I am a lady who lives in a place.
This is seriously mind-blowing. Also, it reminds me of a dick pic a friend of mine received - the guy was holding a $20 bill next to it. NOT HOT. JUST WEIRD.
@Springtime for Voldemort I just figured it was the latest article of the sort to get that reaction, so made for a convenient reference point in writing this article.
@Springtime for Voldemort I am glad you agree with the message. I disagree with your assessment that she was defending the article for most of the piece. I saw only 2 or 3 sentences to that effect.
@FresckaGrans00 Now *that* is some second-shift work.
Great interview! I love Danielle Henderson. She's one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter and has opened my eyes to a lot of the issues around intersectionality and feminism. Also, you guys should listen to her interview on How Was Your Week, it's super fun and her grandma sounds hilarious.
@apples and oranges This is a good place to read about those signs: http://www.stoptheclot.org/learn_more/blood_clot_symptoms__dvt.htm
For me, I started out feeling like I had a pulled muscle near my hip. Then one leg turned purple and was noticeably bigger around than the other leg. It hurt to put weight on the leg or wiggle my toes. If you have any of these signs and you're on the pill, I'd recommend at least calling your doctor. If it does turn out to be a blood clot, the earlier they find it, the less likely it is to get to your lungs or cause other complications.
I really would like more information before freaking out. What were the actual fractions of women who had blood clots on the Nuvaring vs. on other pills? 56% sounds like a huge increase, but are we talking about, like, 1 vs 1.56 in 10,000 women, or in 10 women, or what? And is the risk with Nuvaring significantly different than the risk with other hormonal birth control?
I have to be on hormonal BC because if I don't suppress ovulation, I get huge ovarian cysts. (Seriously, I was off the pill for less than two months last summer, and landed in the hospital with a cyst big enough to make my ovary twist around and cut off its own blood supply. It was not fun.) I've already accepted the slight increase in blood clot risk that happens with any birth control pill, because when compared to the near-certainty of giant ovarian cysts without it, I know which I pick. So I wonder -- is the Nuvaring really more dangerous than the other pills?
Honestly, the Vanity Fair article also pings my "selling fear" senses a little bit, so I'm inclined to be a little skeptical. I know manufacturers aren't always honest, but neither are lawyers, you know? I'd like more of a look at what actual science there is.
@Roxanne Rholes I will continue to use lesbianism as my birth control.
I wanted to jump in real quick as a doctor (not a particular expert in this issue, but it is an area of interest) and say that 1) I totally agree with the above posters that the way the FDA and drug companies go about conducting research is totally convoluted/non-transparent/often motivated by perverse incentives and 2) that if you personally have an increased risk of blood clots (smoker, known hereditary risk, obesity, older age) or if you have had side effects from a method than absolutely consider switching to non-hormonal methods, but 3) (and I think most importantly) the risk of blood clot, and health risk in general, of hormonal contraception in healthy women is minuscule, and the risks associated with pregnancy (including a MUCH higher risk of blood clots than any of the contraception methods) are very real and can be serious (worth it if you want a baby, but very real nonetheless). So yes, if your doctor doesn't have any discussion with you about what your contraception options are and the risks involved, that is unfortunate and you should bring it up. But also, contraception is awesome, and the risks are almost universally pretty low. And the Mirena is extra super low risk when it comes to hormonal side effects, so please don't abandon it because of articles like this.
So, a friend of mine does this kind of research for the FDA, and when I saw this I emailed him and said, basically, "what the hell are you people doing over there?" and his reply was, also basically, "this piece exemplifies that most medical writers have no idea what they’re talking about and neither do many of the researchers conducting the studies." Apparently the studies are incredibly biased and complicated - he said he gets contacted by a news source about articles like this at least once a month, and when he gives them balanced quotes, they never print them.
I will continue using condoms and tracking my cycle on a lunar calendar and drinking nettle tea. Because drugs are terrifying, and so is the industry around them.