When it comes to birth control, newer isn't always better.
New research shows third generation contraceptive pills, developed in the 1980s, put women at greater risk for developing health complications than older varieties do. The drosperinone found in newer birth control pills makes women who use them two to three times more likely to suffer from a blood clot, as compared to pills using levonorgestrel. Drosperinone and levonorgestrel are both synthetic versions of the hormone progesterone. Best Birth Control Options
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These results stem from two trials, one of American women, and one of British women, and are published in the British Medical Journal. Both studies calculated blood clot risk of 100,000 women taking the medicine. In the American trial, the risk was 30.8 for drospirenone and 12.5 for levonorgestrel. In the British study, the risk was 23 for drospirenone and 9.1 for levonorgestrel.
Although the researchers did not deem the clots to be fatal, and the number of cases was small, this finding solidifies the fact that using birth control puts women at a higher risk of health complications. Is The Pill Harmful?
Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella, all members of this third generation of contraception, include warnings on their labels about the risk of blood clots associated with taking the pill. Since it's introduction in 2006, Yaz has quickly become the best-selling birth control pill on the United States. Bayer, which manufactures Yaz and Yasmin, has issued a statement in response to the research. They are maintaining that these latest findings do not change their overall assessment of the safety of their oral contraceptives.
But experts aren't telling women to steer clear from birth control all together. Overall, risk of developing a blood clot while taking oral contraception is still low. To determine which option is best suited to your lifestyle, speak with your doctor. All birth control pills come with some form of side effect, whether it is spotting or cramps, and other research still suggests that some women may respond better to the newer generation of pills. Will Birth Control Gel Replace The Pill?
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Any women with a history of blood clots, or who are over 35 years old and smoke regularly, are encouraged to pass on the pill,particularly those with drospirenone.
Do the health risks associated with birth control outweigh the benefits?