(Second in a four-part series)
The direct and compelling evidence of the strong, arguably causal connection between oral contraceptives (OCPs) and gravely adverse psychosocial outcomes, including suicide, comes from the three largest-ever studies which evaluated OCPs. These were the Royal College of General Practitioners study (47,174 women), the Oxford/FPA study (17,032 women), and theWalnut Creek study (16,638 women). They found strong and clearcut evidence in each case of increased rates of suicide and attempted suicide, as well as violent (intentional and accidental) deaths and mishaps. Pill users were 2.66 times as likely to attempt suicide as nonusers in the Royal college study, 4 times as likely in the Oxford/FPA study, and 2.53 times in the Walnut Creek study. It is fair and accurate to conclude that “the pill” is associated with excesses of suicide, mental illness, and even violent deaths and accidents.
In the Royal College study, divorce also had in interesting and noteworthy interaction with OCPs. The divorce rate of users was found to be double that of nonusers, and while divorce did not by itself explain the association of contraceptives with suicide attempts, it nonetheless strengthened that association. Therefore OCPs were found to have both a robust direct association with increased rates of suicide, accidents and violence unrelated to divorce, as well as an indirectassociation mediated by an association with increased divorce rates. This association with divorce is something also corroborated by other social science investigations, namely Dr. Robert Michael, Stanford economist, who found that OCPs were very likely responsible for the doubling in the American divorce rate from the 1960s to the 1970s.