Aviva Romm, Big Farma shill

pills and multivitamins

Why is it that in the world of “alternative” medicine (aka quackery), shilling for Big Pharma is viewed as the ultimate disqualification by aficionados, but those same people simultaneously turn a blind eye to shilling for Big Farma (herbs and supplements)?

Indeed, as Aviva Romm, MD demonstrates, one of the most effective tactics in shilling for Big Farma is criticizing Big Pharma. Romm, former homebirth midwife, and current herbalist and functional “medicine” physician, is a walking, talking financial conflict of interest. She monetizes fear of Big Pharma to shill for Big Farma.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Romm monetizes fear of Big Pharma to shill for Big Farma.[/pullquote]

Consider her recent piece on The Pill. It is a blatant attempt to criticize a competitor with a superior product in order to profit from less effective (or even ineffective) products in which Romm has a financial stake. It’s also absolute nonsense.

Romm writes on her Facebook page:

But the risks of The Pill, in my opinion as a midwife and medical doctor, have since been sugar coated by medicine and pharma.

Sugar coated? Really, Aviva?

I left this comment on her Facebook post:

This is the package insert.

Please tell us which risks have been sugar coated?

Romm did what quacks always do. She deleted the post. Why? Because the insert shows quite clearly that Romm is lying and she can’t let the truth get in the way of shilling for her products.

Let’s look at what Big Pharma has to say on the package insert about the risks of The Pill:

Oral contraceptives should not be used in women who currently have the following conditions:
Thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders
A past history of deep vein thrombophlebitis or thromboembolic disorders
Known thrombophilic conditions
Cerebral vascular or coronary artery disease (current or history)
Valvular heart disease with complications
Persistent blood pressure values of ≥ 160 mm Hg systolic or ≥ 100 mg Hg diastolic96
Diabetes with vascular involvement
Headaches with focal neurological symptoms
Major surgery with prolonged immobilization
Known or suspected carcinoma of the breast
Carcinoma of the endometrium or other known or suspected estrogen-dependent neoplasia
Undiagnosed abnormal genital bleeding
Cholestatic jaundice of pregnancy or jaundice with prior pill use
Acute or chronic hepatocellular disease with abnormal liver function
Hepatic adenomas or carcinomas
Known or suspected pregnancy
Hypersensitivity to any component of this product

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular events from combination oral contraceptive use. This risk increases with age, particularly in women over 35 years of age, and with the number of cigarettes smoked. For this reason, combination oral contraceptives …  should not be used by women who are over 35 years of age and smoke.

Does that sound to you like a company hiding the risks of their product? Me, neither.

But wait! There’s more. The package insert provides detailed information on specific risks and side effects including:

  • Depression
  • Weigh gain and metabolic syndrome
  • Blood clots and related risk of death
  • Post pill side effects
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular risks

Romm claims:

In medicine there’s a concept called informed consent, meaning that your health-care provider is supposed to give you information on the benefits and the risks of the option that he/she is recommending, as well as all the other existing options. You can’t truly have informed consent if you don’t have the whole picture. When it comes to oral contraception (aka the birth control pill or the Pill), the truth is that we have not gotten the whole story.

Which risks are they supposedly hiding:

  • Depression
  • Weigh gain and metabolic syndrome
  • Blood clots and related risk of death
  • Post pill side effects
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular risks

Wait! Are these the exact same risks included on the package insert? Yes, they are. So Romm is flat out lying when she says that doctors and Big Pharma don’t warn women of risks and side effects. Indeed the package insert has many more risks than Romm’s critique, including liver tumors, eye effects, gall bladder disease and ectopic pregnancy.

And when it comes to side effects, Big Pharma has disclosed far more than Romm, including:

The following adverse reactions have been reported in patients receiving oral contraceptives and are believed to be drug-related:
Gastrointestinal symptoms (such as abdominal cramps and bloating)
Breakthrough bleeding
Change in menstrual flow
Temporary infertility after discontinuation of treatment
Melasma which may persist
Breast changes: tenderness, enlargement, secretion
Change in weight (increase or decrease)
Change in cervical erosion and secretion
Diminution in lactation when given immediately postpartum
Cholestatic jaundice
Allergic reaction, including rash, urticaria, angioedema
Mental depression
Reduced tolerance to carbohydrates
Vaginal candidiasis
Change in corneal curvature (steepening)
Intolerance to contact lenses

Why did Romm lie and then remove my comment in an attempt to prevent readers from finding out that she lied? Because she’s shilling for Big Farma and the products from which she profits.

