Erika Suhl Essay Two Birth Control Pills Birth control pills are the

Erika Suhl
Essay Two
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are the most common form of contraception in the United States. As
of right now 28% of women look to the pill to prevent pregnancy while a smaller portion of
other women look to forms of birth control such as a condom, IUD and even vasectomies.
According to James Irvine of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention “Hormonal
contraceptives (the pill, the patch, and the vaginal ring) all contain a small amount of manmade estrogen and progestin hormones. These hormones work to inhibit the body's natural
cyclical hormones to prevent pregnancy. Pregnancy is prevented by a combination of factors.
The hormonal contraceptive usually stops the body from ovulating. Hormonal contraceptives
also change the cervical mucus to make it difficult for the sperm to find an egg. Hormonal
contraceptives can also prevent pregnancy by making the lining of the womb inhospitable for
implantation.” (Irvine, James. 2013) Having stated how the birth control works, controversial
issues still stands in regard to the safety of the pills for developing fetuses as well as if birth
control hormones are ending up in our water systems. I personally believe that birth control
pills are safe to take and should not be feared by females or anyone else in our society.
One major concern females face while debating whether to take birth control is whether
the pill can negatively affect a developing fetus and child when they grow older. I do not believe
that the pill has any negative effect on a fetus or child due to my research throughout this
topic. According to Jodi Morse, a doctor at East Stroudsburg University, “No medical evidence
shows that being on the birth control pill can be harmful to your unborn baby's development. A
wide variety of studies have been done on the effects of being on the birth control during
pregnancy. None of these studies have resulted in any medical evidence which shows that
being on the pill causes fetal defects, miscarriage or any other adverse effects” (Morse, Jodi.
Although research shows that no negative impacts have affected the fetus or newborn
child it is said that if a woman does in fact become pregnant it is not ideal for her to stay on the
pill. In prior observation from researchers at the Mayo Clinic, women who have continued
taking the pill during the time of contraception have seen low birth weight in their newborn
and even preterm delivery but no long term negative effects have been reported or
documented. (2011). Now that is not to say that birth control necessarily effects a fetus or
newborn long term because low birth rate and premature labor are common risk factors in any
Another controversial concern that has raised awareness in our society is whether the
hormones from birth control are ending up in our water systems. In some cases individuals
believe that the hormones that enter a woman’s body from birth control use are being passed
through a female’s urine and into public water systems. In August of 2011 this myth was put to
rest with the help of the literature review published by Anthony Booker of the Environmental
Science and Technology. According to the Booker, he stated “Birth control pills contribute a
negligible amount of synthetic estrogen to waterways and is not the sole or primary source of
endocrine-disrupting chemicals in water.” (Environmental Science and Technology, 2011). I
personally cannot see how such small amount of synthetic estrogen can make a significant
difference in our water system, especially with all the chlorine and other chemicals that are
implemented into our water systems to kill foreign chemicals.
On the contrary, some researcher still believe that this belief is still valid and negatively
affecting our water. For example, this dilemma is very significant in England right now due to
their beliefs that the synthetic hormone EE2 is detrimental to animals. According to Wynne
Parry a writer for Live Science Publications, he stated that “Animals are exquisitely sensitive to
it. This hormone DE masculinizes male animals and creates a condition called intersex that
interferes with an animal’s ability to reproduce. Intersex males often produce eggs in their
testes.” (Parry, Wynne. 2012).
This study does raise some awareness being that if these hormones negatively affect
animals, there is a larger possibility that they can affect humans the same way. Although the
research has not extended to humans just yet, I can see new information regarding human risk
be published in the near future. I think that with research stating such serious information I can
in fact understand the fear of this problem. Although I personally do not agree with this notion
that birth control drastically affects nature or humans negatively, I can agree that if it is
scientifically proven to harm any mammal, action to change this problem should be taken
In conclusion, I believe that Birth Control Pills are the most effective way to
prevent pregnancy. Right now in the United States, 13 million females are using the pill and if
taken properly and consistently it not only prevents unwanted pregnancies but it allows for
sexually active men and women to lead productive lives with no unexpected life changing
situations. Not only does birth control protect against unwanted pregnancies, it helps young
women regulate their menstrual cycle and it also helps with deterring negative side effects of
periods such as painful menstrual cramps. There are various benefits to birth control then most
people know of. Also in regards to the impact of fetuses and children, studies show that birth
control is completely safe for a woman to take even if she plans for a child in the near future. As
for the water controversy, reliable researchers have put that issue to rest and have stated that
the small amounts of estrogen that is being passed into the water systems will not make a
negative impact on anyone.
All in all, as a user of birth control myself; I believe that this contraceptive pill is
the most effective mechanism for women to use. We all have a right to decide whether we
want children now or in the future and no researched study should deter us from doing so.
Birth control has been around since 1960 and since then millions of women have had children,
if there was a significant problem in the development of fetuses as well children, the birth
control pill would have been recalled many years ago. No scientific evidence has proven that
the pill is unsafe for a female or her developing child and that is why I am in full support of this
contraceptive route.
1. Booker, Anthony. “Birth Control Hormones in the Waterways”. Environmental Science and
Technology, 2011.
2. Irvine, James. “Birth Control”. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013
3. Morse, Jodi. “Birth Control and Developing Fetuses”. East Stroudsburg University, 2012.
4. Parry, Wynne. “Estrogen and the Negative Effects on Wildlife”. Live Science Publications,
5. “Pregnancy Week by Week”. Mayo Clinic, 2011.