Contraceptive pill and ms


I don’t know whether anyone with a scientific background can answer this for me. Basically the article was in the Daily Mail (I know I shouldn’t read it but my dad saves the paper up for me to skip through). There was an article yesterday linking ms with the contraceptive pill. Apparently there have been some tests in the US. If you are interested I will leave the link below.

Normally I am very sceptical of The Mail’s medical findings but do wonder if this could be why MS is on the increase (in women obviously) and it doesn’t take account of men at all.


Wendy x

Hi Wendy I saw something yesterday on the MS Trust webpage regarding this Sue x

I’m a sceptic, but even if it was true, a 50% increase in risk sounds huge, but is actually trivial. Hi Wendy, Estimates of the prevalence of MS vary, but to keep the maths easy, let’s say it’s 1 in 1000 in the UK, which is about right. That means the chances of any individual getting it are 1 in 1000. If you did something (anything!) that increased your risk “by 50%”, your chances of getting it would still only be 1.5 in 1000. In other words still a 998.5 in 1000 chance of NOT getting it. To put it another way, risk would rise from 0.1% (a minute risk) to 0.15% (still a minute risk). A big percentage increase of a tiny risk is still…a tiny risk. I know one case isn’t evidence, but I never took the pill on a regular basis before I was diagnosed anyway. Just a couple of brief intervals, in my youth, to cope with working in places that didn’t have adequate plumbing. Not taking it for most of my life sadly hasn’t done anything to protect me. I do think there must be hormonal reasons why many more women get MS than men, but I believe those reasons are natural, and have always been there - not due to increasing use of the pill. Tina x

Oh, sorry it’s come out in a garbled order - doing it on stupid iPad. Every day I curse this junk more.

Thank you Sue and thank you Tina I think you are probably correct on this will take a look at what the MS trust has to say but it would be a shame if women stopped taking it because of some tests that were done in the US which were probably a way of a scientist to keep his/her budget.


I’ve never taken the pill or had the coil yet I have MS

Oh dear - The Daily Hate really loves a blame the victim type story.

The MS society news page says that other research on this has said the opposite.

What’s interesting however is that many people stay on the pill as when they have a period their symptoms are worse…I posted a post kind of around this issue and many replied saying they were worse when they had periods. And that the pill almost fooled the body into thinking it was .pregnant hence no periods and the fact some people have felt better when on a contraceptive than not. Some suggestion to do with the fact that many women are better in pregnancy and mayb there is a hormone that helps. I know this doesn’t omit it from not being a cause of m.s. Personally I don’t think it is a cause, we’ll definitely not a cause for me. My grandad had m.s and I believe that I inherited it. This worries me having a child myself as I would hate him to inherit it however you can’t live life worrying about that. Incidentally my grandad never took the pill before be developed m.s :wink: xxx

Well I’ve jugs started taking the pill as my ms is rubbish at the time of my period. And even without ms I was so tired before my period. I tried the coil and still had my period after 2 months so just started the mini pill and some other med my doctor has put me on for the first 4 days of my period. I’m not sure what it’s for think it’s so I loose less blood as I keep ending up anaemic. And my doc didn’t want to put me on the normal pill I’m sure she said something about ms but didn’t catch it Probably because I was on seeing about my ms and she sprang my smear test on me. So as well as that delight

I read this on the MS Trust website and they concluded that it wasn’t a reason for women to avoid the contraceptive pill. The way I read it, it sounded as if the research was a bit sketchy and I would need a lot more convincing before I was ready to believe I had caused my MS by taking the pill on and off through my adult life.

I have taken it when I was in a steady relationship but have also taken the mini pill for the past 7 years because my migraines are hormonal and the pill seemed to help with those and some other PMT symptoms. Like others, I also notice that my symptoms and fatigue are worse when I have my period so I suspect there is a hormonal link rather than a direct link to the contraceptive pill. Hence why there are more women MSers than men.

Tracey x

I agree with you about hormones, I do think that Oestrogen has something to do with it; as it’s well known how pregnancy protects us women from relapses and I noticed how I had weird symptoms prior to a period (didn’t know I had ms then) but I don’t think it can be the cause of ms as obviously men get it too.

Someone did point out to me on this site that researches in the US do rely on results to get funding, so this could be yet another result that comes to nothing.

Wendy x