Changing to a low inflammatory diet, getting the nutrients your body needs, healing your microbiome, and supporting your body’s detox pathways can all be helpful with the gynecologic, inflammatory, and blood-sugar-imbalance conditions that I have discussed here. Stress can also have a tremendous impact on your cycle, via its effects on the HPA axis and the rest of your stress response system. My latest book is about the adrenals and thyroid, but what many women don’t realize is that these are intricately linked to your reproductive health – as well as your mood, your blood sugar, and how you manage inflammation. Read more in The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution.

For pain associated with endometriosis, read this article for info on how to take a natural approach. For a natural approach to PCOS, you’ll find help here. Herbs and nutritional supplements can also be highly effective in the treatment of heavy and painful menstrual periods. Download a free infographic with my top remedies by clicking here.

In other words, she provides you with the FREE list of  products from which SHE profits. How generous … NOT!

Medicine has been dealing for years with the insidious efforts of Big Pharma attempting to create financial incentives for physicians to prescribe their products. Over 30 years ago, Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, where I did my internship and residency, led the way in banning any and all Pharma gifts to physicians. Residents weren’t even allowed to accept pens or free pizza (a traditional Big Pharma gift to doctors in training).

In the intervening years many other hospitals and medical schools followed suit. Medical journals began to require disclosure of financial conflicts of interest. Financial conflicts of interest don’t necessarily invalidate scientific research, but they can still have subtle effects on researchers’ judgments and readers of their scientific papers deserve to know about these conflicts.

Sadly, in alternative medicine, financial conflicts of interest aren’t merely allowed; they are positively celebrated. Indeed, in my view, there is no better sign of quackery than an eponymous webstore for herbs, supplements and other products and a purveyor who drums up fear of Big Pharma products in order to sell Big Farma products … like Aviva Romm.

71 Responses to “Aviva Romm, Big Farma shill”

  1. northern girl
    July 28, 2017 at 10:05 am #

    $10,000 for an online course??!!! I can’t even with the privilege at play here…. won’t accept insurance, consultations are through the roof expensive, privileged wealthy women with money to burn want in on the newest trend, so sign up for her courses….. i don’t see her using her new fame and popularity to address any real social justice issues, or even acknowledging the privilege she and her followers have…..Now that she has teamed up with Oz and Goop and spiritual guru girl Gabby Bernstein, Romm has become super trendy… i have been waiting for more posts about her, as I am an admittedly pretty crunchy all natural gal myself, and have actually taken some of her workshops (long ago before she started building her empire). I have become really disgusted with her money-grubbing…. she preaches that she’s trying to change the world one woman at time or something like that, yet the reality is she’s simply lining her pockets and not actually practicing medicine or helping underserved or marginalized communities at all….

  2. Eater of Worlds
    July 28, 2017 at 1:19 am #

    How the heck does she stay employed? Is she part of some “wellness” practice, which is a euphemism for medicine mixed with bullshit?

    • Chi
      July 28, 2017 at 2:05 am #

      Funny you should say that. She’s one of Quackmistress Paltrow’s pet doctors at Goop.

      • Eater of Worlds
        July 28, 2017 at 7:31 am #

        Yeah, but she’s still has a medical practice, right? Is she the only practitioner in the practice? Does she own it and hire others? Are the others basically worshipping at her feet, charging exorbitant amounts of money to keep themselves in designer threads as their patients beg for real help for their health yet are given expensive placebos that line their pockets with cash? These patients could treat themselves better by chewing the weeds growing on the median of the local highway because I don’t see how medical doctors like this think they respect their patients.

        • DaisyGrrl
          July 28, 2017 at 7:59 am #

          The answer to all your questions is yes. If you google her, you can find her website, which is basically all you describe and more (80 minute appointments! useless lab tests! treatment for “adrenal fatigue”!). Of course, to get to the section on her medical practice, you must first wade through all the products she can sell you (books and courses). And she sells supplements out of her practice (with a discount, because she cares).

          • mabelcruet
            July 28, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

            We have similar in the UK-Sarah Myhill, probably the only medically qualified practioner around who believes in adrenal fatigue and will carry out the tests to prove it. She’s also a proponent of whole body Candida and chronic Lyme disease. She has a theory about thyroid disease-seems to be that the level of thyroid hormones on testing may be entirely normal but you can still be hypothyroid, so she treats with thyroid replacement even with normal levels. I think she does a public service really-a lot of her patients seem to be the ‘worried well’ and likely pester their GP endlessly, so taking over these gives the GP more time with properly ill people.

