PSA: Your birth control pills could be placebos

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Just to be clear here, my understanding is that it is perfectly normal for oral contraceptives to have inactive “placebos”. But because in this case the inactive pills are put into the wrong compartments, when combining this with a package with the inactive tablets in the right compartments one could take too many days of inactive pills in a row to maintain effectiveness.


It’s a plot! A Republican plot to get our daughters pregnant! I’ll bet Roy Moore is behind it!


Anyone ending up with a child due to this snafu should name them “Taytulla”.

Taytulla! Get up! You’re going to be late for school! Trust me child, you do NOT want to be LATE… it could ruin, literally, everything.”

Then later, all the Taytullas around the country can find one another and have a chuckle about how they were unwanted.

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The NRA’s new ad line: “For when Roy Moore is behind your daughter!”


No no, they like Moore. As long as it’s your daughter.


I was thinking more along the lines of lawsuits involving child support payments and college tuition…


They would be in for one hell of a legal battle. If the company lost it would open the floodgates for everyone that has an unplanned pregnancy due to contraceptive failure suing and getting paid.

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Yeah, just wishful thinking. It would make an interesting episode for a TV law drama!


There are precedents, mostly because there are creepy pharmacists who deliberately fill contraceptive pills with placebos because of their personal religious beliefs. When caught, the pharmacists are required to pay child support and costs of the birth, but not college, similar to a paternity suit.


Here are some fairly recent class-action lawsuits for exactly similar cases of pharmaceutical companies who recalled defective birth control pills:

Pfizer in The Atlantic

Qualitest on NPR

Here’s a…soundbite…‘sight bite’?..from an article about the problems with developing a male contraceptive:

"Women have filed, and sometimes won, high-profile lawsuits over female contraceptives, alleging that certain drugs and devices have caused a variety of serious injuries—including blood clots, uterine damage, birth defects, miscarriages, and infertility—or that contraceptive failures have left them with unwanted pregnancies".

Why We Can’t Have the Male Birth Control Pill

Fascinating article on it’s own merits, BTW.


Aren’t there placebos in every set of oral contraceptives?

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Thank you.

The blanks allow the woman to have a greatly reduced menstruation ‘week’, but when the blanks are coming at the end of a full pill pack of active contraceptive pills, the ovaries don’t get the signal to fire one off. But, when the blanks are in the wrong place in the pill pack, the woman will ovulate. When a woman starts oral contraceptives, she has to double-up with condoms or some other back-up until a few monthly cycles have been established to make sure the ovaries are not still responding to to natural hormonal cues.

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