The Contraception Connection

Deep Vein Thrombosis and Birth ControlPopular forms of oral contraception are known to increase a patients risk for blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), yet Marietta, Atlanta and residents around other parts of North Georgia are still using these medications daily. So, what is the risk, and why are these medications causing such a stir in the legal community?

Oral contraception pills, better known as birth control pills use one of several primary ingredients to prevent fertility as well as treat conditions linked with hormonal changes, like irregular menstruation, abdominal cramps and acne associated with menses.

Some of the newer types of birth control pills use drospirenone, also known as progestin, which is a synthetic hormone associated with an increased risk of blood clots, which can lead to serious conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or even pulmonary embolism (PE).

Since reports first surfaced that birth control pills could be increasing a woman’s likelihood of experiencing blood clots and DVT, a plethora of secondary studies have confirmed the findings. There is one type of birth control medication that has been particularly targeted by these studies, and that is the generic medication Ocella, which includes Yaz and Yasmin.

In 2009, one Dutch study found that oral contraceptives featuring drospirenone raised a woman’s risk of blood clots just over six fold. Other forms of contraceptives, however, were associated with half that amount of risk.

What researchers have found is that for every 10,000 women who use some form of the Ocella medication, including Yaz or Yasmin, 10 women will likely suffer from blood clots. Once the blood clots form as a result of the medication, other personal risk factors like amount of physical activity, blood pressure and genetic predisposition will determine if deep vein thrombosis (DVT) might develop.

Many critics are at a loss to understand why a woman would choose to continue taking this medication, when research so strongly associates it with increased risk for blood clots. However, only one in every 2,000 women taking this particular type of oral contraceptive are likely to experience a blood clot, so many women consider the risk to be rather low.

Women who do choose to take birth control, whether it is Yaz, Yasmin or any other form of contraception, should be aware that they are at an increased risk for blood clots and make strides to prevent blood clots in other factors of their life by remaining active, maintaining a healthy weight and preventing prolonged periods of sedentariness, like when traveling.

If you are concerned about your risk of a blood clot or of developing deep vein thrombosis, don’t hesitate to contact your vein specialist for more information.

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