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The Contraceptive Pill: How Safe Is It?

GP Dr Zoe Williams investigates the contraceptive pill - exploring the latest scientific research and investigating the future of birth control.

In recent years a groundbreaking new study has been released into the effects of the contraceptive pill. Research from Denmark claimed women on the pill and other forms of hormonal contraception were 70% more likely to be diagnosed with depression than those who were not. And another study has found hormonal contraception was linked to a seemingly dramatic risk of breast cancer.

Negative headlines are nothing new for the contraceptive pill - first introduced in 1961, it has had a chequered history with early versions linked to cancer risk and life-threatening blood clots. Yet hormonal contraception remains Britain's most popular form of birth control, and today over three million women take regular doses of synthetic hormones. So should they be worried about its safety?

GP Dr Zoe Williams gets behind the headlines in this Horizon investigation. A specially commissioned, nationwide survey reveals the areas of most concern to British women - from mental health to the risk of cancer and drop in libido. With the help of world leading scientists, Zoe finds out if these concerns are justified and by delving deep into the science around the pills side effects Horizon uncovers some striking revelations - from protecting women against cancer to increasing their risk of suicide.

59 minutes

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:03


    Over Stripe

  • 00:59




Role Contributor
Presenter Zoe Williams
Executive Producer Steve Crabtree
Series Producer Rob Liddell
Producer Milla Harrison-Hansley
Director Milla Harrison-Hansley
Producer Alicky Sussman
Director Alicky Sussman


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