Wednesday, February 07, 2007
3G contraceptives (part 2)
Thank you all for your comments and personal stories. To answer one of the more frequent questions, the nine drugs that Public Citizen is taking issue with (Full Story), and that Dr. Gupta listed this morning on CNN are as follows:

- Kariva (Duramed/Barr)

- Desogen (Organon)

- Mircette (Duramed/Barr)

- Velivet(Duramed)

- Apri-28 (Duramed/Barr)

- Ortho-Cept (Ortho-McNeil)

- Reclipsen (Watson)

- Cyclessa (Organon)

- Desogestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol (Duramed/Barr and Watson Pharmaceuticals)

It's important to remember though, that all types of birth control pills contain a risk and a written warning about increased risk of blood clots and those containing desogesterol have an additional warning that the risk for blood clots may be even greater.

In addition, the drug companies say their drugs are safe when taken as directed. Two manufacturers issued statements to CNN:


"The labeling that accompanies the company's oral contraceptive product provides all the necessary warnings and precautions for the appropriate use of the products."

-Statement from Barr Pharmaceuticals


"When used as labeled, Ortho-Cept is a safe and effective birth control choice."

-Statement from Ortho Women's Health & Urology
I am past menopause, so my comments are not as informed as they might be. But I am disturbed by the ads for products that claim to shorten or eliminate menstrual cycles. I understand that some youg women have very uncomfortable symptoms along with their menses, but the idea of scientifically eliminating a natural process worries me. Will the young women using these products have difficulty conceiving later? Will these products negatively affect their long-term health in other ways? Thank you.
Good article. Indeed, desogestrel inhibits ovulation which is most effective ingredient in the pills listed .
Lets step down to logic, every pills works differently on each body type. For some these pills may work and for some unfortunately they can cause severe health problems.
Yes, pills that contain desogestrel has severe risk of blood cloth. If you have any health problems i am sure everyone recommends here to stay away from these pills.
I am one of those people for whom desogestrel is the only drug that truly treats my symptoms (PCOS etc.). The birth control part is basically a side benefit for me. I know I could get a clot, but I'd rather have that (small) risk than deal with what I had to go through before I found it. Luckily I live in Canada where Nader's goons don't have much influence.
As one who has suffered DVTs (clots) associated with BCPs combined with genetic blood mutation, I truly believe that every woman should get genetically tested to see if they are predisposed to clotting before taking BCPs. Clotting almost killed me, but hopefully someone can be saved by getting tested. Next month is DVT Awareness Month, everyone needs to know the risks.
I am agreeing with Faye,Ventura CA. Why would a woman want to stop her menstrual cycle? I know that a lot of us have heavy periods along with the cramps, but eliminating your cycle? We are suppose to have a period. It's natural, and I believe stopping it all together is very unhealthy. Would that not make you sterile? It seems to me that you would not be able to conceive after getting off the B.C. I am 18 and I'm sure the women around my age are the ones wanting to get rid of it totally. I just don't think it's right.
I am another unfortunate woman who had a life-threatening blood clot because of the pill. I was in my 20s, and didn't smoke. I expressed my fears with the doc who prescribed me, and was told that women my age didn't get clots. In the emergency room when I knew I had a clot, the emergency doc told me, women in their 20s don't get clots. Wake up doctors! We do get clots from the pill and it happens daily.
I stopped my periods almost a year ago. Taking the pill continuously is no more harmful than taking it the traditional way. They've been doing it in Europe for years. Doctors here have always been cautious about the pill. That's why they're still mandating yearly pap exams when after decades there's no evidence it causes cancer.

Before I started this, I always had trouble maintaining my iron level. I was pale, cold, grumpy and had trouble concentrating. Red meat and leafy green vegetables didn't help. I had to take big horse pill supplements for pregnant women. I wish someone had told me about this years ago.
While it may seem that having periods than not having them is more natural, several studies have shown that having less periods per year could make more sense from historical perspective and can decrease risks of developing cancer. There could be several explanations, but one of them is that women do not have as many pregnancies as they used to in previous times, so they have more periods, which can increase the risks of developing certain cancers.
If I had even known there were hormonal options to stop my monthly periods, I would have done so when I was still a teenager. I'm 47 now.

I suffered from intermittent anemia (blood tests would show low iron and hemoglobin levels) through my 20's until my mid 40's, when my doctor put me on high doses of Depo-Provera.

I was losing about 250 cc of blood every 3 weeks. My health was at risk, and not even iron supplements and an iron-rich diet could compensate for the blood loss.

So bring on the blood clots, bring on the osteoporosis, bring on whatever other risks exist--they are all better than living shackled to a box of tampons and pads, better than not being able to walk a block without being short of breath, and better than spending one day every three weeks at home because I was bleeding so heavily that I had to stay near the bathroom.

Sometimes you just have to trade possible risks for certain misery.
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