            Personally, the only time I’ve seen total body Candida is in extremely ill micro-premies.

  3. The Computer Ate My Nym
    July 27, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    To be fair, the package insert is not written by pharma. In the US, it’s written by the FDA after review of the data. Pharma might well like to sugar coat the thing, but they don’t get to. Until the Repubs change the rules at least and makes the FDA as powerless to regulate drugs as it is to regulate supplements. Talk about an area where the risks are sugar coated…

    • July 28, 2017 at 2:23 am #

      Package inserts are damn scary because the FDA insists on such complete disclosure that even the rarest possible side effects must be listed. If one person in a million gets green freckles from taking some medication, it’s got to be listed.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        July 28, 2017 at 10:59 pm #

        Random trivia: There was, at one point, a potential chemotherapy under study that really did turn people’s skin blue. I don’t think it made it to market, but green freckles are not actually all that far out there as a potential adverse event.

        • Sue
          July 31, 2017 at 2:45 am #

          There’s always colloidal silver and the resulting argyrism. (Check Google images)

  4. Emilie Bishop
    July 27, 2017 at 4:11 pm #

    Without reading the rest of her article, can I just say that people who insist endometriosis can be treated “naturally” really tick me off. The best metaphor I ever heard of this condition is that it can be like someone poured hot glue over your pelvic organs and programmed it to re-heat every month as you approach your period. THIS IS EXACTLY HOW IT FEELS. No amount of “anti-inflammatory” food is going to make this feeling go away. For some women, it requires BCP or other hormonal treatments. For some, it requires extensive surgery (that would include yours truly). For a lot of us, nothing ever fully brings us to a pain-free state. Herbs and restrictive diets merely heap burdens of blame onto the patient who is already suffering. But oh, wait, because it’s a woman’s reproductive organs, there must be blame and psycho-social factors involved in the treatment discussion, no? Internalized misogyny at its finest.

    • Cat
      July 27, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

      My sister-in-law recently had two rounds of major surgery for endometriosis. Turned out slightly better than expected but it was still horrible. I’m ashamed to say that I’d always secretly thought she was a bit wet until she got her diagnosis, because that was how I was brought up (real women don’t fuss about periods or anything to do with their reproductive organs; real women just get on with it). Turns out she was in constant fucking agony. Internalised misogyny is definitely a thing.

    • mabelcruet
      July 27, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

      Endometriosis must be absolutely miserable. When I was an adult pathologist I got a specimen in the lab that was a sub-total colectomy. The poor woman had endometriosis affecting the bowel and this had lead to horrible inflammation and scarring, and eventually she got stenosis leading to bowel obstruction.

      Endometriosis can also give you collapsed lungs (its called catamenial pneumothorax) which is frankly bizarre. And yet whenever I’ve seen it in the papers or women’s magazines it seems to be discussed as though its like slightly heavier, slightly more painful periods.

      • Dr Kitty
        July 28, 2017 at 3:16 am #

        I have endometriosis. It’s on the milder end of things, but it’s in some odd places (my sinuses, my cervix) as well as the usual bits on my utero-sacral ligament and around my ovaries.

        Cyclical nosebleeds and visible endometriosis on my cervix at least meant I got a quick diagnosis, and I credit the laparoscopy, Mirena and laser in my early twenties for two period free years and being able to conceive as easily as I have done.

        Unfortunately IUS is now off the cards for me, and once I stopped breastfeeding #2 completely I started bleeding daily with Nexplanon, so that wasn’t a winner. I’m now tri-cycling Qlaira, which is working really well for me.

        I’m not entirely sure how an anti-inflammatory diet is supposed to shut down ovulation and stop cyclical hormone changes affecting endometrial tissue, unless your BMI falls to such an extent that you get malnutrition-related amenorrhoea!

        • Valerie
          July 28, 2017 at 7:02 am #

          Cyclical nose bleeds? Maybe Trump was talking about endometriosis when he said there was “blood coming out of her wherever.”

          • Dr Kitty
            July 28, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

            Endometriosis is super fun- you can can have cyclical haematuria and rectal bleeding too!

            I get joint pain (hips and knees) with my period, so I might have some deposits in my joints, but it’s unlikely and I’m not going to have an arthroscopy to find out.

