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Do birth control pills cause blood clots?

  • March 24, 2021
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Ease Editorial Team

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Although they do not cause blood clots, some birth control pills – but not all – do increase your chances of developing a blood clot, some more than others.

Overall, blood clots are rare, even among birth control users. The rate for getting clots is about 0.3% to 1% over 10 years for a woman on the pill. You’re much more likely to have blood clots during or after pregnancy.

However, blood clots can cause serious health problems. Clots in your legs, lungs, or brain can be especially dangerous.

A clot in the vessels moving blood up from your legs is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It can break off and travel to the lungs. A clot in the vessels that bring blood into your lungs is known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). PE can be deadly because it could stop blood from getting to your lungs. Blood clots in the brain can cause a stroke. Blood clots in the heart can cause myocardial (heart) ischemia (decreased blood flow), which can cause a heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction.

This is why when you purchase birth control through Ease, we make sure to check if you have a history of clots or are more likely to get them for another reason. If so, our doctors will consider your circumstances and select the best brand of birth control for you.

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You should seek immediate medical attention if you believe that you are having a blood clot. Possible signs of a blood clot include:

  • an unusual sudden cough;
  • severe pain in the chest which may reach the left arm;
  • breathlessness;
  • any unusual, severe, or long-lasting headache or worsening of
  • migraine;
  • partial or complete loss of vision, or double vision;
  • slurring or speech disability;
  • sudden changes to your hearing, sense of smell, or taste;
  • dizziness or fainting;
  • weakness or numbness in any part of your body;
  • severe pain in your abdomen;
  • severe pain or swelling in either of your legs

Some factors that increase the likelihood of getting blood clots are:

  • Prolonged bed rest
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Certain cancers
  • Surgery

If for some reason you believe that you are at a higher chance of getting a blood clot, make sure to bring this up to your doctor when requesting birth control. If you’re requesting birth control through Ease, make sure to mention these during your teleconsultation, or include these in your questionnaire when we ask you to tell us anything else about your medical history that we should know.

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