Posted: April 1, 2016 Contributor: administrator

The Truth About Birth Control and Blood Clots

When it comes to any prescription medication, there will always be potential side effects. If you are currently on the pill, you have likely heard those scary two words—blood clots. Obviously this is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. But this isn’t really news. The link between birth control and blood clots has been around for some time now. So should you be concerned? Take a look at the link between birth control and blood clots and see what you can do to decrease your risk of this, potentially deadly, side effect.

Blood Clots are Relatively Rare

Okay, take a deep breath. While the pill does increase the odds of developing a blood clot, the incidences are still relatively rare. Older women are at a higher risk but sadly, even young women are at risk (even if it’s a low one). This is why you need to know the risk factors prior to starting a birth control regiment. The chances of a blood clot for a woman not on the pill is roughly 3 of every 10,000. For women who are on the pill, the risk increases to 9 out of every 10,000. Yes, the risk increases fairly significantly, but the overall risk is still relatively low.

Risk Factors

Did you know there is an actual blood test that can reveal whether you are prone to blood clots? A gene is responsible for being predisposed to blood clots and thankfully, this test can identify if you have it. It’s estimated that nearly 8% of Americans have one of many inherited factors that would make it more likely for a blood clot to result. While speaking of risk factors, here is one you CAN control. If you are on the pill, DON’T (we repeat DON’T) smoke.

Early Diagnosis is Key

Because blood clots can potentially be fatal, early diagnosis is vital. If you are on the pill and experience leg or chest pain, you should visit your doctor ASAP. The good news is that detection at this stage is pretty easy. You will simply undergo an ultrasound and if detected, you will simply stop taking the pill and take blood thinners for a few months.

Reducing Your Risk

Of course, you can’t control your genetics, but you CAN control your lifestyle choices. If you are sedentary most of the time, you will want to start being more active. If you smoke, you should seriously consider quitting. Stay hydrated on long trips that will keep you seated at length and be sure to stretch often. If you EVER experience unusual pain in your legs or chest, seek medical attention immediately.

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