Friday, November 9, 2007

Leave it to the news to scare the shit out of us.

I was watching the charming and debonair Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News Tuesday evening, and just when I was about to turn the channel - a teaser for a MAJORLY IMPORTANT story for any woman on birth control! "Oh my!" I thought. Better tune in!

Apparently, women who have used oral contraceptives for over a year are at increased risk of atherosclerosis - or plaque buildup in the arteries. I wish I could link to the broadcast of that segment, but for some reason, when I click on NBC's link, it never opens - maybe others will have better luck...

If you can't open it either and it's lost forever, take my word for it - the segment was one of the most dramatic things I've ever seen. The woman reporting urged EVERY WOMAN IN AMERICA WHO IS TAKING ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES to CALL YOUR GYNECOLOGIST RIGHT AWAY! MONITOR your cholesterol and blood pressure!! OH MY GOD!! GO TO YOUR DOCTOR! ANY DOCTOR! RIGHT AWAY! GO NOW!! LORD HAVE MERCY, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

Holy shit. Like I didn't already know my smoking habits are a big no-no with my birth control - now this?! I've been on the pill for seven years, and my blood pressure/cholesterol/overall health is I just lucky? According to this nut, I should be pushing up daisies (Or at least spending the rest of my life in assisted living for irresponsible 20-somethings who thought they were invincible and screwed up big time).

Well, I put my mind at ease after reading the actual news story - with quotes from Ernst Rietzschel, the head researcher who led the study.

"Rietzschel said he did not think the findings should trigger alarms about the safety of the pill. 'Bottom line - don't discontinue your pill suddenly. Don't panic. Don't call your gynecologist tomorrow morning,' Rietzschel said."

Hmm. That doesn't exactly sound like the call to action that woman on NBC was spewing Tuesday night....

But as long as mainstream media can raise our fears to frenzy status, we'll spend the money to calm ourselves down....

For more info on just how fucked up your TV is, visit FAIR.

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