On Friday, March 9, 2012, the Dr. Oz show talked about how birth control pills provide a 50% reduction in ovarian and colorectal cancer if used for more than 5 years. He had two gynecologists on his program who claimed that BC pills taken for a total of 5 years over a woman’s lifetime will confer these benefits. I have to admit that I am somewhat skeptical of these claims for a number of reasons.

The 1st has to do with credibility. During the introduction of these women it was stated that at least one of them was a paid consultant for a drug company or companies that manufactures BC pills. Make no mistake, these kind of claims can translate into billions of dollars in added profits to those drug companies manufacturing these products.

In addition, certain statements made by these women I felt did not give on a true picture. For example, they denied that these pills cause weight gain. Considering that these pills contain 2 synthetic hormones, namely estrogen and progestin, that are lipogenic – i.e. fat- creating, tends to go against their claim. In addition, these pills prevent ovulation, which means natural progesterone is not being produced. This is the hormone that has a significant influence on controlling insulin – the number one hormone that creates fat.

Also, the claim was made that BC pills do not reduce a woman’s libido (interest in sex). Women need two hormones to have a good libido – one is testosterone, and the other is progesterone which is no longer being produced. In most cases this has to affect libido. One can imagine that it is difficult to get a woman to buy a product that creates fat and lowers their libido.  Could this be the reason they deny these side effects?

It seems that women have been abused by the pharmaceutical industry for many years. In 2001, the Women’s Health Initiative raised the specter of the dangers of Premarin with regard to the causation of breast cancer. In the 1960s, when Premarin was 1st introduced, it quickly became the number one selling drug in the world. After 10 years they noted that somewhere between 200,000 and 2 million women developed uterine cancer. Instead of removing it from the market, they added Provera to it, creating Prempro. This combination did help to protect women from uterine cancer, but it quadrupled their chances of getting breast cancer.

Estrogen is known to cause 5 different cancers in women – breast, uterine, ovarian, cervical, and colon. Interestingly, natural bio-identical progesterone can most likely prevent every one of these cancers providing a 100% reduction rather than the 50% reduction they are claiming by using birth control pills. Even this 50% benefit I feel is questionable.

I suspect that BC pills are one of the reasons that women wind up with fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic disease of the breast, ovarian cysts, gallbladder disease, migraine headaches, and asthma. All these conditions can be caused by estrogen when there is not enough progesterone to protect them. Please understand, the progestins found in BC pills and Prempro are synthetic chemicals bearing very little relationship to natural progesterone.

My feeling is that if these doctors are really concerned about preventing ovarian cancer, they should use their influence to get insurance companies to pay for a screening test called a CA 125. This test can detect ovarian cancer in its early stages when it is still 100% curable. Once this cancer spreads, it is almost 100% fatal. Not surprisingly, PSA tests as a screen for prostate cancer in men are covered. Gynecologists often denigrate CA 125 tests because they are not diagnostic and there are false positives.  However, if the test is elevated it will at least get the ovaries looked at and possibly save a woman’s life. By the way, PSA tests are not diagnostic and also have mostly false positives.

I admit that I’m not a big fan of estrogen in any synthetic or non-bio-identical form, including BC pills. The fact that my mother died in 1980 of breast cancer and had been on Premarin reinforced in me the concern about this hormone.

For those of you who are interested in a natural approach to treating hormonal imbalance plus more discussion about estrogen, I would recommend my book,” The Miracle of Bio-identical Hormones”. It is available on my website: or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, et al.

For healthcare practitioners, I have written a manual about my particular approach to achieving hormonal balance and wellness. If interested, please e-mail: or call: 760-836-3232.