Oral contraceptives were introduced in the USA in 1960 and are currently used for reversible pharmacologic birth control by over 10 million women in the US.
Whilst it is known that during the time women take the contraceptive pill their risk for these diseases is slightly increased, it now appears that when it is discontinued, the long-term effect is actually slightly beneficial.
The Royal College of GPs Oral Contraception Study, which involved over 46,000 women over a period of 39 years (making it one of the largest studies involving the contraceptive pill ever), has found that women who had taken the pill in the past had a 12% less chance of developing heart disease, cancer or stroke than other women.
This will come as welcome news to the many, many ladies who have chosen this type of birth control. As long as healthy lifestyle rules are implemented (no smoking, regular exercise and checkups), the low risks incurred while taking the pill will be minimized, while the long-term effects may well be positive for many women, instead of negative as was thought for many years.