            Thankfully the nosebleeds I get are mild, because nobody seems enthused about trying to resect or burn the patches of endometrial tissue in my nose and sinuses!

            Some people with horrible periods just have horrible periods. Some people have endometrial tissue making a land grab!

        • Eater of Worlds
          July 28, 2017 at 7:44 am #

          Let me naturopath-splain for you! The tissue is bleeding because it is inflamed. You can see blood collecting in inflamed areas. Because endometrial tissue belongs inside, not outside the body, it doesn’t have natural barriers to keep the blood from pouring out. You lower the inflammation, you lower your cyclical bleeding. It’s that easy!

        • mabelcruet
          July 28, 2017 at 8:45 am #

          I remember a fitness ‘expert’in the mid 80s who’s main theme was that periods are abnormal, other mammals didn’t pass bloodd or tissue when fertile, and that if you were properly fit your periods would stop. Basically, she proposed starving yourself to a super low BMI to stop your periods. Will have to google, I was at high school at the time and even then I thought it sounded nonsensical.

          • mabelcruet
            July 28, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

            Nope, can’t find her. But I did get a nostalgia hit with Mr Motivator and the Green Goddess!

    • WhatZeezeesaw
      July 27, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

      The pill is magical. I’m on the one that only has a few periods a year. Instead of every 20 days with an experience that resembles the elevator scene from the shining and cramps that could fell a bear, … maybe 3-4x a year, and 4x a year? i can plan for it and deal.

      And the hippies do NOT believe me when I tell them i’ve tried all the “natural” crap. all it did was make me in massive pain, AND upset because I was abstaining from bread FOR NO REASON.

    • AnnaPDE
      July 27, 2017 at 11:57 pm #

      This whole “anti-inflammatory diet” shit is just pushing things from medical to cult-like religious territory anyway. Still got symptoms? Haven’t been eating “clean” enough — didn’t pray just the right way. There’s always that next little thing that you should have been doing.

      • yentavegan
        July 28, 2017 at 9:16 am #

        Really? For me just eliminating all processed foods and going vegan has been a life enhancing booster

        • Daleth
          July 28, 2017 at 9:59 am #

          It may simply be that you’re now eating healthier. For instance, processed foods tend to be higher in sodium, often a whole lot higher, than their homemade equivalent. And if you’re eating vegan, you have to think about what you’re going to make — you can’t just throw burgers in a pan or grab chicken nuggets at a restaurant. And when you think about your eating, you make healthier choices than when you just grab what’s convenient.

          IOW maybe it’s not the vegan-ness or the “eliminating entire category of food” that changed things for you, but simply the fact that you’re now making choices that result in lower-sodium, healthier meals.

          • Gæst
            July 28, 2017 at 6:52 pm #

            Well, maybe *you* make healthier choices when you think about eating, but when I think about my eating, I end up eating what I really crave, which is salt, fat, and sugar.

        • AnnaPDE
          July 28, 2017 at 10:33 am #

          I’m not vegan, but as my endo symptoms started from one cycle to the next right after an IUD insertion, and I hadn’t changed my diet at all in the meantime, my guess is that what I eat has little to do with my problem there. In fact, the endo got worst when I was TTC, did lots of exercise and ate pretty well. (And then I had surgery and got pregnant and now it’s fingers crossed.)

          • Emilie Bishop
            July 28, 2017 at 4:26 pm #

            My endo symptoms started after I miscarried at age 26 when I was in the best shape, eating the best diet, and weighing the lowest weight of my adult life. A lot of woonatics and some doctors have tried to blame the “emotional trauma” from the miscarriage for my endo, but the fact remains that both of these things that are often blamed on age and lifestyle choices happened to me when I was the healthiest I’ve ever been. So yeah, sometimes shit happens and there’s nothing to do but deal with it. Thank God for science!

        • Who?
          July 29, 2017 at 4:56 am #

          Eat better, feel better isn’t new news, but it won’t cure Symptoms not caused by eating poorly.

      • Emilie Bishop
        July 28, 2017 at 4:20 pm #

        Yup! There’s always a way to do a useless therapy “better,” therefore it’s not the therapy that isn’t working, it’s you. Women’s healthcare 101. So sick of it all.

      • Sue
        July 31, 2017 at 2:47 am #

        Also, it wasn’t diet that got those pesky bits of ectopic endometrium to wander around and attach themselves to abdominal organs.

