Roberta wonders about the effect on taking the pill during pregnancy. According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk is low, but it’s definitely not recommended:

What happens if you take birth control pills while you’re pregnant?

If you continued taking your birth control pill because you didn’t realize you were pregnant, don’t be alarmed. Despite years of this accident happening, there’s very little evidence that exposure to the hormones in birth control pills causes birth defects.

Still, the birth control pill is a potent estrogen. Lessons learned from women who took diethylstilbestrol — a synthetic estrogen that was later linked with cancer — to prevent miscarriage in early pregnancy suggest that such exposure should be minimized.

Once you learn that you’re pregnant, stop taking the birth control pill.

And that’s referring to the pill nowadays. The estrogen content was much higher in 1960.

The comparison, though, is to DES. DES caused problems in the daughters and granddaughters of women who took it, including a spike in the rate of cervical cancer. It did not cause miscarriages. In fact, it was given to prevent miscarriages (which, ironically, it didn’t do either).

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