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On The Pill? Be Informed About Blood Clots

By Expert HERWriter
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Millions of women take the birth control pill everyday for a variety of reasons and do not realize some of its side effects. Sure, the common ones are weight gain and low libido but what about cardiovascular risks? Practitioners and researchers have known for years that blood clots are a very serious potential for pill users but lately they have narrowed it down to certain hormone mixtures.

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in your leg (typically your calf area) and can be painful or feel like a dull ache and cause skin warmth and redness. You may notice the affected leg is swollen and tender to touch. A DVT is serious because the clot can break loose and travel up into your lungs causing a pulmonary embolism (blockage) which is life threatening.

In an updated study, researchers found that women who take the birth control pill had a 5-fold increase risk in developing a blood clot compared to non-users. More importantly, they looked at some of the newer pills on the market and found their risk alarming.

Looking at the progestin options in a pill, Levonorgestrel had a 4-fold increased risk, Gestodene a 5.6 increased risk, Drospirenone a 6.3 increased risk, Cyproterone a 6.8 increased risk, and Desogestrel was the highest at 7.3 increased risk.

Additionally, the higher the estrogen content in a pill, the higher the risk of blood clots.

Commonly, drospirenone is in Yaz and Yazmin, while Cyproterone is in Estelle 35. Desogestrel is in Mircette.

There are many generics on the market now and I would encourage you to read the insert that comes with your pill pack in order to determine exactly what mixture you are swallowing each day.

Does this mean stop your birth control pill? Not necessarily. If you are not using the pill for pregnancy protection, then you may want to explore other options and get to the root of your hormonal imbalance. If you have a strong family history of cardiovascular disease, if you, yourself, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and/or high blood sugar then the pill may not be the best option for you.

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi Adeline,

I am sorry to hear about all the issues that you are having. You would have to consult with an attorney for any law advise regarding your claim. I did a google search for any class actions lawsuits regarding the side effects from Yasmin and this is what I found.


Your not the only one that had issues after using Yasmin. I hope this helps you on your quest. Could you please keep us updated?

April 25, 2010 - 10:15am
(reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for the info. You're very kind, much appreciated! Will keep you posted. Have an awesome evening. Adeline

April 27, 2010 - 6:40am

I am 27 years old. I have been on the Depo Provera from the age of 17, due to endometriosis. 4 months ago, I decided to go onto Yasmin. I experienced mood swings of note, loss of libido, headaches, nausea, lack of energy... and the list goes on.. But the worst is yet to come.
On Monday the 5th of Jan 2010, my appendix was taken out via emergency surgery. I was discharged the Thursday morning. I started limping when I walked, but brushed it off as a discomfort from surgery. 2 days later I was admitted to Milpark Hospital (Johannesburg, South Africa), with a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombsis) in my left thigh and was also diagnosed with a severe PE (Pulmonary Embolism). I was standing on death's front porch!!!!!

Various blood tests were done to establish any previous genetic blood disorders (PCR Genetic diseases) and were eliminated by the Pathology Lab and the Vascular Surgeon. My potassium and sodium levels were quite low...
The cause of my blood clots?? YASMIN!!

My CT scan report said the following:

Post contrast through the chest as per Pulmonary Embolism Protocol.

The central pulmonary artery appears normal. There is evidence of a filling defect in relation to the area of the left pulmonary artery, just at the level of the branch of the upper lobe segmental branch. There is the impression of thickening in relation to the segmental branch of the anterior segment of the right upper lobe with further impression of a suspicious filling defect noted in relation to the apical segmental branch.
Further evidence of eccentric pulmonary emboli noted along the right interlobar artery, continuing into the apical segmental branch of the right lower lobe.
Continuing eccentric filling defect noted to extend into the right inferior pulmonary artery with defect noted inferiorly.
There is evidence of a filling defect noted in relation to the lateral basal segmental branch of the right lower lobe.
Further evidence of filling defect is noted in relation to the third order division branches to the posterobasal segment of the right lower lobe.
The upper lobe segmental branch appears to be intact.
The left pulmonary arteryappears to be well opacified.
There is evidence of eccentric clot in relation to the lateral wall of the left inferior pulmonary artery which is noted to continue inferiorly into the segmental branches of the anteromedial basal and laterobasal segmental branches.
The aortic arch and the rest of the thoracic aorta appears normal in calibre. The heart and chambers seem to be within normal limits.
No pleural effusions or segmental atelectasis or pleauroparenchymal infarcts are noted.
The visualized liver, spleen, pancreas and upper poles of both kidneys appear to be normal. The intrahepatic IVC appears to be patent.
Delayed scan performed through the lower abdomen and pelvis. There is evidence of a filling defect in relation to the left common iliac just beyond the bifurcation just beyond the confluence with clot noted to extend o the left external iliac and left internal iliacs.
Clot noted in relation to left common femoral and left superficial femoral veins.
The pelvic structures appear to be within normal limits.
There is evidence of multiple acute pulmonary emboli in relation to both lungs. These were noted to involve predominantly the segmental and subsegmental order division branches.
There is however clot noted in relation to the right inferior, right interlobar and left inferior pulmonary arteries.
Extensive clot noted to extend from the left common iliac vein distally.

I need some advice.... Do I stand a good chance of filling a law suit? And whom do I sue?


April 25, 2010 - 9:31am

I do not trust the pharma companies are giving us the full story on the dangers of combination hormone formulas like YAZ/Yasmine, NuvaRing They tell us the risks of DVT/PE are minuscule and really only apply to women 35+, smokers, however, we are witnessing a rash of young women (under 30) with otherwise excellent health die or become disabled from PE. If you Google "Yaz Pulmonary Embolism" you will see a list of news headlines from around the world pertaining you women as young as 16 years old, who have been irreversibly harmed by this formula. The same goes for NuVaring, which also appears to be a dangerous product. It makes me so angry that women in the U.S. have had (and still have to) to fight so hard for conscientious health care, particularly reproductive health care and birth control, in spite of phenomenal advances in medical science. Thirty years later, we are still subject to being Guinea Pigs for profit.
This is a subject dear to my heart because I don't believe that women are being told the truth, and I think our lives are a risk using some of these products. I could have been one of these terrible statistics they try to downplay. After experiencing what pointed to a possible DVT, I immediately stopped using the NuvaRing and decided to take control of my family planning the natural way. I have never felt better and wish that more women knew that this is a viable, safe, and reliable alternative. Granted, it does require awareness and personal participation, but it does not need to be complicated (ie. checking CM, manual charts, etc.)

(Link to website removed due to EmpowHer.com's policy against solicitation of its members.)

October 1, 2009 - 10:18am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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