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
Combination hormonal contraceptives that
progestin called desogestrel increase the risk of DVT
or PE more than contraceptives that contain other types of progestin.
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:1
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