Studies have shown that drospirenone, a synthetic progestin found in some brands of birth control pills, may raise a woman’s risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots.
Approximately 2 million Americans are diagnosed annually with DVT, with more people dying from complications of DVT than breast cancer and AIDS combined. The condition occurs when a blood clot develops in a deep vein, usually in the leg. Typically, a clot travels from the leg to the lungs and blocks blood from entering other parts of the body, causing trouble breathing and fatigue. When left untreated, clots can travel into the heart and cause it to fail, resulting in death.
“Any birth control pills increase the risk of blood clots, which is why birth control pills can only be obtained with a prescription,” OB/GYN. Dr. Lisa Masterson says.
“Always talk to your doctor about risk factors, such as history of blood clots or other cardiovascular problems, as well as smoking, obesity and age, to find out which pill is right for you."
“If you’re a woman on birth control -- especially if you smoke -- if you experience acute shortness of breath with chest pain and you just don’t feel right, you have to get it checked out,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork advises.