Unexpected benefits from the drug that launched a revolution

Back in the 60s, the Pill helped launch the sexual revolution.

According to evidence in the British Medical Journal, women who joined that revolution may have added years to their lives.

Researchers followed more than 46,000 women for more than 40 years, beginning in 1968. Women who took the first birth control pills back then took them for an average of just four years. But death records show that women who took the Pill generally lived longer.

Risks vs. benefits are mixed. Use of the Pill may increase risk of cervical and breast cancers. But other studies show that hormones in the Pill might have actually protected some women from ovarian and endometrial cancers.

The Scottish researchers say they can’t speculate on cause and effect, but my friend Emily isn’t so timid.

Emily has two young sons and she sent me an article about the Pill study with this note: “Here’s cold, hard proof. Raising children will kill you!”

I’m pretty sure she’s only half-kidding.

“Women On the Pill May Live Longer” Maria Cheng, Associated Press, 3/12/10, ap.org