Risks of Loestrin

Combined Contraceptive Pill »

Combined contraceptive pills have been linked to a number of conditions that could be life threatening. Research has been carried out to find out the associations between certain diseases and the pill and it has been found that there is a slight increase risk of blood clots, some cancers and some liver diseases if you use the pill. However, these are a rare occurrence.

Blood clots

The pill contains the hormone oestrogen, which is a natural coagulant. This means that it can make your blood clump together more often than usual so there is a slight increase in the risk of a blood clot forming if you use the pill. You are more likely to experience a blood clot in the first year of taking the pill. Although it is unlikely that one will form, if a blood clot does occur, it can block your blood vessels and if this happens in the vessels that supply your heart or brain, then you could have a heart attack or a stroke. They can also occur in the veins in your leg whereby the blood clot becomes dangerous when it breaks off and travels to your lungs. This can lead to a pulmonary embolism.

Using the pill can increase your risk of blood clots, especially if one of the following factors are involved. You are more likely to experience a blood clot whilst on the contraceptive pill if you are extremely overweight, have a family history of the condition, smoke, have diabetes, have heart problems or if you are older. You risk of blood clots increases with age. Also, you can get blood clots if you are immobile for a long period of time.

There are a number of signs that you can look out for. If you have chest pain, numbness in limbs, difficulty breathing, pain in your legs, swelling of limbs, severe migraines or dizziness, then you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

The risk of cancer

Although the pill can protect you against certain cancers such as cancer of the ovaries, it can also increase the risk of other cancers such as breast or cervical cancer. Any woman, regardless of whether she is using the pill, has the risk of getting breast cancer but the pill can slightly increase the risk. Also, the chance of having breast cancer is rare under 40 but increases with age so it depends on the age you use the contraceptive pill, to how high the risk of cancer is.

It is very unlikely that you will have breast cancer from using the contraceptive pill. It slightly increases the risk of women having the disease as oppose to you not using the contraceptive pill but this risk will decrease back to the pre pill level after ten years of stopping the pill.

You should check your breasts regularly and if you find lumps, changes in the nipple or dimpling of the skin, you should tell your doctor.

The pill has also been associated with cervical cancer. However, some research suggests that there are other causes that are increasing this risk that are not associated with the contraceptive pill such as being infected with the Human Papilloma Virus. Loestrin has also been linked to some liver cancers and non-malignant tumours. However, this is very rare and is only a risk if you have been using the pill for a long period of time.

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