The risk for DVT or PE is overall very low with hormonal contraceptives.
In the past, combination birth control pills contained a higher dose of
estrogen, which increased the risk of DVT and PE. Now the combination pill
contains a lower dose of estrogen, and the risk is reduced. The risk for DVT or
PE is actually higher for a pregnant women than for nonpregnant women taking
You don’t have to take a pill every day. Several birth control methods last weeks, months, or even years with little effort on your part. They are safe and effective for most healthy women of childbearing age.
“The best method of contraception for any woman is the method that she’s going to use correctly and consistently,” says Elizabeth Micks, MD, MPH. She’s an acting assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington Medical Center.
Do you know what's available?
Combination hormonal birth control pills that
progestin called desogestrel increase the risk of blood clots more than birth control pills that contain other types of progestin.1 The progestin called drospirenone (found in pills such as YAZ or Yasmin) also might have a greater risk of blood clots than other types of progestin.2 Talk to your doctor about the risk of blood clots when deciding which pill is right for you.
The birth control patch delivers more estrogen than the
low-dose birth control pills do. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
warns that women using the patch are slightly more likely to get dangerous
blood clots in the legs and lungs than women using birth control pills. So talk
to your doctor about your risks before using the patch.
risk factors for blood clots (DVT or PE) include:3
Pregnancy and the first 6 weeks after
Personal or family history of blood
Surgery. Birth control pills are
usually stopped within 1 month of major surgery to decrease the risk of a blood
clot. The risk needs to be balanced against the risk of an unintended pregnancy
by stopping the pills.
Coagulation disorders, such as factor V
Leiden mutation. This is a genetic blood clotting
Inactivity, such as during long distance travel in cars or
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 03, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this