Susan Rako, M.D.

Transcript of BBC World Today

Broadcast Worldwide Live on 10/16/03
Broadcast Worldwide – Recorded -- on 10/16/03 and 10/17/03


BBC Commentator:

“A new birth control pills goes on sale in the United States next month that will allow women to have only four periods of menstruation a year rather than the usual thirteen.  The manufacturers, Barr laboratories, say the new pill represents the single most significant advance in oral contraception in the past forty years. But is it safe? Dr. Carol Ben-Maimon is President of Barr research.

Dr. Carol Ben-Maimon  

“Yes it’s safe. Clearly any oral contraceptive has associated side effects. And Seasonale, like any oral contraceptive, has the same associated side effects that oral contraceptives have. But we did do a clinical trial on over 1400 women for a full year, and we’ve had both safety and efficacy, and all the findings were the same as you would anticipate with any oral contraceptive.”

BBC Commentator:

“But to others, the new pill represents a more sinister landmark. Dr. Susan Rako is author of No More Periods?: The Risks of Menstrual Suppression. I asked her what was wrong with women choosing to have fewer menstrual cycles if there was a safe way of doing so.”

Dr. Susan Rako

“Well, you know, I don’t agree that we know that there’s a safe way to do this. There are several ways proposed. We are going to address today, I think, the nonstop birth control pill, and the risks specifically of that.  And today, we cannot know or even imagine what the serious consequences of menstrual suppression will be, because the complexity of hormones’ effects upon one another and upon every organ system in the body is far from fully understood.

 BBC Commentator:

“But Barr Laboratories say they conducted, um, extensive tests on this new pill and consider it to be safe, and it’s been given approval to be marketed.”

 Dr. Susan Rako:

“Well, you know, the fact that the FDA approved it for menstrual suppression – and I don’t think that was the specific reason it was approved -- it was approved simply as a birth control pill that would simply allow women to have fewer periods, but it’s being promoted for menstrual suppression for convenience.

But actually, the pill itself has drawbacks that most people don’t know, and in my research I discovered, in an article actually based on a study in Britain on 46,000 women from the Royal College of General Practitioners, “The Oral Contraception Study” -- women who had used the pill over a period of 25 years -- when I looked at that study in doing my research for the book to see what I could find about what could be safe or what the risks would be, I found the expected mortalities from stroke and heart attack, but I did not expect to find what I did in the way of increased risk of cancer of the cervix, and of women dying from cervical cancer. 

Very few doctors know this, and I venture to say, even fewer women. And it’s a fact. The research is clear – that the birth control pill is not simply a passive actor in the process, but is an active co-carcinogen along with the Humanpapilloma Virus in causing cancer of the cervix. There are risks to the pill, even, that people don’t know.”

BBC Commentator:

“And you argue that there are even greater risks to this new contraceptive pill.”

Dr. Susan Rako:

“Not only that, but women who take the birth control pill are doing themselves out of the benefits of what their normal cycle allows in the way of decreased blood pressure for two weeks of every month, and of a natural -- the only natural -- way to rid the body of excess iron -- both of which are factors that contribute to a woman’s having fewer heart attacks and strokes than men of fertile age.”

BBC Commentator:

“That was Dr. Susan Rako, author of No More Periods? The Risks of Menstrual Suppression.”



What Women Are Saying  women speak

Consultations  consultations

Workshops  publications

The Book 
Dr. Rako's books

Story behind "The Hormone of Desire"      "Hormone of Desire" Reviews
 "The Blessings of the Curse: No More Periods?"
   "The Blessings of the Curse: No More Periods?" Reviews     Press Release
How These Books Came to Be  About the Author    Consultations    Upcoming  Events
Publications, Presentations & Honors    About Testosterone Deficiency in Women    Site Map

e-mail Dr. Rako

Order "Hormone of Desire"              Order "The Blessings of the Curse: No More Periods?"

© 2015 Susan Rako MD, 83 Walker St, Newton, MA 02460‎