 30 years of age and in the critical period for bone mass accumulation. Research has shown that estrogen plays an important role in the development and maintenance of bone mass, which has caused concern since hormonal contraceptives alter the amount of estrogen a woman's body naturally produces.

Though the research report states that the long-term impact of bone loss from oral contraceptives is unknown, or if stopping use of OCs could reverse the negative effects, the study suggests that use of the pill could lead to bone problems such as osteoporosis or fractures later in life.

Scholes states, “If oral contraceptives are indeed causing the approximately 5 percent lower spine bone density for oral contraceptive users … and if that impact is not reversed with oral contraceptive discontinuation or with other factors that may occur across the life span, a 5 percent lower bone density after menopause is associated with approximately 50 percent more osteoporotic fractures.”

This study augments earlier work showing that hormonal contraceptives negatively affect bone density.

In 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United Kingdom Committee on the Safety of Medicines cited bone mineral density loss when they issued warnings on the use of the progestin-only injectable contraceptives.

An abstract of the study is available on the Contraception Journal website here.

See related LSN articles:

Oral Contraceptives Decrease Bone Density

Australian Woman Dies from Taking Birth Control Pill

Another Woman Dies of Hormonal Contraceptive in Switzerland


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TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: contraception; estrogen; health; medical; medicine; osteoporosis; pill; research; women

1 posted on 01/22/2010 6:43:52 AM PST by GonzoII
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To: GonzoII

Other than discussing specific brands, all the info presented in this article is well-known.

2 posted on 01/22/2010 6:51:51 AM PST by Psycho_Bunny (ALSO SPRACH ZEROTHUSTRA)
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To: GonzoII

The pill is so unhealthy. I feel so much better since I’ve been off of them.

3 posted on 01/22/2010 6:52:45 AM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: GonzoII

You mean flooding your body with artificial hormones has unintended side effects? Amazing!

4 posted on 01/22/2010 6:55:24 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (We have the 1st so that we can call on people to rebel. We have 2nd so that they can.)
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To: Psycho_Bunny
"all the info presented in this article is well-known."

Okay, and...?

5 posted on 01/22/2010 7:07:07 AM PST by GonzoII ("That they may be one...Father")
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To: GonzoII

This is obviously a load of misogyny disguised as science. Nothing empowers women more than making them better sex toys for men. Letting men out of any possible responsibilties for their actions has truly freed women!

Sometimes I’m just cynical about the average intelligence of women. They largely believe the above.

6 posted on 01/22/2010 8:05:15 AM PST by MichiganConservative (I wouldn't hate the government if it didn't exist. (Evil + Stupid) === Government)
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To: y'all

I guess this means the ladies need to be on top to avoid broken bones.

(Sorry, But, I’ll have to omit the obligatory graphic to avoid banning.)

7 posted on 01/22/2010 9:51:44 AM PST by Cyber Ninja (His legacy is a stain OnTheDress)
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To: GonzoII

The “and” is, why are they presenting it as new?

8 posted on 01/22/2010 11:06:42 AM PST by Psycho_Bunny (ALSO SPRACH ZEROTHUSTRA)
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