        • AnnaPDE
          August 1, 2017 at 9:57 am #

          Isn’t it the gluten and refined sugars/starches that they’re running away from? And that’s why they only get stuck in your nose if you don’t snort wheat flour. Sorry Dr. Kitty…

    • Who?
      July 28, 2017 at 5:34 am #

      I had endometriosis, pain so bad I would faint, and the pill changed my life for the better. Another delightful symptom was paralysing inability to make a decision, from where to park the car, to what tuna to buy in the supermarket. Daily trivia was a constant battle.

      Roll on to horrible menopause symptoms-hot flushes, mood swings, the lot, and the most horrible painful flooding periods-all dealt with initially by some hrt and then by a Mirena and oestrogen.

      Anyone who says those drugs are unnecessary should live for a while in the Badlands beyond ‘normal’ and see how they like it.

      • yentavegan
        July 28, 2017 at 9:14 am #

        I became a vegan at menopause. It has worked for me.

        • Who?
          July 29, 2017 at 4:53 am #

          Or your symptoms would have resolved anyway. Either way it’s great you’re well. It’s great I’m well too.

    • yentavegan
      July 28, 2017 at 9:14 am #

      Are there people who suffer from endometriosis who are at or below the BMI standard? Are there people who suffer from endometriosis who are lean vegans who eat no processed foods? When I cut all processed foods out of my life and became a vegan, my health problems ( including the severity and frequency of herpes outbreaks ) diminished.

      • AnnaPDE
        July 28, 2017 at 10:43 am #

        My current BMI of 21 is the highest I’ve ever had; it was around 19 when my symptoms were really bad. My aunt has been underweight all her life and has massive endo. Her mother is petite and was always thin, she had it too. It’s not about the weight.

        • yentavegan
          July 28, 2017 at 11:04 am #

          Thank you for your reply. I appreciate knowing where truth begins and hype ends.

          • Dr Kitty
            July 28, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

            I’m 5ft tall and usually weigh around 42kgs.
            I’ve had endometriosis since I was a teenager.
            It’s not a BMI thing, and, like many women with endometriosis, eating red meat is one of the few things I can do to feel better, because without it iron deficiency anaemia is a certainty.

          • AnnaPDE
            July 29, 2017 at 1:28 am #

            I’m a lazy person who likes western medicine and gets really nauseated when absorbing orally taken iron, so I just went to the doctor and asked for IV iron. (Fittingly I just had my period on the date I got the infusion and almost passed out from the cramps in the bathroom there…) Now I know why professional cyclists are so keen on blood doping. The difference that made within days on my bike commute was incredible.

          • Kristi Berry Pedler
            July 29, 2017 at 10:57 am #

            There was an article 2-4 weeks ago in NEJM about the genetics of endometriosis. It shares some similarities to cancer genes IIRC.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        July 28, 2017 at 11:18 pm #

        Eating well can help some things some times, but not all things all of the time. Also, “eating well” may mean different things to different people at different times in their lives. I was a vegetarian for many years but had to go back to eating fowl because I couldn’t keep my iron up otherwise and my B12 was drifting down. Diet isn’t one size fits all. Veganism works really well for some people, not so well for others. (And, unfortunately, almost never cures endometriosis.)

      • Who?
        July 29, 2017 at 4:50 am #

        Me re BMI.

        I’m not a vegan nor do I eschew processed foods, but I do eat fairly little, mostly plants, and have done so for decades.

  5. Toni35
    July 27, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    Only trouble I see here is that, in the quackiverse, “Big Farma” generally refers to large scale agriculture, especially of the non organic variety (think Monsanto, et al). So, sorry, in that world, the term has already been spoken for.

    I tend to call it Big P$uedo$cience. Not as nice a ring to it tho…. Maybe someone can come up with something better.

    • LaMont
      July 27, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

      I use “Little Quackery” which I realize has other issues…

      • StephanieJR
        July 28, 2017 at 10:07 am #

        I am now picturing ducklings in doctor coats.

    • DaisyGrrl
      July 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm #


    • Roadstergal
      July 28, 2017 at 3:16 am #

      Big Supplement?

  6. 3boyz
    July 27, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

    Well, if you’re gonna discuss the risks of the pill, you gotta also discuss the risks of pregnancy (especially if you don’t want to be or shouldn’t be). Yes, the pill has some issues. I switched to the copper IUD because of problems the pill was giving me. But the pill is still one of the greatest inventions ever. It is so important. Pregnancy is statistically more dangerous than birth control pills.

