Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Birth Control Health Center

Font Size

Some Birth Control Pills Increase Risk of Deadly Blood Clots


They also found the newer birth control pills, also called third-generation pills, were taken by almost half of those who died.

Because of the risk of these fatal blood clots, Neil R. Poulter, of the Imperial College School of Medicine in London, concludes in an accompanying editorial that second-generation birth control pills should be considered first choice before using the newer ones.

Skeggs tells WebMD that people should not be alarmed by these results, stressing that birth control pills "in general have many benefits as well as some risks. ... For example, they also reduce the rate of cancer of the ovaries. Women should be well informed about both benefits and risks of birth control pills. I still think they are a great method of birth control," he says

On the bright side, however, "birth control pills are much safer, and have much lower doses of hormones, than those that were available 20 or 30 years ago," says Amy Allina, program and policy director of the National Women's Health Network in Washington.

Although it's rare for this condition to be fatal, "it does need to be taken seriously," Skegg says. "Physicians should continue to do everything they can to minimize this adverse effect. They should take a particularly careful history on the risk factors that may indicate special caution is needed."

As women decide whether to use birth control pills, they should be aware of conditions that could put them at increased risk for blood clots in both the legs and lungs. Women with a history of blood clots, who smoke, are extremely overweight, or are prone to inactivity, should use birth control pills with caution.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Here's what to expect.
man opening condom wrapper
Do you know the right way to use them?
birth control pills
Here's what to do next.
doctor and patient
His and her options.
Concerned teenage girl
hospital gown
Birth Control Pills Weight Gain
Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch
contraceptive pills
Young couple looking at each other, serious
woman reading pregnancy test result