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I have been on the Pill since i was 16. I am worried about my fertility and the risk of cancer. What's your view ?

You have reason to be concerned. Some contraceptive pills contain oestradiol, and taking this form of oestrogen is till advised for young girls before their breasts are fully developed. It is well known that girls taking the Pill between the ages of 13 and 18 can increase their risk of getting breast cancer by as much as 60 per cent. This is because undeveloped breasts contain more stem cells, which are vulnerable to the known cancer-promoting effects of hormones in the Pill. Oestrogen-containing pills can encourage 'oestrogen dominance', which is a major cause of infertility. Progesterone is the female hormone that not only balances out oestrogen, but is also vital for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. In the body, oestrogen makes thing grow, such as the lining of the womb, while progesterone's job is to keep these uterus cells healthy. Wait six months after coming off the Pill before trying to get pregnant. Your doctor can test your oestrogen and progesterone levels at this point to check that everything is in balanced. B vitamins such as vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid, together with magnesium and zinc, help to protect against the harmful effects of the Pill.

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