Pill Users, Pregnancies

Anthony Zimmerman
12:01 PM 1/26/2000
Reproduced with Permission

In reference to PILL USAGE AND EARLY ABORTION due to failure of babies to implant, learn from the implications of inserts of Pill packs. Since May 1999 the inserts state that the "percent of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy within the first year of use" is 5%. Formerly the inserts had read 3%.

The explanation of this 5% pregnancy rate per first year of typical usage reads: "Among couples who initiate use of a method (not necessarily for the first time) the percentage [5%] of those who experience an unintended pregnancy during the first year if they do not stop use for any other reason" (ORTHOMcNEIL REVISED MAY 1998).

If 5 women per 100 on the pill become pregnant in the first year of use, that can extrapolate to 520,000 clinically ascertained pregnancies annually in the USA, if the 10,400,000 are all included as "typical users."

If there are pregnancies among typical pill users, this indicates that they ovulated despite the pill. Pills are therefore at most only 95% effective against ovulation for typical users. We assume that the pharmacies publish the lowest estimate possible. The actual percentage is likely to be higher.

You ask for indications of early abortion caused by pill usage. Read this passage from the same insert in Pill packages for pill prescribers only, not contained in the inserts for actual users:

"ORAL CONTRACEPTION. Combination oral contraceptives act by suppressing of gonadotrophins. Although the primary mechanism of this action is inhibition of ovulation, other alterations include changes in the cervical mucus (which increase the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus) and the endometrium (which reduce the likelihood of implantation)."

If 5% percent become clinically pregnant while on the pill, what % might become pregnant but lose the baby by miscarriage because the baby fails to implant? Twice as many (10%) might be a good guess. That would indicate a minimum of early abortions per year by pill users in the USA.

For example, in 1991 there were 965,000 pregnancies among teenagers age 19 and under in the USA. The outcome: Births: 515,000 (53%). Abortions: 317,000 (33%). Fetal loss: 132,000 (14%).

Among the teenage pill users in the survey, a high percentage missed taking the pill on one or more days during the three months previous to the survey: Of those age 15-17, 40.6%; missed taking the pill on one or more days; of those age 18-19, 25.7%. The high pregnancy rate should not be a surprise because missing one or more pills reduces their effectiveness to inhibit ovulation.

John Wilks,, B. Pharm. MPS MACPP has researched the literature on this and spelt it out for us in readable form in his article "The impact of the pill on implantation factors -- new research findings" (Ethics and Medicine, 2000. 16. 1. See also his book A Consumer's Guide on the Pill and Other Drugs, available from American Life League.

We used his writings extensively in Japan to oppose approval of the low dose pill. The Welfare Ministry nevertheless approved the pill in June 1999.

Ironically, the media hype extolling the pill which inundated the nation like a tsunami before approval, simmered down when sales did not meet expectations. Now all is quiet. Just a few straggling reports about disappointing sales appeared. What went wrong? The pill, so far, is a dud. No sales! Pray that it remains so. Women are afraid of side effects. John contributed mightily to this. Thank you, John Wilks.