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has anyone been told the combi birth control pill is bad? causes cancer?

(12 Posts)
bumbleandbumble Wed 20-Feb-13 13:48:30

A friend has told me that older women should not take the pill with oestrogen. Her doctor has urged her to look at different methods, mainly the copper coil.

I have never had problems with the combi pill, but have been on it for over ten years...is it wise to be on it for another ten years?

Anyone else heard or found information regarding the 'healthiest' form of birth control?

bigbluebus Wed 20-Feb-13 17:08:35

I was switched from the combined pill to the progesterone only pill by my practice nurse a few years ago "because of my age". I had been on it for 20 years apart from when I had my 2 children.
There are risks involved with any pill but clearly there must be an increased risk on the combine pill as you get older.
My GP once told me that some women stay on the pill until they need to switch to HRT. I'm not quite at that stage yet!!!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 20-Feb-13 17:13:46

If I remember correctly it increases your risks of some cancers and decreases the risks of some others...

cravingcake Wed 20-Feb-13 17:30:48

Yes I was told that. I am early 30's and have been on both the combi and the mini pill over the years. I changed to a mini pill after a few breast lumps developed (over several years). All were investigated and all clear, just cysts and nothing sinister but was advised that there's less risk of these lumps and bumps (which sometimes can be cancerous but not often) forming if on the mini pill than the combi pill.

Please note this was only what my gp and practice nurse advised me a few years back and I have no medical knowledge to back this up in any way. My understanding is there is a slight increase but is only very slightly higher risk.

LowLevelWhinging Wed 20-Feb-13 17:34:40

yup, I was told there are increased risks for women over thirty, but tbh I thought it was more to do with the risk of blood clots.

here's the official nhs info: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Combined-contraceptive-pill/Pages/risks.aspx

Wolfiefan Wed 20-Feb-13 17:38:24

Does she smoke? That is a big factor.

Delatron Wed 20-Feb-13 18:38:32

The combined pill slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. This starts to drop once you stop taking it and is back to normal after 10 years. So someone with a family history of breast cancer may want to consider other contraception.

It decreases the risk of ovarian, womb and bowel cancer. So that is a positive thing.

Think it is the risk of blood clots more than breast cancer as to why older women are recommended to switch.

I have had breast cancer and I was asked how long I was on the pill for as it was a highly oestrogen sensitive tumour but was also asked about pregnancies etc. They said they needed to know how much oestrogen I had been exposed to.

In hindsight I do think there are 'healthier' forms of contraception, maybe the coil? Or the cap?

bumbleandbumble Thu 21-Feb-13 16:41:42

Why is mini pill better for older women then?

bumbleandbumble Thu 21-Feb-13 16:41:56

blood pressure only?

Delatron Thu 21-Feb-13 18:59:52

I think the likelihood of having vascular problems (blood clots mainy) increase as you get older. The omission of oestrogen from the mini-pill helps reduce risk in this area.

AmandaPayne Thu 21-Feb-13 19:04:41

There was an interesting slot on radio 4 on whether this was outdated advice and I think the implication was that they were going to say it was, but a screaming toddler meant I didn't get to listen. It's on iplayer. Inside Health on Tuesday 13th at 9pm

Forwardscatter Thu 21-Feb-13 19:06:50

There's a small increase in risk of breast cancer but it drops after coming off the pill. For ovarian cancer, the pill has a protective effect which lasts even after you stop taking it.
(Taken from Cancer Research UK site)

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