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Oral Contraceptives and DVT Risk

Quite a number of my patients have questioned me on the link between certain oral contraceptive pills (those containing drosperinone in particular) and the risk of DVT (developing a serious blood clot).

The current evidence shows that there MAY be an increased risk for women using these particular oral contraceptives, but this needs to be taken in context of the overall risk of developing a DVT.

Sorry for the statistics, but these numbers might give some perspective. A woman’s absolute risk of developing a DVT is as follows:

Non-user of COCP – 5-10/10,000 woman years
User of COCP – 10/10,000 woman years
Pregnant woman – 30/10,000 woman years
Up to 6 weeks post delivery – 300/10,000 woman years.

In essence, the absolute risk of developing a DVT is slightly increased on any combined oral contraceptive, but the absolute numbers are low and the risk is much less than that during pregnancy.

Clearly every woman needs to take into account her own risk factors (personal history, family history, weight, age, medical conditions) and discuss these fully with her doctor to decide on which contraceptive method is best suited for her own situation.

The above information doesn’t take the place of a medical consultation so please seek further advice if you have further concerns.

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