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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Users of Birth Control Pills and Risks of Blood Clots.

There are many reasons women risk blood clots, and you should speak to your gyno about individual risks. However, sometimes those risks are not revealed if you have neither been pregnant or tried hormonal contraception. Therefore, new users, of certain types of birthcontrol pills may have the greatest risks of dangerous blood clots. Women who use combined hormonal birth control have a very small but real risk of blood clot events which include a clot in a large or a deep vein, a pulmonary embolism, a myocardial infarction (lack of muscle wall oxygen that creates a heart attack), or a stroke.  And as serious as these conditions are, most women do get treated, survive recover if they did have one of these complications while on contraception. The pills hat have the newest progesterone the drospirenone and the etonogestrel containing vaginal ring, and norelgestromin containing contraceptive patches have been shown in some studies to have a greater risk of these blood clots. And is it the hormonal contraceptive or the woman herself that is the issue for the risk of blood clots. 500,000 women were evaluated recently by the FDA, Public Health physicians from the University of Washington and the Research division of the Kaiser system in California who were just starting on their pills. Their patients were about an average age of 26, but they studied generally healthy girls and women ages 10-55. New users were about 1.5 to 2.0 times as likely to have these serious complications. Like other studies, the older women were at much greater risk than younger women, so beginning in your 40s is more risky than beginning your pills in your 20s. Interestingly, although there was some variation in the data, the women who were on the pills for only the first 3 months, were most likely to have problems; and if you have been on one of these methods of contraception for over 12 months with no complications you are now at approximately the same risk as you would be on any other combination hormonal method. You yourself may have individual risk factors that make you more at risk for disease, such as smoking, obesity, sedentary life style, or genetic problems like Leyden Factor V condition. Most often there really aren't symptoms of these conditions, but leg pain or swelling could be a tip off. So be ready to gab to your gyno about risks, whether you have or do not have symptoms of problems, this as these researchers are advising to use some caution before you and your gyno pick one of these pills with the slightly higher risk. And as always, see your gyno to check for genetic or other ways you may be putting yourself at risk for clots.

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