Birth control pills linked to a lifetime of serious stomach issues

Ladies, you've been lied to.

Birth control pills simply aren't as effective as advertised, and they're not nearly as safe as you've been led to believe. Even worse, if you're on these drugs for years at a time, as most women are, you could face some very serious risks.

The constant extra blast of estrogen from "the pill" can damage the lining of your gut, which is why so many of the women who take them report stomach problems.

In most cases, the gut problems vanish when you stop taking the drug. But some women face something far worse -- something that never goes away, even if you stop taking the drug.

It's Crohn's disease, a disorder in which your immune system attacks the digestive tract, eating away at the lining of your gut. It's marked by severe stomach pain, chronic diarrhea, gas, fatigue and depression.

And if you're on the pill for five years or more, you're facing triple the risk of Crohn's, according to researchers from Harvard University.

The biggest risk appears to be in women with a family history of this disease -- so if you have a relative battling Crohn's and you're on the pill, it's time to stop before it's too late.

And that's not the only risk.

Women on the pill often report other digestive problems and food sensitivities. And earlier this year, researchers found that birth control pills can increase your risk of brain tumors.

For all of those risks, the pill isn't nearly as effective as you've been lead to believe. I know you've heard that it's 97 percent effective, but that rosy number is based on "perfect" use, which simply doesn't exist.

Out in the real world, the pill is effective just 39 percent of the time over a decade.

Yes, ladies, over 10 years of real-world use, the drug fails a stunning 61 percent of the time.

Many women start on the pill in their teenage years, looking for consequence-free sex. But there's just no such thing -- because even when the pill works and doesn't give you an incurable disease in the process, it won't protect you from STDs and other problems.

Teach abstinence instead. I know it's not exactly in fashion in the MTV era, but it's the only form of birth control that's 100 percent safe and 100 percent effective.