Science at its Worst:
It is disheartening and shocking to me that the medical community is so cavalier about the effect of hormonal birth control on women’s lives.
I stumbled across an abstract of a study(1) which reviewed 13 other studies to discuss two of the hormonal contraception types: those with drospirenone (Yaz, Yasmine, Beyaz, etc.) and those with Norelgestromin (the Ortho-Evra Patch). These imminent researchers came to the conclusion that “only an additional 5–10 per 10,000 users per year would be affected” with these products. They went on to say, “The important message for patients, clinicians, and policy makers is that the benefits of all contraceptive methods markedly outweigh their risks, primarily because they prevent pregnancy, an inherently hazardous condition. Product labels for hormonal contraceptives should emphasize their substantial health benefits and established safety.”
I decided to do some calculations as I have data from IMS of the total prescriptions issued for 2014 for these drugs and this is what I found:
There were a total of 7,804,806 prescriptions issued for birth control containing drospirenone. I divided this number by 10,000 and came up with the number 780.48, which is the number of units of 10,000 women for these total prescriptions. Multiplying this number by 5 and 10 to count the additional number of VTEs cited in this study means that between 3,902 and 7,804 women will most likely experience a VTE (Venous Thrombotic Event) from just drospirenone containing CHCs alone.
There were 1,273,913 prescriptions issued in 2014 for norelgestromin containing Ortho-Evra Patch. Again, dividing the total 2014 prescriptions by 10,000 would 127.39 units of 10,000 women. 5 or 10 MORE VTEs for this number of women is equal to 636.95 and 1273.91 VTE events.
The number of additional VTEs for these two types of CHCs alone is between 4,538 and 8,777. Up to one fourth of these women will experience death and the remainder will likely have long-term health affects.(2)
Do these esteemed doctors and researchers have any clue as to the total number of women affected? Does the medical community?
The number of women affected by these two types of hormonal birth control alone is equal to between 10 and 20 Boeing 747s crashing per year.(3) If between 10 and 20 Boeing 747s crashed in one year, would anyone notice? You bet they would!
The researchers and the medical community are so dismissive of women’s lives that they don’t mind if an additional 5 to 10 women per 10,000 are harmed or killed from these two types of hormonal birth control alone. Instead they believe that women are better off on these more dangerous CHCs than being pregnant, why not tell women about the contraception that is actually safer and less dangerous? These women are using a CHC to avoid getting pregnant. Why don’t these esteemed researchers put that into their perspective?
1 Combined Hormonal Contraceptives and Venous Thromboembolism: Putting the Risks Into Perspective
Raymond, Elizabeth G. MD, MPH; Burke, Anne E. MD, MPH; Espey, Eve MD, MPH
Last accessed 2/20/2015 http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2012/05000/Combined_Hormonal_Contraceptives_and_Venous.22.aspx
2 Data & Statistics from CDC http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/data.html
3 The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout, 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout, or 660 passengers in a high density one-class configuration. source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747
last accessed 2/20/2015