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Some Birth Control Pills Increase Risk of Deadly Blood Clots

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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.

 

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