Scary New Side Effect May Make Many Women Rethink the Birth Control Pill

birth control pillsMost women I know are pretty grateful that modern medicine has afforded us the miracle of birth control, because it affords us a level of control over our bodies and destinies that our grandmothers and previous generations of women didn't have. But unfortunately, hormonal birth control comes with certain risks, and we're learning more of 'em every day! Get this -- now researchers are saying that birth control pills could make you go blind!

Okay, not directly. A new study shows that women who have used birth control pills for more than three years are twice as likely to have glaucoma -- a leading cause of blindness. Faaaantastic!


The researchers looked at data from over 3,000 women 40 years old and older -- and even took into consideration other risk factors for glaucoma. Nonetheless, they say that there's no reason to freak out and this doesn't mean there's a direct link between birth control pills and the eye disease. But women who have been on the pill long-term and have a family history of glaucoma and/or are of older age may want to consider getting screened for it earlier.

This is a reminder for women consider all of our options. Considering how birth control pills have been linked to heightened risk of breast cancer, blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, gallstones, chronically lowered sex drive, etc., doctors need to come clean about all the risks before prescribing pills like candy, and we need to be taking personal responsibility to investigate.

We need to research what's best for us personally and what pros and cons we're comfortable with. A pill that works like a charm for one woman may be a complete disaster for another. And for some of us, hormonal birth control is an altogether no-no -- which is fine, because there's always Paragard (the copper-T IUD) and other forms of nonhormonal birth control -- which, in light of recent findings, are looking more and more attractive!

How do side effects and risks weigh into the form of birth control you use?

Image via nateOne/Flickr

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