What is the Pill doing to our bodies and planet?
2nd February, 2010
It was the drug that fuelled the sexual liberation of the 1960s, but what price are we paying for our love of the contraceptive Pill?
Birth control is always a hot topic. The Government’s latest campaign – ‘Contraception: Worth Talking About’ - encourages 18-24 year old women to choose hormonal contraception as the best way of avoiding unwanted pregnancies and abortions.
But the thickening soup of oestrogens in our water should mean that this advice is not doled out without caution.
For over 15 years, researchers in UK and North America have been watching the feminisation of male fish. After leaving the human body, oestrogen hormones - natural and synthetic - as well as oestrogen-like chemicals and hormone disruptors in the environment - also referred to as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) - are discharged into rivers through sewage effluent and cause disruption to the reproductive behaviours of fish.
Scientists observing the effects of oestrogen in wildlife have now begun to fear the worst: that those effects may also appear in humans.
Of course, fish are not humans. But the similarities between the hormone systems, especially the sex hormones, of fish, birds, mammals and humans is why scientists argue that our bodies might behave...
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