    • Young CC Prof
      July 27, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

      In the first world, with access to medical care, getting pregnant roughly doubles your risk of dying within the next year.

  7. Gæst
    July 27, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

    ONE TIME I had a migraine with visual symptoms (blue lighting!) and my doctor will not prescribe the pill for me anymore. Yeah, so much downplaying of the risks, there.

    • mabelcruet
      July 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

      Same for menopausal flushes. I’m in the middle of the most awful drenching menopausal hot flushes (if they happen at night I have to change the sheets, its horrible!). I’ve been losing weight as best I can but until I get to BMI <28 my GP won't give me hormone replacement therapy because of the risks. At this rate I'll be through the flushes by the time I get to 27.

      In the UK, we also have a ban on receiving gifts from pharmaceutical reps. Any gift over a certain value (I think its £15) has to be declared to the hospital board. Financial gifts from patients are not allowed-there are 'charitable funds' that most departments hold, so any gift has to be placed into that, and the fund can then be accessed by everyone who works in that department, but the charitable fund has to have a specified purpose-its not like petty cash. So, for example, the charitable fund may be used to buy text books for use by the staff, or perhaps buy equipment like a coffee maker for the staff kitchen. We aren't allowed to accept personal gifts, either from patients or drug reps.

      • Dr Kitty
        July 28, 2017 at 3:31 am #

        GP is slightly different-Our gift policy is that cash goes to the staff comfort fund, and anything over £50 in value has to be refused.
        Patients tend to give biscuits, chocolates, bottles of wine, traybakes and other nominal gifts and those are accepted, with thanks. Everything is recorded in a book.

        I have one patient who gave me a hand made jar filled with jokes and proverbs and inspirational sayings- things to cheer me up in-between patients. The cash value is tiny, it obviously took tremendous thought and effort and refusing it would only cause offence- so it’s on my desk.

        One night I was working in ED and we treated a person connected with the local pizza joint. The next night, several large pizzas arrived at midnight to say thank you. They were just dropped off at reception and sadly had to be eaten because we couldn’t return them!

        • mabelcruet
          July 28, 2017 at 8:54 am #

          Being a pathologist, I never got anything from my patients, and we didn’t have drug reps so not even any cheapie pens either! Your pizza person was probably related to a doctor or nurse and knew how hungry you get overnight-thats a thoughtful thing to do. When I was a ward based SHO (only for a year thankfully, it wasn’t my forte), I worked in a small rural hospital. The night staff used to do a pizza/chinese takeaway run around 11pm, one person would be tasked to phone round for orders from all the wards then phone the order through. We even had patients joining in at times (not the nil by mouth ones, obviously!) so a few patients would give some money to the ward pizza fund. That’s probably banned now too.

    • Valerie
      July 27, 2017 at 4:31 pm #

      Me too! My provider told me the pill wasn’t for me because of my migraines with aura, but I already knew that because Planned Parenthood included contraindications (and risks) on their webpage. It’s not a secret.

  8. namaste863
    July 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    She is one of he 4 on-staff doctors at GOOP. ‘Nuff said.

    • Roadstergal
      July 28, 2017 at 3:17 am #

      That’s a resume item that should guarantee unemployment in the future in any rational world…

  9. Empress of the Iguana People
    July 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

    I wonder if she’s just that foolish or that greedy at the expense of other people’s lives.
    One of my friends likes to post meme quotes from people like Romm. The last one was something like “if it’s not hell yes, it’s hell no”. I pointed out that my depression means hell yes doesn’t happen to me. There was a little back pedaling.

    • Roadstergal
      July 28, 2017 at 3:30 am #

      What is that even supposed to mean? If you’re not screechingly enthusiastic about something, you should reject it utterly?

      • Empress of the Iguana People
        July 28, 2017 at 8:47 am #

        apparently. I think it was supposed to be about approaching life with enthusiasm.

      • Anne
        July 28, 2017 at 4:15 pm #

        Which flies in the face of the old saying “there’s never an ‘always’ and never a ‘never’ in medicine”.
        Beware of the clinician who thinks in absolute terms.

  10. MI Dawn
    July 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

    Well, so she lies about the BCP, but I will give her a little credit that she discusses other methods of contraceptive fairly well. She’s quite pro IUD, even the hormonal ones.


