OB/GYN Study Shows Newer Birth Control Can Cause Blood ClotsPosted by in OB/GYN
The risk of blood clots is doubled for women who take the newer type of birth control pills according to a large study conducted by obstetrics gynecology researchers in Denmark and published in BMJ in Great Britain. Investigating 15 years of medical records of just under 1.3 million women ranging in age from 15 to 49, the study found that the newer birth control formulas can cause dangerous blood clots, usually in the legs. These clots can then become deadly if they travel to the lungs, heart, or brain.
The older type of birth control pills doubled a woman’s risk of developing a blood clot. The newer pills almost double that figure, making a woman’s risk six to seven times higher than a woman who is not on birth control pills. It is important to note, however, that women who are pregnant or recently pregnant are at an even higher risk of blood clots than women who take a form of birth control containing hormones.
Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Nearly 4,500 blood clot cases were diagnosed in the women studied, most of which were deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In this case, the blood clot is usually in a leg (although can also appear in an arm), and the result is pain and swelling. A smaller number of these blood clots were in the lungs, and an even smaller number resulted in a stroke.
The FDA in the U.S. is also investigating newer birth control pills to determine whether they are truly safe. A panel will meet in December to evaluate the research.
Choosing Birth Control Pills
Some women may still prefer to take the newer birth control pills. This is because the older pills can sometimes cause weight gain, outbreaks of pimples, or other side effects, such as nausea.
OB/GYN New Jersey physicians and others emphasize that the type of birth control a woman uses must be based on a number of specific factors, including her risk of developing blood clots. This risk may be higher depending on a woman’s family history, as well as her weight and whether or not she smokes.
Obstetrics gynecology doctors want women to be aware of blood clot symptoms, which include pain in the calves, particularly after taking a walk. One leg may become inflamed, which can also possibly signal the presence of a blood clot. When there is a clot in the lungs or one that has traveled to the lungs – a condition that can be very dangerous – shortness of breath is a common symptom.
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