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Oestrogen in birth control pills has a negative impact on fish

A new doctoral thesis from Lund University in Sweden shows that hormones found in birth control pills alter the genes in fish, which can cause changes in their behaviour. The thesis also shows that nurse midwives, who are the main prescribers in Sweden, lack information about the environmental impact of hormonal birth control methods, which may affect the advice they provide.
Lina Nikoleris sitting and taking water samples.
Lina Nikoleris. Photo: Birgit Linderoth

“The impact that human beings have on the environment is an important issue, so I do not only want to study the ecological aspect of how fish are affected by hormones, but also look at the way we use hormonal birth control. Technical solutions are not enough to purify our water – we must also make sure that prescribers and women receive all the relevant information when selecting a method of birth control”, says Lina Nikoleris. You can read more about Lina Nikoleris' results at Centre for Environmental and Climate Research.

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