In the May 2012 Issue of Natural Medicine Journal, the article 'Primary Risks of Oral Contraceptives and HRT' by Gina Cushman outlines a number of concerns that are linked with oral contraceptive (OC)/birth control usage (including birth control in the pill, patch, and injection form). OC usage depletes magnesium, zinc, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin C levels in the body. OC causes an increase in blood coagulation/clotting and can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and blood clots. Although OC usage may reduce the risk of ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancer, it is linked to an increased risk of breast, cervical, liver, and skin cancer. OC usage is also linked to an increased risk of chronic inflammatory immune disorders (including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and crohn's). OC usage is also linked to an increased incidence of gum disease/inflammation. Even though OC usage is the most common form of contraception, there is also the option of working with fertility awareness/charting which can provide an accurate insight into fertility and can function as an effective form of contraception. For more info on fertility awareness, http://www.justisse.ca and http://fertilityawarenesschartingcircle.org.