Which Birth Control Pills Have the Lowest Blood Clots Risk?

Aug 27, 2009
One of the most dangerous side effects associated with birth control pills is blood clots risk. But can women lower their risk of developing blood clots choosing the particular type of birth control pills?

The recent Dutch study at Leiden University Medical Center shows that women can select the safer option of birth control if they are concerned about blood clots risk.

Astrid Van Hylckama Vlieg, a leading author of the research and her team studied 1,524 women, aged between 18 and 50, having a first deep venous thrombosis of the leg, caused by a blood clot in the leg, or a pulmonary embolism, caused by a blood clot in the lung. The researchers compared the women with blood clots with 1,760 healthy people.

The study found that women taking birth control pills were five times more likely to have blood clots problems than women, who were not on the pill. The chances of developing blood clots increased depending on the type of progestin in the pill. The highest risk of blood clots was linked to the use of birth control pills, containing new types of progestin such as drospirenone, cyproterone and desogestrel, which increased by 6,3 to 7,3 times. Gestodene ups the risk of blood clots by 5,6 times. The safest option was the birth control pills containing levonorgestrel with the risk increased by 4 times.

Also the birth control pills with the lowest levels of estrogen were found to have decreased risk of blood clots. Also the longer the women used the pills with lower doses of estrogen, the less was the risk.

Another study conducted in Denmark analyzed the risk of blood clots among healthy women, aged between 15 and 49, who were taking the combined pills from 1995 to 2005. Overall, 4,213 cases of blood clots were revealed. The study showed that the pills containing levonorgestrel and norethisterone were the better choices for lowering the risk of blood clots.

Specialists say that in spite of the fact that birth control pills are linked to blood clots risk, the risk is low enough. The chance of developing blood clots, while taking the birth control pills is six to 10,000. However, women with clotting disorders should be particularly aware of the risk.

Other most common side effects of birth control pills include mood swings, headaches, mid cycle spotting, low libido, breast tenderness and high blood pressure. It is recommended that women talk to their doctor about prescribing safer birth control pills with fewer side effects. Also it is important to note that some women tolerate certain types of birth control pills better than others.