A lot of the time, coupling the words ‘blood clots’ with ‘the pill’ can be a little bit of scaremongering from the overly-cautious. However, recent news from the health community is leading to a lot of concern among women, especially those who are taking what are known as ‘third generation’ contraception pills, after research has linked such pills to a higher risk of developing a blood clot.
Researchers from the University of Nottingham looked at third generation oral contraceptives such as Yasmin, Femodene and Marvelon and found that the use of such pills was linked to much higher risks of developing clots. The link between blood clots and oral contraceptives is quite negligible, with most experts maintaining the benefits of the medication far outweigh any potential risks.
Newer types of pills, the so-called third generation, led to an increased risk because of they contain different types of the hormone progestogen, found in newer iterations of the pill. Older pills use different variations of progesterone, which tend to have more unwanted side effects. Hence newer pills being more attractive to female patients wanted to avoid weight gain or more acne prone skin. More than one million women in the UK are on such pills, so this news is causing worry. In Ireland, one of the most popular pills is a third generation one – Yasmin.
Yana Vinogradova headed up the study, which is published in the British Medical Journal, and spoke to the Telegraph about the concerns his research raised, cautioning against an all-and-out abandonment of one’s prescription. After all, the risk was 1.5 to 1.8 times higher o than older versions of the pill, which tend to contain hormones such as levonorgestrel. “Women should not stop using them, but should consult their doctor and review their current type of pill at their next appointment if there are any concerns,” he advised. Vinogradova felt that his research was probably most helpful to regulatory authorities, so that doctors can flag the risks with their patients and to take all and any flags of concern into consideration.
Other experts agree, asking that women talk to their GP about any fears they may have. In fact, even with such heightened risks, the chances of developing a blood clot due to the pill remains very low. In Ireland, any deaths related to the pill number below ten in the past twenty years.
Will you be making an appointment with your GP in light of this news?
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun
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