Risk of Blood Clots Tied to Hormonal Contraceptives

Hormonal Contraceptives Create 3-to 6-fold increased risk of blood clots.

  • Compared to nonusers, women who use oral contraceptive pills have a 3- to 6-fold increased risk of venomous thromboembolic events, or blood clots. Risk is greater for pills that contain third-generation progestins (desogestrel or gestodene) than those containing levonorgestrel. Oral hormone replacement therapy similarly creates 2- to 4-fold increase risk of blood clots compared with nonusers. Women who have an inherited tendency toward blood clotting and use oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy are at greatest risk.1

1Risk of Venous Thromboembolic Disease Associated With Hormonal Contraceptives and Hormone Replacement Therapy, Arch Intern Med. Vol. 164 October 11, 2004; pp. 1965-1976

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