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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


KDKA-TV: Birth control pill studies examine link between estrogen levels and blood clots

Monday, August 17th, 2009

In general, birth control pills are quite safe. 

"If a patient is properly selected, complications are minimized," says West Penn Hospital OBGYN, Dr. Aurora Miranda.

But for every 10,000 women who take the pill for one year, three of them will develop a dangerous blood clot in the leg that can travel to the lung. That can be deadly.

Two independent studies from Denmark and the Netherlands pretty much found the same thing.

These studies received no funding from the companies that make birth control pills. The new research is confirming what previous studies have shown and adds the risk associated with specific hormones.

The Dutch study in the "British Medical Journal" looked at more than 3,000 women – half with blood clots, called deep venous thromboses, or DVTs and half without.

The ones who took oral contraceptives were five times more likely to get DVTs, especially in the first three months of use.

Most pills are a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin.

The amount of estrogen plays a role in the risk for DVT.

"The higher the dosage, the higher the risks," Dr. Miranda explains.


To read more or see the video, visit the KDKA-TV web site.

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