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How many of us took Birth Control Pills?



  • snowcat0605
    snowcat0605 Member Posts: 3
    edited December 2022

    I’m a pharmacist. Yes, birth control does increase your risk of breast cancer, however, the risk is low. I know that doesn’t help anyone here. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The pill is first line treatment. That said, your dr should have told yo

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,428
    edited December 2022

    I took what was called Ortho/Novum back circa 1970 when I was about 17 or 18. A local neighborhood GP prescribed it for me on the basis that it would make my menstrual cramps much less severe and painful. I took some big dose they had for about 2-3years and during that time (age 19), I developed what I was told was a benign fibroadenoma, after it was removed. When I was about 21 I went to a university health center for students for a check up and when they heard I was taking the high dose of Ortho Novum, they just about died, asked me who on earth had ever prescribed it, and said no one should take that much, and they switched me to a lower dose. I can't remember the dosages they had, but it was something like Ortho Novum 40/80 and Ortho Novum 10/30. It was something about the different levels of estrogen and progestogen in the pill. I took that until I had had two children and was about 32 years old and I decided that I just hated the side effects (moodiness, etc) and just never wanted to take anything that messed with hormones again.

    Fast forward to 2018 when I was 66 and learned that I had developed highly ER/PR+, HER-, Stage 3, no node IDC at the exact same spot where the original "benign fibroadenoma" was found at age 19. I had wondered back when I was 19 if the birth control hadn't caused that problem, and then it all resurfaced for me when the large (5.5 cm) cancerous tumor was found in that same spot. The radiologist noted that he could still see the old lumpectomy location from when I was 19 and that the cancerous mass was in the exact same spot. I will never not think that birth control had a whole lot to do with my getting this cancer - maybe it had 100% to do with it. And now, as I turn 70 this month, I am stuck taking Letrozole - another drug that messes with your hormones. Something seems very wrong about that to me also, and always will, but because they keep saying it is the "thing to do", I try to comply. It will be 3 years of Letrozole in January, and I am a "hormonal mess" again.

  • mumuriri
    mumuriri Member Posts: 26
    edited December 2022

    I stopped having my period for several months in 2016 at the age of 40. I consulted an OB Gyn I had been referred to, who said I might have PCOS -- or at least polycystic ovaries because of how frequently I was getting ovarian cysts, and prescribed Lo Loestrin FE (1mg norethindrone and 10 micrograms ethinyl estradiol) to "prevent the risk of uterine cancer". She did not run any tests or blood work to see if maybe I was going into early menopause or peri menopause.

    My period stayed sporadic and 2 years later stopped entirely, but every doctor I asked said it was a side effect of being on high progestin/low estrogen pills.

    I got diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. No family history, not just immediate but full extended. No genes. When I spoke to my current Ob Gyn (found her after diagnosis), she had to do a polypectomy (sp) to test a polyp in case I needed to go on tamoxifen. She said afterwards that the tissue in my uterus looked very menopausal. My MO tested my hormone levels and confirmed this (3.5 months after ending the pill right at diagnosis).

    I am convinced this pill contributed to my developing breast cancer, especially since I was apparently taking it after I had hit early menopause. Added to this from the article the mods linked earlier:

    "triphasic birth control pills with an average dose of 0.75 mg of norethindrone (a type of progestin) more than tripled the risk of breast cancer"

    Obviously it's too late to do anything now, but I feel like I fell through the cracks of the medical system in trusting the Ob Gyn to know what she was doing (instead of not bothering to run any tests to see why my periods had stopped and just giving me a pill to take indefinitely) or my PCPs in not checking why my period still hadn't become regular. I have a hard time trusting anything doctors say at face value now.