Although this can be a sensitive topic to some, and I know there are people who don't feel comfortable addressing it; it needs to be discussed. This topic is birth control. Even though I know there are many men reading this blog, I feel as if this subject should be addressed. I have recently dealt with various issues concerning different types of birth controls. Each brand and method has their own risks, just as any other type of drug or medicine. The problem with birth control is that many girls are too afraid to ask questions. Anyone taking a prescription needs to be aware of the side effects and this is no exception.
While being home over vacation, I recently met with my doctor to discuss trying new forms of birth control. Being an extremely busy student, I want a form of birth control that I don’t have to worry about remembering to take every day. One of her first suggestions was Depo Provera, a shot that women receive once every twelve weeks. My first concerns were the side effects, in which she told me that about 60% of women do notice sufficient weight gain. My reaction, “no thank you!” But besides being vain, I also opted out on this form of birth control for other reasons; it just was not right for me.
As I was surfing Science Daily, I ran across the article “Hormone in Birth Control Shot Linked to Memory Loss.” Naturally, I became intrigued and wanted to know more. The Depo Provera shot contains an active hormone called medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), which is not found in other forms of birth control such as the pill. This hormone already has a history of effecting bone density, but now it appears that it does indeed effect memory loss as well. An experiment performed last year with different groups of rats showed that at any point in their lifetime were cognitively impaired, compared to rats who had not received the hormone. MPA is also used for post-menopausal women, so that is why some women don’t start taking it until later in life. Even worse, it was also confirmed that when MPA was no longer in the subject’s system even months later, it still was showing effects on the brain.
This article was written November 1, 2011. Although it is a few months old, this is a very up and coming discovery in women’s health. I write to not only the ladies, but to you gentlemen too! Be aware of what you are putting in your body. Granted, no one knew until recently that Depo Provera had these memory loss effects. But that does not change the fact that it is still important to ask questions! Never just assume that because your doctor recommends it, that the drug is perfect for you. I have experienced health issues due to taking wrong forms of medication, and I listened to my body and made the change. Worst comes to worst, you’re embarrassed and blush for a few minutes during your doctors appointment. In the long term, those few minutes could save you years on your brain and body.
Taylor Pirog (2)