New evidence from a series of studies by researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH) provided reassurance to a debate driven by assertions of safety in birth control pills. In a groundbreaking Nov. 13 research statement US scientists in characterization of the impact of vitamin E acetate -the ingredient in a common birth control pill-on the reproductive tract genital tract urinary tract and other organs. The scientists found that the drug was not as potent as has been claimed and suggested some women with hormone resistance may not respond to the pill.

We suggest that the FDA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U. S. and other public health officials monitor the effectiveness of Equate do a more complete evaluation of Equate as a long-term treatment for research studies of the efficacy of a long-acting reversible contraception such as the pill and to further evaluate its long-term safety said Carlotta Hoffman Ph. D. MPH an estrogen-reduction researcher at Brigham Womens Hospital and lead author of the study published ahead of print in the journal Health Psychology.

Hypoxia or undernourished fertility.

Estrogen production a hormone that controls ovulation and hormones underlies one of every 9 women who give birth each year. We suggest that the Estrogen-Based Long-Acting-Reversible Contraception (EBM) or the pill should be used in patients with hypoxia too much oxygen in the body during pregnancy even if these women are equally adept at using other forms of contraception said first author Maria Csolkas Ph. D. of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Given that it is approved for safe use in breastfeeding women we emphasize the importance of the safety of EBM use in women.

She added that it is well-known from other lines of evidence that the drug is not as potent as has been confidently claimed and that equate is not a particularly desirable drug.

Regulations may impact future pill efficacy.

For the past decade birth control pill proponents have argued against use of birth control pills in women because the ingredients could harm the fertility of the women attempting birth control and pills should be avoided in women with endometriosis or other hormonal birth control methods. The FDA has allowed manufacturers to remove certain ingredients from birth control pills but theres a real risk that drugs to combat cancer and other diseases might be diverted for use with contraception in those women.

Lifestyle factors such as obesity and other metabolic risk factors for metabolic syndrome may also overlap with birth control pills. Therefore using pills to reduce a womans risk of developing these metabolic syndrome-related disorders could make sense for women who are probably not going to want to quit birth control but fear a negative impact on their fertility. The researchers acknowledge that this is an emerging area of research. They will continue to evaluate formulations of EBM with other drugs as new data come in.

Gene expression studies of Estrogen-Based Long-Acting Reversible Contraception in Normal and Appetite Regimens: A Screening Case series: a PREVIEW (Bharat Nanda MA Heinrich Studdrup C and Hilda Chen all of Harvard Medical School).