Contraceptive pills carry no risk of birth defects
(Mirror Daily, United States) – You may be able to hear the sighs of relief, as researchers announced there’s no link between birth control pills and birth defects, no matter when used. It has been a long-debated issue, with studies coming out about potential side-effects of using contraceptives. Fewer claimed they will prompt birth defects, but they were worryingly out there.
Researchers from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health confirmed that there is no association between health problems with newborns due to the mother’s use of birth control pills. It’s excellent news for the millions of women around the world who resort to them as an option. In the United States, around 16% of women between 15 and 44 years old use contraceptive pills.
They present with a major advantage as they are easy to take, and have a 99% accuracy when used properly. Most of the problems that appear in 9% of the women are due to conflicting medication, improper dosages, or illnesses. Thus, they have become more popular throughout the years. However, the method has seen a few hitches due to certain studies.
According to some researchers, they may cause heart problems, limb defects, urinary tract issues, or gastroschisis.
However, a team of experts conducted the largest study of its kind to date. They analyzed records of almost 900,000 births in Denmark, separating the mothers in four groups. The first group never used contraceptive pills (23%), the second used them until 3 months before pregnancy (68%), the third within the 3 months before pregnancy (8%), and the fourth who used them while pregnant (1%).
Their approach differed in order to provide unbiased results. They examined records of women who were prescribed the pills. This was instead of asking mothers with children who presented with birth defects on their use of birth control pills. Researchers believed the problems might’ve skewed their perception and memory. So, they worked backwards. Instead of searching for the cause, they searched for the result.
For better accuracy, the researchers took into account other factors that might’ve had a negative impact on the health of the newborn child. This included smoking habits, history of children with birth defects, prescription drug use, income, education, and several others. The end result showed the same stats no matter in which group they belonged to.
Among the almost 900,000 births, the rate was still of 2.5% chance of the children to have birth defects. Across the board, no matter the habit with contraceptive pills, there were 25 babies out of 1,000 who were unfortunately born with significant health issues. Each group featured the same percentage, same risk, and same rate, no matter their use of birth control pills.
According to lead author of the study, Brittany Charlton, they have indeed confirmed that there is no association between contraceptive pills and birth defects.
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