Loading
Research finds link between oral contraception, multiple sclerosis
Credit: Jess Hamilton (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
Credit: Jess Hamilton (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- In a new study, researchers analyzed the data found in women's health records over four years, discovering a connection between the use of oral contraception and the contraction of multiple sclerosis.

“It’s not clear what role (hormones) play in the development of the disease, but it’s clear that two to three times more women than men have MS,” Dr. Kerstin Hellwig stated in comments on FoxNews.com.

Dr. Hellwig is the study author of the research team that conducted the analysis, which gathered membership data from Kaiser Permanente Southern California and studied the health records of 305 women aged 14 to 48 who were diagnosed with MS or its precursor, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), between 2008 and 2011.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. Although its causes are unclear, experts believe that genetics, environmental hazards and smoking are all possible factors in the condition, which Hellwig stated normally develops between the ages of 20 and 40.

Looking at the frequency of the women's use of birth control prior to their initial symptoms of MS, researchers found a 30 percent increase in the risk of developing the disease among women who had used oral contraceptives for at least three months, compared with a control group of 3,050 women who did not have MS.

According to Hellwig, researchers discovered in the study that 29.2 percent of women with MS had used oral contraceptives prior to their diagnoses, while only 23 percent of women in the healthy control group had used the drug, showing an increased risk of contraction with a higher use of the pill.

For women who were not currently taking oral contraceptives, but had at some point in the three years before their diagnosis, the research team also found that there was a slightly higher risk of developing the disease.

Hellwig noted that although her team only studied the data of women who had used oral contraception for at least three months rather than a lifetime exposure, she expects to see an increased risk of contracting MS with a longer usage in their final analysis.

Most of the women in their study, she observed, used the common combination of estrogen and progestin, highlighting how the group's final analysis will be presented at the upcoming American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting.

Warning that this study was only a preliminary analysis, Hellwig explained that although the research points to an association between MS and birth control, they cannot firmly establish a cause.

“We say the use of birth control might explain a little bit of the increasing incidence (of MS) among women, but only to a small amount,” she said, “(We) don’t intend to mean that young women should avoid birth control to avoid MS.”

Tags: Contraception, Birth control harmful effects, Multiple Sclerosis

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
20

Liturgical Calendar

October 20, 2014

Monday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:13-21

Gospel
Date
10/20/14
10/19/14
10/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 2: 1-10
Gospel:: Lk 12: 13-21

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/20/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:13-21

Homily
Date
10/20/14
10/19/14
10/18/14