    She recommends condoms from 1 place because the others “may have toxic chemicals” or require the use of a “toxic” lubricant
    She dislikes the diaphragm/cervical cap because they require toxic spermacides. Uh…DUH? If you’re using it you WANT to kill sperm. (Yes, I know she’s referring to other horrifying “toxins” that are simply chemicals with scary names.)

    I see she went to Yale Medical School, but I don’t see that she ever completed a residency. Maybe she did and it’s not in her “about me” information; I can’t be bothered to research her right now.

    • MWguest
      July 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm #


      This newsletter story indicates she’s in residency (circa 2010). I think it was primary care.

      WARNING: this whole story is cringe-inducing

    • July 28, 2017 at 2:30 am #

      Roughly 8% of women who have an IUD inserted ask to have it removed, mostly for pain and menorrhagia and/or intermittent bleeding. It also has a small, but significant, failure rate. I had an ectopic pregnancy with an IUD, although, several decades earlier I had had a very good experience with one.

      • MI Dawn
        July 28, 2017 at 8:32 am #

        Oh, I know they aren’t perfect. Both my girls have one (one Copper-T, one hormonal), and they’ve both experienced some of the complications you mentioned – except failure rate.

        But as an option, they are very good and I actually wish back in the days, my Gyn had recommended one for me rather than the worry of “did I take my pill today” (being that I had an ectopic 5 years after a tubal ligation…)

  11. DaisyGrrl
    July 27, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    Ugh, Aviva, come on.

    If doctors are supposedly not talking about the risks, why can’t I find one who will prescribe me the Pill? I don’t have a condition that is contraindicated, but I have a first-degree relative who developed a clot while on the Pill. Since that happened, I’ve only had one doctor was willing to prescribe the Pill to me (and they’ve since retired).

    And I’m wanting the Pill for medical reasons since I have PMDD severe enough to interfere with my work and life – the Pill eliminated the symptoms without side effects. Instead, the specialist wants to adjust other medications and have me undertake lifestyle changes to mitigate the effects before exploring further options. But keep telling your followers that you have “special knowledge” and that doctors are pill pushers who don’t care about patient risk. Then tell that to my doctors, please. They apparently didn’t get the Big Pharma memo.

    • Cat
      July 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

      I believe I’m the only woman in my circle of friends from uni whose doctor actually agreed to prescribe her the Pill. I don’t have a medical background so I can’t really comment on the reasons they were denied the Pill, but that’s five out of a group of six healthy women, none of whom have contraindicated conditions. At the very least, I don’t think anyone can claim that doctors are handing it out like sweeties.

      • Roadstergal
        July 28, 2017 at 3:33 am #

        I really think there’s a human and a productivity cost to this anti-BC sentiment. When I think of all of the hours I wasted in pain and practically unable to move, not knowing that a simple pill regimen would have taken it all away… and I don’t have anything special, just painful periods sans BC.

    • Sheven
      July 27, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

      Also, does Romm want to talk about the risks of treating serious medical conditions with her diet book? For crying out loud, she recommends treating endometriosis with kale and fresh berries and then turns around and accuses other people of ignoring risks.

      • Sarah
        July 28, 2017 at 9:56 am #

        The only way that would work is if you’re so distracted by how tasty they are, you don’t notice the pain. Those would have to be some pretty fucking good raspberries.

    • Dr Kitty
      July 28, 2017 at 4:22 am #

      UK medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use (UKMEC) states that for a first degree relative aged under 45with a clot the risks of combined pill usually outweigh risks, and if first degree relative aged over 45 at time of clot benefits usually outweigh risks. It’s not an absolute contra-indication (like migraine with aura).


      Progesterone only methods (pill, injection, implant, IUS) aren’t contraindicated at all with family hx VTE.

      UKMEC is a great resource for patients with risk factors and co-morbidities.

      • DaisyGrrl
        July 28, 2017 at 7:50 am #

        Interesting, thanks! The first degree relative was under 45, and on a progesterone-only method at the time. While the docs were happy to prescribe the progesterone only pill, they make things worse for me. From what I can gather, the specialist I went to is not willing to take the risk of combined hormonal contraceptives for patients in my risk category, and I can appreciate her position.

        At this point, I’ve got things under enough control that it’s not worth pursuing further (plus as I get older, other risk factors are now appearing). But it is a bit much to hear Romm go on about how easy it is to get the Pill when my experience has been the opposite.

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