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What You Need To Know On The Pill : The Latest Research and Birth Control s Other Coming Attractions

It seems that almost every week the media reports on a new study about the Pill. Forty years after the first birth control pill was approved, research continues into everything from how effective oral contraceptives are to what impact they may have on risk for breast cancer, cervical cancer, or stroke. The Pill is the most widely used reversible contraceptive today and most new birth control methods also rely on hormones just like it. Yet many women remain confused about how best to weigh their pros and cons.

On June 18, at the most recent Emerging Issues in Reproductive Health Briefing a panel of researchers, clinicians, and public health experts discussed if new studies are shedding more light on the benefits and risks of the pill and other hormonal birth control options; how can a woman distinguish between established science and preliminary research; and how do today s hormonal methods stack up against each other and the alternative choices women have and what might tomorrow bring? The panel discussion featured leading experts, including Hoyt G. Wilson, PhD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Reproductive Health; Carolyn L. Westhoff, MD, Professor, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and Professor, Department of Ob/Gyn, New York Presbyterian Hospital; Laura Castleman, MD, MPH, an ob/gyn in private practice and Adjunct Clinical Professor at University of Michigan; and Edio Zampaglione, MD, Associate Director for Contraception, Organon Pharmaceuticals.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.