When you think about birth control, blood clots might not be the first thing that comes to mind. Every year, between 2 and 6 out of every 10,000 women who take oral contraceptives get blood clots.
Research has shown that oral contraceptives can increase the risk of developing blood clots. But the risk isn’t huge.
So let’s take a look at the correlation between birth control and blood clots and what it means for your health.
Birth control pills, especially those with estrogen, can change the way the body clots the blood and make it more likely that a blood clot will form. Estrogen in birth control pills can make more of some things that help blood clot and less of other things that keep blood from clotting.
It can also change the walls of the blood vessels, making them more likely to clot. The other hormone in birth control pills, progestin, has less of an effect on blood clotting factors than estrogen.
The amount of estrogen in your birth control pills should also be considered. Pills with a higher dose have been linked to a higher chance of blood clots than pills with a lower dose. But it’s important to keep in mind that even with higher estrogen doses, the overall risk of blood clots from birth control pills is still pretty low.
Medications and Treatment Considerations
A person’s chance of blood clots can also be affected by their lifestyle and health, as well as by some medications and treatments. For example, people who take anticoagulant drugs like Eliquis may need to think about certain things when figuring out their general risk profile.
It’s important to note that the cost of medication, including the generic Eliquis price, may impact treatment decisions and the feasibility of long-term medication use.
When compared to progestin-only pills, birth control pills with both estrogen and progestin have higher blood clot risks.
There are different kinds of combination pills with different types and amounts of estrogen and progestin. Some examples are multiphasic pills, which change the number of hormones at different times of the cycle to mimic a more natural hormonal pattern and monophasic pills, which have the same amount of hormones throughout the whole cycle, and
Increased Risk for Smokers
When you smoke, you damage the inside of your blood vessels. This makes them more likely to get inflamed and form blood clots. This damage can stop the blood from flowing normally and make it more likely that a clot will form.
Smoking also causes blood vessels to get smaller, and your red blood cells can’t carry as much oxygen. This makes your blood move slower. Slow blood flow can make it more likely for clots to form, especially in people who are already at a higher risk because of things like taking birth control pills.
When you smoke and take birth control pills with estrogen, the two can work together to make the chance even higher. The length of time a person has smoked also plays a role, with more risk being linked to longer smoking experiences.
Age and Risk
Most of the time, women over the age of 35 are more likely to get blood clots from birth control pills than younger women. As women get older, their overall chance of blood clots goes up because of things like changes in hormone levels, less mobility, and other health problems that may become more common as people get older.
Due to the increased risk that comes with age, doctors may look at a person’s general health, medical history, and other risk factors before giving them birth control pills. They may suggest other birth control methods or lower-dose birth control pills that are still effective but have a lower chance of blood clots.
Personal or Family History
A strong factor that can change the link between birth control and blood clot risk is a personal or family history of blood clots. People who have had a blood clot in the past, like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), usually have a higher chance of getting another one in the future. Even taking birth control pills puts you at a higher risk.
A family history of blood clots can also make a person more likely to get one. If a close family member, like a parent or child, has had blood clots in the past, especially at a young age, it could mean that clotting disorders run in the family. People who take birth control pills and have this natural trait are more likely to get blood clots.
Other Risk Factors
The link between birth control and blood clots can also be caused by other risk factors, such as being overweight, having had surgery or been hurt recently, or having headaches with aura.
Blood clots are more likely to happen in people who are overweight. It can cause long-term inflammation and changes in blood flow, both of which can make you more likely to get a blood clot. When obesity is combined with hormonal birth control, the chance of blood clots goes up even more.
Blood clots are more likely to happen after a major surgery, especially orthopedic surgery or surgery on the lower limbs. Higher risk can also be caused by trauma or injury that makes a person immobile or damages blood vessels. The risk may be even higher for women who use hormonal birth control after surgery or a shock.
A higher chance of blood clots has been linked to migraine headaches that come with what is called “aura” symptoms. When hormone-based birth control is used, especially pills that contain estrogen, the chance is even higher.
Learn About Birth Control and Blood Clots
Birth control, when used as intended, is considered to be a safe and effective style of contraception. A study highlighting the correlation between birth control and blood clots demonstrates that it is still important to weigh the risks and benefits of taking any medication. If you have questions, talk to your doctor to find the best birth control option for you.
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