A new research finding proposes a connection between birth control pills and prostate cancer, which has many people talking. Birth control pills containing estrogen and progesterone have become a standard in North America- almost a birth right for teenage girls and a standard treatment for any hormone imbalance. One thing rarely thought about when we take our medications and supplements is that by-products can be excreted to re-circulate through the environment after we take them. This means that as more people take the birth control pill, there is more synthetic estrogen released into our environment. This can be difficult to filter out of our water supply, meaning it can affect us on a daily basis.

For men, one thing estrogen may affect is their prostate. The prostate gland is a hormone producing gland of the male reproductive system that makes secretions. Interestingly, this study found that prostate cancer is much more common in North America and developed countries where usage of the birth control pill is high. While an interesting link has been made in this study, it is important to note that this is preliminary research and it doesn’t mean that birth control pills = prostate cancer. In fact, this is highly unlikely, because there are many other chemicals in our environment that also act as hormone modulators or ‘xenoestrogens’, perhaps creating an additive effect. Some examples of these are bisphenol A (BPA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and phthalates which are used in most plastic compounds. The Endocrine Society continues to provide up to date research on the health effects of these substances to identify the health effects that these chemicals have on animals and humans. They say that xenoestrogens have many connections to hormone health including adverse reproductive outcomes (infertility, cancers, malformations) with increasing evidence for effects on other hormone systems, including thyroid, weight and metabolism in addition to insulin and glucose homeostasis.

For more information on how to avoid environmental estrogen, hormone balance, prostate health or detoxification email me to set up an appointment or ask a question on my FAQ page.