Study Links Long-Term Oral Contraceptive Use to Increased Risk of Brain Tumors

Birth Control and Brain Tumors

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Study Links Long-Term Oral Contraceptive Use to Increased Risk of Brain Tumors

Long-term use of estrogen- or progestin-containing birth control pills may be tied to an increased risk of developing brain tumors.

According to new research, women who use certain birth control pills for a long period of time may face an increased risk of developing a type of brain tumor called glioma. In a study published this month in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers from Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark found a link between the use of hormonal oral contraceptives containing progestin, estrogen or both, and a nearly two-times increased risk of glioma brain tumors. If you used a birth control pill in the past, and you have since been diagnosed with a brain tumor or another serious medical condition, contact an experienced product liability attorney today for legal help.

Brain Tumors from Birth Control Pills

In the birth control pill study, the researchers examined data from the national administrative and health registries in Denmark, looking at data on women between the ages of 15 and 49 who were diagnosed with glioma from 2000 to 2009. They found that any of the women who had ever used oral contraceptives containing either estrogen, progestin or both, faced a 50% increased risk of glioma, and those who used the pill for five years or more faced a 90% increased risk. However, women who used birth control pills containing only progestin were 140% more likely to develop the brain tumors, and that risk was significantly higher if progestin-only oral contraceptives were all they had ever used.

Potential Side Effects of Yaz, Yasmin

This study comes after years of research linking birth control pills like Yaz and Yasmin to an increased risk of serious complications, like blood clots, heart attack, pulmonary embolism and stroke. Both Yaz and Yasmin are fourth-generation progestin and estrogen combination drugs that are designed to prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and causing changes in the lining of the uterus and cervix. The medications contain a newer type of synthetic progestin called drospirenone, which a growing body of research has shown may increase the level of potassium in the blood, possibly leading to a condition called hyperkalemia, which can cause cardiac arrest or kidney failure.

A Skilled Product Liability Lawyer Can Help

The researchers involved in this latest oral contraceptive study note that, while long-term use of birth control pills appears to nearly double a woman’s risk of developing brain tumors, the overall risk of glioma remains small, affecting approximately five in 100,000 women each year. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of Yaz, Yasmin or another oral contraceptive, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are committed to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by potentially dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, and can help put you in touch with a knowledgeable drug injury lawyer today.
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