What are the Risks of Femodette?

Combined Contraceptive Pill »

There is a chance that if you take the contraceptive pill for a long period of time, that is can slightly increase the risk of some diseases. Although these are rare, there are associations between taking the pill and some cancers and circulatory problems. Sometimes, women are more likely to have these illnesses whilst using the pill if they have other lifestyle factors involved.

The risk of blood clots

Blood clots are formed in your blood vessels when the blood starts to clump together irrespective of whether there is injury to the vessel. Usually your blood will start to clot at the site of vessel injury in order to prevent blood loss but sometimes your blood does this without injury being present. The pill can increase the risk of this occurring because oestrogen is a known coagulant, which means it makes your blood clot more often.

If you do get blood clots, they can block vessels and reduce blood flow to vital areas of the body. If you get a blood clot forming in the arteries that supply the heart, blood will not be able to reach the heart and you will suffer a heart attack. Similarly, if they form in the vessels leading to the brain and the blood supply to the brain is cut off, you will suffer a stroke.  Blood clots can also cause pulmonary embolisms if the blood clot breaks off from the vessel in which it formed and travels to the lungs, where it gets stuck in the blood vessels.

There is a higher chance of you having a blood clot if you are using the pill and are overweight, smoke, have blood disorders, have a family history of blood clots, have just had a baby, have diabetes or are going to be immobile for a long period of time. Your risk also increases with age.

If you notice any pains in your chest, difficulty breathing, pains in your legs, swelling or limbs, trouble with your vision or very severe migraines you should seek medical help immediately.

The risk of cancer

The pill can actually give you some protection against womb cancer and cancer of the ovaries if you use it for a long period of time. However, it can also increase the risk of other types of cancer.

There is a slight increase in the risk of cervical cancer if you use the contraceptive pill and you should undergo regular smear tests to make sure that you are completely healthy. Some symptoms of cervical cancer include pain during sexual intercourse, unusual vaginal discharge or vaginal bleeding.

The pill can also increase your risk of breast cancer. It is very rare that you will have breast cancer if you are under 40 and your risk of cancer increases with age. There are associations with breast cancer and the pill and the number of women who use the pill and have breast cancer increases with age.  For example, there will be 110 women with breast cancer out of 10,000 women who use the pill by the time they are 40 if they started using the pill in their early thirties for five years. This number compares with the 100 women out of 10,000 that will have breast cancer by this age and didn’t use the contraceptive pill.

Your risk of breast cancer also increases if you have a family history of the disease or are extremely overweight. If you notice any changes to your breasts such as lumps, changes in the nipple or dimpling of the skin, contact your doctor.

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