Women spend over 37 million dollars on birth control annually, making it one of the most prescribed drugs on the market. 10,540,000 women are currently on some type of orally ingested birth control. Although only a few side effects are harmful, there are some rare cases of death from birth control. 23 women in the United States died from the common birth control pill, Yaz or Yasmin, just in this past year. So how safe are women that take this?
There are many different types of birth control. The most common type of birth control is the combination pill. The combination stops ovulation due to the hormones that it produces, estrogen and progesterone. Although its main purpose is to prevent pregnancy, it has also been known to lower the amount of periods from one every month, to one every three months. Even though this type of birth control is relatively safe, anyone over 35 and is a regular smoker should avoid using this because the amount of estrogen could cause blood clots. “Taking oral contraceptives (OCs) can slash your risk for both endometrial and ovarian cancer by more than 70 percent after 12 years; even just one to five years may lower your risk by 40 percent. They work by reducing the number of times you ovulate in your lifetime: Ovulation may trigger cell changes in the ovaries that can lead to cancer” (Janis Graham)
The extended cycle pills are just like the combination pills but last longer. These pills are taken every day of the year but are very effective and lower the amount of periods drastically. With the extended cycle, you don’t have to take the pill at the exact same time every day. In the first three to six months, there may be random bleeding. Extended cycle pills raise your chances of getting breast cancer or cervical cancer.
The progestin-only pill is also very popular due to the fact that it’s safer than the combination. Although it is less effective, many women enjoy having significantly fewer side effects. “They're safer for smokers, diabetics, and heart disease patients, as well as those at risk for blood clots” (12 Types of Birth Control.) The only downside about this type of birth control is that you have to remember to take it the everyday at the same time or else they are rendered useless.
Like the combination pills, there is another type of progestin-only birth control. The progestin-only implant is a rod no bigger than a match stick that is highly effective for up to three years. The rod is inserted under the skin in the arm by a healthcare professional. Although it’s very effective, the cost usually turns people off to this method. The rod usually costs anywhere between $400 and $800.
The Depo-Provera is a shot that does what every other birth control method does. Depo-Provera releases hormones that alter the levels of progestin and estrogen. The benefits are the same as the others by preventing pregnancy and periods but there is a downside with this method. After one stops taking...