Gone are the days of your mom's birth control, where life-threatening side effects like breast and ovarian cancer were part of the doctor's warning. A necessary risk to protect oneself from the woes of motherhood.
But for the most part, the millennial generation has been pretty confident in the effectiveness and ease of modern birth control. Occasional side effects aside, most low-dose modern birth controls prescribed by Canadian doctors are way less harmful than the BC of the 60s. Right?
Well a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine just claims that that's not the case. The study focused on 1.8 million Danish women between the ages of 15 and 49 for more than 10 years. It found that out of every 100,000 women studied, 13 per year were diagnosed with breast cancer directly caused by their BC. And that's even with low-dose birth control.
The study also found some risks of BC that you might have already heard of; for instance, the longer you use BC, the higher your risk of developing women's cancers, like breast cancer.
Overall, current and recent use of hormonal BC was linked to a 20% increased risk of breast cancer. And if that number doesn't seem high to you, a woman's chances of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is already about 12%, meaning if you're taking BC too, your chances just increased to more than 1 in 4.
Freaking out yet? It gets worse. The study reported that women and girls who've been using the pill for about a year saw a 9% increase in relative risk, while those who've used the pill for more than a decade increased their chances by 38%.
Even more terrifying, is that these stats don't just apply to the BC pills. The study found that any form of hormonal contraception, including IUDs, would have similar negative results when it comes to cancer. But not all IUDs release hormones, so speak to your doctor and do your research if you're now considering alternatives to traditional BC.