Gynuity Health Projects Weighs in Venous Blood Clots and Hormonal Contraceptive

Gynuity Health Projects and other researchers have summarized the current studies on venous thromboembolism (blood clots, primarily deep vein) and the newest hormonal contraceptives. They point out that the risks of blood clots for the average user is very low. Most women will have a risk of blood clotting before hormonal contraceptives of 1/10,000 and after their is will rise on bontraceptives, but even with the newest generation progesterones the risks will only risk in the 5-10/10,000 range. The studies varied in the risks they showed. It is important for women with signs or symptoms of deep vein clots, whether on hormonal contraceptives or not, to promptly see their health care provider, and only accurate testing can help us get a firm diagnosis. Many of the studies quoted suffered from incomplete information on some patients. If a woman has trauma or surgery this many increase her risk, whether or not she is on hormonal contraception, and it's also important for health care providers to be able to separate out the impact of the other risk factors so we can understand how to best help our patients minimize their risks of blood clots. The studies of pills containing the 4th generation progesterone drospirenone (this is in Yasmin) have only studied the 21 day stronger estrogen regimens. The new study points out that the most commonly used formulations use 24 day regimens (like with the pill Yaz), but lower amounts of estrogen, about two thirds as much estrogen, so it is not really known if those risks are equal or, as suspected, slightly less. In 1995 in the UK there was a "pill scare" whereby the risks of the contraceptive pill was highlighted by the Committee on Safety of Medicines in the United Kingdom; and the benefits or oral contraceptives were not highlighted, nor were the risks put into perspective. After that 'pill scare' many women discontinued their contraceptive methods and ther was a dramatic spike in conceptions, both wanted and unwanted. Pregnancy planning with your gyno makes for successful contracting, and successful pregnancy. Accurate information about the hormonal contraceptive method that is right for you, in consultation with your gyno is important.

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