Skip to comments.Medical experts blast claim that nuns need contraception
Posted on 12/10/2011 6:44:40 AM PST by NYer
.- An article claiming that nuns should use contraception to lower their risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers drew criticism from medical professionals who say the studys basis is seriously flawed.
Karen Brauer, president of Pharmacists for Life International, said the argument was so poorly made that she initially thought the article was a parody.
Its that bad, she told CNA on Dec. 8, adding that the claims were not only outlandish but unsupported by the evidence presented in the analysis.
Australian researchers Kara Britt and Roger Short penned a Dec. 8 article in the international medical journal The Lancet warning that nuns pay a terrible price for their chastity.
They argued that because they never bear children, nuns have a higher probability of death from breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers.
Britt and Short lamented the plight of religious sisters and called on the Church to make the oral contraceptive pill freely available to all its nuns in order to decrease risk of these cancers.
But Brauer pointed out that this claim is misleading, even according to the study on which the authors based their arguments.
Referencing a graph included in the article, she noted that before age 70, the nuns actually had a lower rate of death from uterine cancer than the control group. Their comparative rates of death from ovarian cancer fluctuated before age 80, being at times above, below and equal to that of the control group.
According to the study, breast cancer was the only one for which the nuns were consistently at higher risk than the control group of women, said Brauer. However, Britt and Short did not claim that the pill would reduce the risk of breast cancer, as they did for ovarian and uterine cancer, but simply that it would not increase the risk of breast cancer.
In addition, said Brauer, women who use oral contraceptives face considerable negative side effects. These include a significantly increased risk of deep venous thrombosis, which causes potentially life-threatening blood clotsa fact that Britt and Short acknowledged.
For these reasons, using the pill only to prevent disease doesnt make any sense, she said.
Oncologist Dr. Luis Raez weighed in that the Lancet article has more political significance than scientific value.
Raez told CNA on Dec. 8 that because of the risk of side effects that accompanies any pill, doctors generally use prescription drugs to treat cancer and diseases rather than prevent them.
In the case of the oral contraceptive pill, users are at higher risk of blood clots and hypertension, among other conditions, he said.
He also observed that even among women such as nuns who do not bear children, ovarian and uterine cancers are rare.
Such cancers are often curable if discovered early through regular checkups, he added, noting that the pill's actual benefits would likely be minimal as it does not eliminate the risk of these cancers.
Raez argued that it would be absurd to use oral contraception in hopes of preventing a rare type of cancer while putting yourself at elevated risk for other serious problems.
He also said that most women who take the pill do so for only a limited number of years, because they stop using contraceptives when they decide to have children. However, nuns, who never have children, could be on the pill for multiple decades.
The risk factors of using the pill in this way have not been adequately evaluated for such a course of action to be recommended, he underscored.
'Course with the nuns getting birth control, the HPV vaccine cant be that far behind.
Its for their own good !!
It’s only “contraception” if there’s a possibility of conception. In other situations, one could avoid the (probably intentional) scandalous garble by saying “oral hormone supplementation.” Then, the discussion of whether it’s medically advisable for non-childbearing women to use these hormonal drugs to reduce cancer risk could proceed with much less silliness.
“An article claiming that nuns should use contraception to lower their risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers drew criticism from medical professionals who say the studys basis is seriously flawed.”
I take it they mean “the Pill” vice an IUD or foam, eh?
This faux study is nothing but loose stool.
Oral contraceptive pills are a Class 1 carcinogen (proven to cause cancer in humans) according to the international health body that classifies carcinogens.
(Hey evil harpies: If you won’t embrace the light then it seems you will go to hell.)
The most common is probably dysmenorrhea, or very painful periods. They run in our family. We're talking anemia, cramps that double you over, and copious bleeding for as long as two weeks at a time.
In that sort of situation, oral contraceptives are hailed in welcome, believe me.
They now have a very low dosage pill that is not effective in preventing conception but will reduce the cramping and bleeding. So that removes the odium of taking birth control.
Bravo Sierra! I had to take some strong stuff to get pregnant with my son and after I had him I went back on the Pill that I had been on since I was sixteen. I felt like crap so I quit taking it. I will never go back on it after I did some research. I was put on it because I have PCOS, and I was told that it would help with that condition. Yeah, all it did was mask the symptoms but I was never told that. So after much personal research I made a lot of changes to my diet and absolutely avoid any meat injected with hormones. Guess what? I just had baby number two with no fertility drugs! Chemical birth control is the devil!
Congrats on your baby!
When I was a teenager & in my 20’s, I had debilitating periods. Vomiting, horrendous cramps, bleeding for over 2 weeks. Someone told me to get on the Pill. So at age 14, my mom took me to the gyn who stuck me on that POS. I felt awful for over 10 years. Then I found the Atkins diet & low carb lifestyle. I no longer follow Atkins like I used to, but I eat only whole grains - no refined carbs. And I follow a clean-eating diet, almost totally organic.
Changing how I ate was the answer. Not that evil, horrible Pill with it’s awful side effects.
Why would they need contraceptive medications? Haven’t they taken a vow of chastity?
I guess they could take it — if they want breast cancer.
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*Source: Stanford University study.
women often need to be put on the pill for non contraceptive purposes.
It’s not just nuns, but career women and women who have had their tubes tied and don’t need contraception...
Women who never have had a baby have more problems with endometriosis, for example.
And often you get heavy periods or severe pain or irregular periods that interfere with your ability to work.
Then there are those of us who took it to shrink ovarian cysts ...
The only nuns who I knew took the pill for it’s contraceptive protection was when I worked in Africa and we were in danger of being attacked by local “insurgents”...
after the stories of what happened to the nuns in the Congo, the bishop gave the younger nuns permission to use them “to regulate their cycle” if they desired (and if it gave them protection from rape induced pregnancy, that was beside the point)...
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