There is some evidence to show that if women are on the Pill for more than ten years, they may be at a slightly higher risk from breast and cervical cancers, but it is possible that this is because these cancers tend to be picked up earlier as women on the Pill tend to have health check-ups more often.
'Seriously, you mean I don't have to have a period every month whilst on the Pill?' 'That's correct, you don't have to bleed every month if you don't want to. In fact, you can safely take the Pill continuously without a break for as long as you are on the Pill'. Every time I give young women this information, I hear: 'Why have I not been told this before?
I won't indulge myself in my own personal problems with the Mass, how the language sounds to my ear a lot like lines Christopher Lee should be spouting whilst dancing around a windswept island in The Wicker Man ('It is right to give Him thanks and praise'), because I'll probably come across exactly as I am. A man who vehemently railed against his indoctrinal upbringing mid-teens when he realised his homosexuality made him, in the Dr Eckleburg eyes of the church, a sinner.
So what just happened is that on 16 October the researchers behind the PROUD trial, in which 545 gay men in England were given daily pills of the anti-HIV medicine Truvada(R) either immediately or after a year's delay, announced that what had been intended as a mere pilot study had been so dramatically successful that they were offering all participants immediate PrEP...
Hope has many faces. It is the face of a woman in Tanzania who has borne seven children and finally, for the first time in her life, has access to modern contraception. It is the face of an Ethiopian teenager, married off as a child, who decides to postpone her second baby until she can finish school herself.
The message of World Contraception Day is empowering: "It's your life; it's your future; know your options." But let's take this to the next level. Let's come together to ensure that no one stops at knowing their options but that all of us, no matter where in the world we live, can act on this knowledge and freely choose when we have children and how many children we have.
By investing to make contraception available to every woman who wants it, improving access to safe abortion where it's legal and making sure that medical care is readily available when things go wrong we can make a real difference. It's not rocket science - even for someone still relatively new to the development sector like me.