The Most Dangerous Form of Birth Control on the Market Today
Almost 50 percent of teens are sexually active, and more than 80 percent of these teens are using some sort of birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies or protect against STDs. Unfortunately, a new report shows that one form of birth control that is meant to make having sex safer for users is actually causing injury and death.
Johnson & Johnson released Ortho Evra, commonly known as the birth control patch, in 2002, and it has been wildly successful ever since. Time magazine named it one the best inventions of the year, and since then, doctors have written almost 40 million prescriptions for this method of birth control.
However, a new report shows that there are some serious downsides to this product. Patient reports have revealed that users are 12 times more likely to suffer a stroke while taking this product and 18 times more likely to develop a blood clot, compared to tradition birth control pills.
The birth control patch delivers a continuous and high level of estrogen to the user for a week straight. Some experts suspect this elevated level of the hormone is what is causing the problem.
“With the patch… there’s no relief of the body of the woman from getting estrogen,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, a Medical Director for Public Citizen. A woman’s body needs a break from this heavy stream of hormones in order to function properly.
What is even worse about this situation is that Johnson & Johnson might have had knowledge that the patch would have negative consequences for users, but decided to launch the product anyway.
“The company knew about much of [the dangerous side-effects], if not all of it,” said Dr. Wolfe. “They thought correctly that it wouldn’t sell as well if you told people how dangerous it was [and launched the product anyway].”
Currently, more than 2,400 women have claimed they suffered an injury or illness as a result of using Ortho Evra. There have been lawsuits filed for more than two dozen women who have died from blood clots caused by the medicine.
“It’s outrageous, it’s horrifying,” said Leslie Niedner, the mother of one of the women who has died due to complications caused by Ortho Evra. “How many other young women have to die from using this product before it’s off the market?”
It is not yet known if or when the product will be removed from the market. However, if you are using this product, I encourage you to switch birth control methods, at least until more research has been done on Ortho Evra. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have suffered.