A study out of Denmark published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed a link between the use of hormonal contraception (“the Pill”) and a type of brain tumor called glioma. The study found that women who have taken birth control pills at any point had a 50 percent higher chance of developing a tumor in their lifetime.
Brittany Maynard, who became known last year for her advocacy for assisted suicide and eventual death, was stricken with a tumor in the glioma family.
When it comes to the double duty of preventing both pregnancy and HIV, condoms are the best option, especially in the developing world where treatment for the infectious disease is harder to access. But the same isn’t true of other contraceptive methods, according to the latest study in Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Lauren Ralph, an epidemiologist at University of California San Francisco, and her colleagues conducted a review of all of the available studies on hormonal contraceptive methods—including injections of Depo Provera and Net-En that work to prevent pregnancy for about 12 weeks, as well as the pill. Among 12 studies involving nearly 40,000 women in sub-Saharan Africa, those using Depo showed a 40% higher risk of getting HIV than those using other methods or no contraception at all.