A research conducted by Brittany M. Charlton revealed that oral contraceptives don’t influence the rate of birth defects. The finding of the study comes as a surprise, because for a very long time the oral contraceptives were linked to babies born with defects.
Many women use oral contraceptives because they are easy to administer and they have a 99% success. 10% of the women who use them become pregnant in the first year, mostly because they do not administer them as they are told. When women want to get pregnant, they usually give up the contraceptives and succeed to get pregnant in just a few months.
According to Dr. Charlton, these women could expose their baby to sex hormones that are exogenous. In order to see if oral contraceptives used during the pregnancy or just a few months before, could endanger the health of the baby, a study was conducted by Dr. Charlton in Denmark. Every major birth defect was analyzed separately, in order to make the results as accurate as possible. The results of the study showed that there was no connection between the contraceptives and the birth defects. This is good news for women all around the world, and it shows that if birth defects do occur then they are caused by something different.
The study used data from approximately one million births, but the babies born with defects were rare. Dr. Charlton said that not enough birth defects were analyzed and that future studies will need to use an even larger group, in order to make the study more precise.
A lot of studies have been done in the past to see the connection between birth defects and this method of contraception, and they concluded that they were linked. Dr. Charlton said that it was because they not using the best method. They were going from the baby born with a defect back to its possible origin. This study began with the period before the pregnancy, and the birth control was known precisely.
Approximately 176,000 of the women involved in the study, or a fifth, never even used this contraceptive method. Two thirds of the women stopped taking it, three months before they got pregnant and about 10,000 women used it even after getting pregnant. For every category, the rate of birth defects was the same, with 25 in 1,000 births. The Danish health records used for the study were from 1997 to 2011, and proved that oral contraceptives don’t influence the rate of birth defects.
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