"If someone has preexisting factors that put her a higher chance of developing breast cancer, I might consider other non-hormonal options for her," she says.
Then there are the side effects that any old Pill commercial proffers: weight gain, changes in mood, and nausea. Dr. Eden Fromberg, a doctor of osteopathy who practices holistic gynecology and integrated fertility in NYC, also warns that hormones can cause extreme behaviors, and exacerbate depression and high blood pressure.
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Of course, women suffering menstrual migraines or heavy cramping, who benefit from period suppression, are likely willing to take the Pill's adverse side effects in exchange for relief.
Dr. Fromberg says while women seek her out for her holistic, non-hormonal approach to medicine, she's seen an increase in the number of young women using IUDs and other non-hormonal birth control options. Both she and Dr. Blumberg and attest to a slow but growing population of women using IUDs, a T-shaped device sold either with or without estrogen that a doctor inserts into the uterus and that stays in for anywhere from 5 to 10 years. Popular in Europe, the device earned a bad rep in the US in the 70s when an earlier form of IUD, the Dalkon Shield, lived up to it's frightening name and resulted in thousands of women suffering from pelvic inflammatory disorder and at least 17 deaths. The brand was pulled from the market, but the device has been slow to rebound.
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Rumor 4: Polluting Our Water
As the green movement extends deeper into the crevices of our daily lives, birth control is yet another area where the environmental consequences are being considered. Some research is fingering water and soil pollutants as culprits in the accelerated body weight and earlier menarche in young girls. A March 2008 Associated Press story revealed that the drinking water of 41 million Americans is now contaminated with measurable yet trace amounts of pharmaceuticals, including the synthetic hormones from birth control pills.