Are Birth Control Pills Killing Men?


Researchers have found that countries that have the highest rate of contraceptive pill use also have the highest prostate cancer mortality rate. Everyone freak out! Lady whore pills are killing the men!

According to research to be published by the British Medical Journal, a type of artificial estrogen called may be to blame for the uptick in prostate cancer deaths. Women who take birth control pills excrete the hormone in their urine, which then enters the water supply, eventually watering the garden outside of Newt Gingrich’s house, which is both gross and awesome when you think about it. Humans then consume the artificial hormone in the water supply, increasing the likelihood that the consumer of ethinyloestradiol, should he have a prostate, will come down with the disease. Or so says the theory.

Scientists behind the findings have been careful to point out that these are only preliminary and further study is warranted. Other research into the birth control- prostate cancer connection has been inconclusive, and some has even found no link between artificial hormones in the water supply and the debilitating disease. A representative of the American Cancer society said,

…results of ‘ecological’ analyses like this one, that compare countries, rather than individual people, must be interpreted cautiously. Many lifestyle and medical care factors vary between countries, therefore differences in cancer rates between countries can be difficult to ascribe to particular factors.

No matter. This will not stop the Ladies Ruin Everything brigade from using this as reason enough to discourage use of hormonal contraception.

There’s also the question of whether the hormone in birth control pills actually causes prostate cancer or if countries with high rates of oral contraceptive use have higher life expectancy and therefore more likelihood that men would not be killed by something besides prostate cancer first. Hormonal contraceptive use is much more widespread in regions the UN classifies as “highly developed.” Highly developed countries tend to have longer life expectancy than less developed countries. According to UN figures, in 2009, only 0.8% of Somalian women had last used oral contraceptives currently or most recently. A Somalian baby boy born this year can expect to live an average of 46.9 years. Among the top 10 causes of death in the country are diarrhea, war, and upper respiratory infection. The average age that an American man is diagnosed with prostate cancer is over 70. Life expectancy for an American man currently sits at 75.6. Use of the Pill is most widespread in Western Europe; in France, for example, more than 43% of women are currently using or last used oral contraceptives, and the life expectancy of men there is 77. If anything, it seems like there’s a casual relationship between countries that boast widespread contraceptive pill use and increased life expectancy and health.

This isn’t to say that if birth control pills do, in fact, cause prostate cancer that they should be modified to promote the health of as many people as possible; rather, that headlines that imply a strong connection between contraception and cancer should be read with a grain of salt.

Prostate Cancer May Be Linked to Birth Control Pills in the Water Supply [Fox]

Image via Melissa King/Shutterstock

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